Panda Peeks – Unit 27 Bar + Cafe
What do you think can you expect from good friends who like throwing parties and dining in every chance they get? They’d probably put up the cosiest bar and restaurant in the face of the Metro.
Since it opened on August 2015, people have been dropping like flies in Unit 27 Bar + Café at any given day. It’s just hard not to love this place when literally anything and everything inside it resembles different facets of your own home and I was lucky enough to have bumped into the minds behind the most talked about pub in Bonifacio Global City one fine morning when I decided to drop by.
“We used to hold house parties almost every night in the condo unit of one our friends who is now also one of the owners of this restaurant. We enjoyed hanging out together that we eventually thought of putting up a place where anyone can revel in great food choices in the company of great friends while still feeling like they’re in the comfort of their home”, shares Francis Tolentino, Unit 27’s General Manager and Executive Chef, when I asked him how they came up with the restaurant concept.
The place is basically divided into two, the café on the ground floor and the bar upstairs. The first part is ideal for all your school stuff, meetings, and workloads while the latter is perfect when you’re sick and tired of the things I have just mentioned. As the staff opens the door and politely welcomes you, you’ll immediately notice the impressive choice of colors and fixtures. Its insides is composed mainly of modern industrial pieces in earth colours which give the place a warm and inviting vibe.
I picked a corner table so I can have a 360-view of the entire café. On my left was the bar leading to the kitchen, well-lit and very neat, and on my right was a small opening going to the mini library section of the café. It has three to four tables inside with bookshelves full of reference materials and magazines. I’d usually prefer to bury myself in an enclosed portion of a café but the minute I decided to get up, the smiling staff approached me and handed me the menu.
Everything looked so enticing that I was so torn in choosing what to get. The selection was essentially a mix of Western and Filipino cooking. Chef asked me to try a couple of items from their All-Day Brunch line up and another two from their Breakfast Menu.
While waiting for the food, I got to chat with their events and marketing manager, Jave Maceda, who was working on the table next to mine. He kind of gave me a quick rundown of the events and programs happening in the restaurant in a weekly basis. On Tuesdays, they have Rockeoke Battle Royale which allows the guests to jam along with the band and whoever wins as the best singer for the night, in which the rest of the audience will have to decide, gets a free bottle of whiskey or rum and has to defend the title on the following week. Filipinos really love to sing so it’s no surprise that their Tuesdays are always packed. If you’re into drinking sorts of games, do come by on Wednesday nights! They call it Hump Day Wednesday where lots of guests will be playing Jenga and other popular board games. They also have beer pong if you’re coming in teams. Just recently, they launched Live @ U27 every Thursday which features quality indie bands to showcase local music and re-discover OPM. Big names from our local indie scene have already graced the U27 stage like Jensen and The Flips, Moonwalk, Asch, and Curtis Smith. And every weekend, they’re having live DJ nights featuring the current Top 40 club hits scaled down to fit the intimate setting of the bar.
While Jave was sharing fun stories happening each night at their events, my first meal was also being served. I could smell a strong flavour from the neat white bowl on a wooden chopping board that the staff brought over. It’s the Oats-caldo from their Breakfast Menu. If you’re missing your mom’s Arroz Caldo, you’ll definitely find comfort in their own, healthier version of it that uses oats to replace rice and mixes it with pesto for that added flavour. It also goes with chicken meat, quail eggs, fish sauce, calamansi, and chili oil to suit your taste. I was told that one of the owners, Michelle, always wanted to have Arroz Caldo but also following a strict diet and could not eat white rice so Chef Francis had to come up with a healthier version of the famous comfort food and added it to their breakfast lineup. I got so full after finishing a bowl, I totally forgot that I ordered three more items from their menu.
Just when I was about to put down my glass of water, my Chocolate Pancake arrived. And to my surprise, it has danggit on top! It’s amazing how a food so western could be done with a Pinoy twist. I’m such a big danggit fan and I immediately grabbed those dried fish and munched on it right away. I’m now left with the Chocolate Pancake topped with melted chocolate, a combination of Swiss chocolate and local tablea, sprinkled with powdered sugar and our very own Choc-Nut with white cheese on the side. After a while, I realised that the dried fish was meant to balance the flavour and sweetness of the pancake but it was too late. I ate it the moment I laid eyes on it. Now, if I was not preparing for two more items from their All-Day Bunch menu, I could have devoured the two very thick chocolate pancakes swimming in delicious melted chocolate but I had to save some space for the coming meals.
The next course is called Pinoy Steak and Eggs. It’s basically marinated Angus strips served with rice and egg. Since Filipinos are such big rice eaters, you can choose how you want your rice to go with the U.S. Angus. It can either be plain white rice, garlic rice or pesto rice. Chef Francis admitted that he just loves pesto so much that he’d put pesto in literally everything he can. It’s also served with home-made Sukang Iloco which smell will entice you even from afar.
The last plate on my table had the sinful Bagnet Breakfast in it. It’s a very generous serving of fried pork belly with rice, pako salad, and Sukang Iloco. It has everything you are looking for your perfect bagnet moment. The meat is so tender, less fat, and super crispy pork skin! Now, this is comfort food. And, oh, did I mention that it comes with their home-made lechon sauce? It’s a must-try!
I was so lucky to get free drinks from them that day. He mentioned they have a buy-one-get-one promo on cocktails from 3:00pm to 6:00pm for only 299 pesos. Unlike the usual short and thin cocktail glasses you’d see in most of BGC restos, theirs is served in tall, huge glasses. I couldn’t get tipsy at noon so I stopped on my first glass but I know in my hearts of hearts I wanted to finish that Mai Tai and Mango Mojito.
What also made my few hour stay in the place so convenient and relaxing was the view of the calm BGC at brunch time with people walking on the streets and cars taking the wide, clean pavement from the glass walls of the diner. With its unspoiled ambience, innovative menu, and comfort food truly living to its name, Unit 27 Bar and Café could surely be your second home.
Address: 26th Street Corner Icon Plaza Building, 7th Ave, Taguig City, Philippines
Phone: (+632) 894 1692
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10:00am–2:00am
Click here to order online
Pop culture connoisseur, minimalist, and a picky eater, he brainstorms with himself on Sunday nights obsessing about his existential dilemmas then regrets all of it the following day. He is finally done ghost writing for other people and now decided to have a byline of his own.