Ian Paradies Of Polilya Dishes On The Layers Of Beer, Cocktails, And Delish Bar Chow We Need To Try
To say that Polilya is now a young and happening bar over at Poblacion would be quite an understatement. It opened late 2016 at 5658 Jacobo Street, Poblacion, Makati just after ghost month and did extremely well in its very first quarter and has been growing by word-of-mouth and social media tags ever since. The bar’s walk-in youth who are also from beyond the metro--as far as Cebu, Iloilo, and Bacolod--come flying in for pocketed days or a weekend in Makati just to get there (you should have seen Polilya packed last Chinese New Year).
Months after its doors opened in September 2017, Polilya now welcomes the thirsty and hungry just before sunset with Engkanto craft beer, cocktails, and a selection of things to eat that you’re bound to remember the names of the next time around.
For starters, we were impressed with the Ultimate Nachos which weren’t conceived the no-brainer-nacho way. Apart from using grated cheese instead of the usual melted stuff, the flavors of chili, sliced avocado, sour cream, and salsa merge together in one crunchy, tangy bite. We’ve not tried another dish of nachos quite like it and it’s served in your own personal mini wok.
Polilya’s Ultimate Nachos served with grated (not melted) cheese
Polilya’s take of Hainanese chicken nuggets is also a must-try. These are every bit as scrumptious as your drive-thru default and the hit of ginger in both the nugget and one of the sauces provided make this one quite the treat.
Polilya’s Hainanese Chicken Nuggets dish partners well with a craft beer or summer cocktails.
To wash all these yummies down, what’s notable at Polilya is its Engkanto Four O’ Clock Beer Flight. At Polilya, Engkanto flagship beers are available to sample in a quartet at different strength levels and there’s always bound to be a particular one that floats your boat. Passionate owner of both Polilya and Engkanto, Ian Paradies relates that Engkanto beer has been incorporated not just into the bar section but into its food menu as well.
“Outside of the beers we want to build out a full bar because the thing is, you cannot just serve beer because you might turn off groups of people. Some people in a group may not like beer; they might like wine, spirits, or cocktails.”
Polilya’s Summer Cocktails: Long Island Iced Tea, Daiquiri, and the Brewberry
Ian noted that apart from serving Engkanto Craft beer as is, they wanted to get more creative with what was available. He explains, “So we wanted to have a full bar but we thought how could we incorporate the beer into our cocktail list and our menu.”
Ian adds, “When you actually look at our menu, for the food items, half of them actually have Engkanto beer in the dishes. It’s found in the batter, in the sauce, in the dip, and also in some of our desserts. We tried to make a different experience; to have beer become part of the overall menu, not just in the beer or cocktails, but in the food as well.” However, for the beer-newbies or those wanting to try Engkanto craft beer but not sure how to explore which one is for them, trying the Four O’Clock beer flight—four sampler glasses of the Engkanto beers of your choice—is one way to find out.
The Engkanto Four O’ Clock Beer Flight According to Ian Paradies
Polilya’s Four O’ Clock Beer Flight
Lager: The Starter Beer
An entry level beer, the Engkanto Lager doesn’t have much of a bite but has a well-rounded taste and goes down smooth. Ian Paradies explains, “You notice it is the clearest, even in the physical appearance. It is very transparent. At 4.5 % ABV (alcohol by volume), it still has a lot of body, character to it that is super easy to drink. If you want to stay out late for more than five hours, this is the one you drink.”
Blonde Ale: A Botanical Character
For people who aren’t into botanical and herbal flavors, Ian points out that the blonde ale may not be for them, but the ale possesses a lot of character. “The Blonde Ale is like the entry level ale at 5% alcohol, yet it has tons of aroma and bitterness that comes with it. It is like yellowish, goldish, and light. Also there is like a floral notes. So the bitterness comes through those, if you are not used to bitterness, it is a lot.”
Pale Ale: Well Rounded and Balanced
Engkanto’s counterpart to a Pale Pilsen would certainly be this Pale Ale. One sip provides bold depth of flavor that goes down with more of a kick. “The Pale Ale, which is like middle-of-the-road kind of product, is 6% alcohol, so it’s getting up there because, for example, Red Horse is 6.8%. For me it is the most well-rounded, like a balance between bitterness, aroma, and mouth-feel in the taste.”
IPA: Strong in Alcohol
“So this is our IPA now, this is 7% so it is getting up there. This is more pine-y, probably the beer where the bitterness comes through the most. IPA stands for India Pale Ale. We have another one that is called the double IPA but it’s 8.5%. Actually, it’s our second best seller, surprisingly, after the lager. Although these are my favorites, I always say that the Double IPA is the most special of our beers for two reasons: One is we’re able to actually hit the recipe we selected on our first attempt when we decided to put up the Double IPA. It’s the first recipe we attempted, we loved it, and we stuck to it. Also the amount you are pulling for a beer that is 8.5%, it is so smooth.”
Ian claims that Filipino beer drinkers who have tried the ir Double IPA consider it to be more value for money. “It’s a great option because, when you are paying at a bar, you pay 20 or 30 pesos more for a glass. It is double the alcohol percentage of lager, so rather than six glasses, you only need three, so you are actually saving money.”