October 1, 2017

Hop Inn Hotel Makati x Tralulu Presents: Poblacion Food and Art Hop Like No Other

I have joined several food tours and food crawls around the metro, but there was nothing like the food hop I experienced with Hop Inn Hotel last week. Seven months after opening its pioneering branch in Ermita, Hop Inn Hotel Makati Avenue opened its doors last August 2017.

Hop Inn Hotel, in partnership with Tralulu, hosted a walking food tour of Makati Avenue's budding food and art destination, that is Poblacion. While Poblacion is home to various historical sites, and recognized as Makati’s heritage district, it has slowly developed into a creative and modern community, featuring some exciting and innovative concepts that offer a glimpse of this unassuming but promising neighborhood.

Before my gastronomic adventure began, I settled in one of Hop Inn’s minimalist-designed rooms equipped with air-conditioning, a cozy double bed, clean bathroom with hot and cold shower, cable TV, and complimentary high-speed WIFI- the basic yet essential elements for a comfortable overnight stay. 

Aside from these factors, Hop Inn Hotel takes pride in valuing its guests’ security.  A key card access to rooms and elevators, an in-room safe, and round-the-clock security and CCTV operations ensure a safe and serene stay at the hotel.

It perfectly captured the brand’s Four Pillars Promise: Cleanliness, Convenience, Comfort, and Security.

A quick 2-hour rest was enough to prep me for the much awaited food hop at the hip and vibrant neighborhood of Poblacion. Poblacion Hop as they call it, commenced at the hotel lobby, followed by a short walk to the first destination- El Chupacabra.

El Chupacabra is from the same people behind Mexicali, Café Mediterranean, Senor Pollo, Corner Tree Café, Crying Tiger and The Shipyard in Malate. Call me a late bloomer, but it was only this day that I have tried El Chupacabra’s famous street tacos. 

We had their house special of San Francisco-style Lean Pork Sisig (P135) and their version of quesadillas, the Cheese, Garlic and Onion Gringas (P141).

It was a nice teaser to El Chupacabra’s wide selection of Mexican favorites, but we had to pace ourselves, and save more room for our second stop at Lobo Filipino Tavern.

Our gracious host was none other than the owner himself, Mr. Kian Kazemi, who personally welcomed everyone and gave a brief introduction about Lobo and his other restaurant ventures.

He was generous enough to serve some of Lobo’s best-selling dishes starting off with Kinilaw na Tanigue (P195) made with coconut vinegar, lime, and mangoes.

We had Pork Sinigang (P225) for soup, and the Signature Kare-Kare (P295) and Lobo’s Lamb Adobo (P275) for main course. The kare-kare features a meaty combination of beef ribs, tripe and lengua, cooked in a peanut sauce made from scratch.

I seldom crave for Filipino dishes when dining out, but Lobo somehow gave me a better appreciation of our local flavors with their progressive Filipino cuisine. 

Next stop was the no-frills, street-side, sari-sari-store-turned-yakitori-joint Tambai.

We had a few sticks of their signature U.S Beef Isaw (P60) and Tofuyaki (P70), but the highlight of our visit was their lip-smacking Chicken Skin (P150).

It was quite a wait before the chicken skin was served, so we had some of the orders to go, so we can finally move on to our last food stop for dessert- Bucky's.

They say: “There is always room for dessert!”, but Bucky’s is more than just a dessert place for a perfect sweet ending or night cap. While everyone enjoyed his/her own parfait, the owners were kind enough to serve some samplers of their best-selling appetizers and dishes.

I like the Smore’s Parfait (P220) better, which has smores cookie, over Bucky’s Original Parfait (P220) which consists of the original Bucky.

Just when everyone thought the Poblacion Hop ends at dessert, Hop Inn Hotel and Tralulu surprised us with a bonus visit to Pineapple Lab- a creative art space and gallery that houses innovative works of Filipino art makers, international artists, and collaborators. It is an outlet dedicated for budding artists to showcase their crafts and hone their talents and skills in artistic expression.

During our visit, Pineapple Lab hosted an open bar for us to enjoy a good nightcap while appreciating the works of artists Belzasar II and Sacramento.

Alas, it was time for us to go back, and bask on the warm and comfortable beds of Hop Inn Makati.
It was a food hop like no other, featuring some of the nearby attractions and dining destinations this city has to offer.

Staycations are now made more affordable for budget-conscious travelers with Hop Inn Hotel’s best available rates starting at Php1,500 net per room night

Thank you Hop Inn Hotel and Tralulu for this meaningful walking tour that gave me a better appreciation of food, arts, culture and community, in this quaint little neighborhood of Makati. Can't wait to continue my #PoblacionHop on my own, and discover more places worth visiting in Poblacion.

The Erawan Group Public Company Limited, is the company behind the growing Hop Inn brand in Thailand.  Its first venture in the country is Hop Inn Hotel Ermita which opened last December 2016. Combining Thai expertise and world-renowned Filipino hospitality, travelers expect nothing but the best quality service whenever they stay at any of the Hop Inn hotels in the Philippines; thanks to the company's 35 years of vast experience in developing international five-star hotels such as the Grand Hyatt and JW Marriott, among others.

The opening of Hop Inn Ermita and Makati Avenue is just the beginning of the company’s plans to open more hotels in the country. Next year, three more Hop Inn Hotels are slated to open in Metro Manila: one in Aseana, a site in Alabang, and one in Tomas Morato, Quezon City. The company is also looking at key cities in Visayas and Mindanao as next potential sites to open more hotels, providing a relevant boost to the country’s tourism and overall economic development as well as opening excellent employment opportunities for more Filipinos.

Hop Inn Hotel Makati Avenue is located at 7806 Makati Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City, 1210 Philippines. For reservations, call (+632) 816- 7866 or (+632) 816- 7876 (fax), or email reservation.makati@hopinnhotel.com.

For more information about Hop Inn Hotel, visit www.hopinnhotel.com and follow their social media pages at www.facebook.com/hopinnhotelph and hopinnhotelph on Twitter and Instagram.

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