One of the things I love most about Manila is how easy it is to find a decent place to grab a few drinks and good food with friends. Scouting the metro for new watering holes has actually become somewhat of a past time for my friends and I. Oftentimes we would each go to new pubs with our colleagues and recommend any newly discovered gems to each other and organise our own soirees and reunions there.
I recently had the privilege of food and wine and beer pairing at Black Olive Cerviceria in Capitol Commons, Pasig City. My colleague and I were lucky enough to enjoy their wonderful collection of alcohol and delicious dishes. And boy did we feel like kids in a candy shop upon entering this pub. The first thing that caught our eyes was the bar and its’ huge selection of liquor.
Hundreds of bottles of beers, wines, tequila, vodka, whiskey and more are neatly placed beside each other to seduce the hidden (or not so hidden) alcoholic in all of us. The relaxing music and wooden notes on all of Black Olive’s furniture also provided a relaxing and cozy vibe to get us in a drinking mood.
Black Olive definitely lives up to its’ reputation as a cerveceria. Known as a place that offers a wide selection of beer, Black Olive offers a mix of over 60+ beers both local and foreign. They have small undiscovered treats from small-scale breweries for the true enthusiasts and popular foreign beers like Corona, Tiger and more.
Perfect Match No. 1
Montrouge Merlot 2014
We started off with a glass of Montrouge Merlot 2014. This was honestly my first time encountering this wine and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every second of it. The wine is hypnotizing to say the least due to its’ beautiful garnet red colour. It was a complex and fruity wine with hints of cherries, blackberries and raspberry notes on the finish. This well-balanced wine definitely went well with Antipasto it was served with.
It was especially perfect with my personal ham of choice, prosciutto. The micro-thin and melt-in-your-mouth ham’s higher than usual salt content went perfectly with the suppleness of this Merlot. Each and every slice of this Italian ham was a pleasure to wash down and made me reminiscent of a trip to Napa Valley a few years back. The Antipasto was also served with 12-month aged grana padano, pancetta, coppa, honey, balsamic vinegar and crostini allowing a whole smorgasbord of flavours to invade my tastebuds.
Perfect Match No. 2
Next up was a generous serving of gambas paired with a beer we were all too familiar with, the Corona Extra. The gambas which was made of white shrimp masterfully sautéed with garlic, chorizo and white wine was a match made in heaven with the refreshing taste of Corona. The well-rounded character of the beer and its’ pleasant hop and malt aroma went great with the slightly spicy gambas as it helped cut through the heat. Corona has also been known to go with seafood, making this a wonderful one-two punch of heaven.
Perfect Match No. 3
Not be outdone by its’ beer and wine brothers, Black Olive’s cocktail menu served up its’ own twist on the Moscow Mule paired with their house special, the White Clams with Bacon. Served in an attractive copper goblet, the Moscow Mule quickly became one of my favourite cocktails with its’ tangy flavour. Since I’ve long been a fan of citrusy drinks, this was definitely a joy to drink.
Made with Russian Standard Vodka, Stella Artois and lime juice, the citrus essence was delightful with the clams. I personally like to think of cocktails as a condiment and not a complement to a meal and the zest in this Moscow Mule helped enhance the soft flavours of the seafood. The bacon in the dish
After months of enjoying the good old San Miguel Pale Pilsen, the day at Black Olive really helped me enjoy once again the fine art of food pairing. This would definitely be the place I would be recommending to my friends in the future.
Black Olive Cerveceria
Address: Capitol Commons, Camino Verde Rd, PasigCity
Phone: +63 917 507 3512
Opening hours: Mondays to Thursdays 11AM to 3AM. Fridays and Saturdays 11AM to 5AM. Sundays 11AM to 1AM
Click here to order online
Editor | Inigo Hizon