Sisig-Stuffed Grilled Cheese, Basil-Spiked Sangria, And A Chill Vibe At South Pub Alabang
They’ve got crispy pata like you’ve never tasted it before, chicharon for the people who’re trying to convince themselves they’re on a diet, nachos made with the best chips, kickass drinks, and sisig that’s stuffed inside a grilled cheese.
It’s only been a while since South Pub opened in Commerce Center in Filinvest City, Alabang, but the crowd is getting drawn to the food, drinks, and vibe the place has to offer. South Pub is the brainchild of a couple of partners, and is now being managed by Jed Bellon, Bellay Fernando, Michael Araullo, Toby Araullo, and Chef Jing Fernando.
Tucked in a corner of the Commerce Center, South Pub offers a tastefully curated space, complete with comfortable seats for the dining families, bar seats for the drinking buddies, a function room, and an al fresco dining area. The place is chill, it’s simple, it’s quiet. It’s a place for someone who wants to enjoy his meal and beer in peace. But then you get to the food and right off the bat you’d like to stand up and party.
South Pub offers interesting twists to classics and bar chows. And the first thing that draws you in the menu is the dish they call The Allison, sitting mysteriously in the middle of the South Pub tasting menu.
Toby Araullo tells us the story of The Allison, which actually is a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with their signature sisig and served with tomato soup. Toby says that the dish was added to the menu one day when a woman walked into the pub, ordered a platter of grilled cheese and some sisig, and stuffed the sisig into the sandwich.
At first, it did not make sense to the team but when they tasted it, okay, yeah, it does make sense! Meat, cheese, bread—that’s a combo that has withstood the test of time! Ever since, the dish has been included in the menu and named after the woman who walked in and showed them where sisig is supposed to be—Allison.
The rest of the food on the menu is the work of Chef Jinggoy, who has always envisioned a restaurant like South Pub.
“I’m the type of cook na, I’m not maarte. So all of my food are straightforward and comforting,” Chef Jinggoy says about the dishes offered in South Pub. One of our ultimate favorites at the pub is the corned crispy pata, which is an interesting take on a Filipino classic. The meat is juicy and crunchy at the same time, it’s pink, and is pulled apart to look like corned beef.
Upon insistence, Chef Jinggoy spills a bit about their crispy pata, which actually was brined for three whole days before cooked. Another secret ingredient that gave the pork its pinkish color is pink salt, which gives that extra zing to the recipe.
There are also other offerings in the menu like the mushroom chicharon for those who’d like the chicharon experience minus the badness of the pork, the platter of nachos with these homemade chips that we’ve never tasted before, and the badass burger that’s all beef, no fuss.
To wash down the food, grab their signature white sangria, a one-of-a-kind recipe that you can only find in that part of the south. The drink was light, refreshing, with just the right amount of kick to get things rolling. We tried to guess our way around the sangria and to our surprise, one ingredient stood out: and it’s basil.
The pub also offers a number of mixed cocktails, local and imported beers, and a special Akashi Japanese whiskey.
From the great food, the interesting drinks, and an atmosphere that invites you to stay, South Pub really has nailed it. In Chef Jinggoy’s words, “If there’s a word to describe the pub, it’s chill. That’s the south. People from the south really don’t like noisy places. They wanna feel at home. And that’s what we have here.”
Photos by Jovi Figueroa