Through the Dark and Into Blind Pig Speakeasy Makati

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Back in the launch of Trufflefinder, it was a treat to find out that there is more than one speakeasy in Manila.

But before that, there was one place that has been in our hearts, and in the hearts of the CNNGo people that featured this place.

Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9659

Blind Pig in Makati is probably one of the more known speakeasy-style bars around. With an entrance in some nondescript building and the only marker is a black sign in Braille that is smaller than a license plate (plus the chance that you can even be rejected if you do not have a reservation), this is the true speakeasy experience.

Update: Blind Pig has a sister bar now just a few blocks away called Exit Bar.

Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9661

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So one rainy night, after being here once and luckily getting a chance to enter last summer, En Route finds its way again looking for Blind Pig Speakeasy.

Searching for it already gives a whole secretive, adventurous and romantic feel, as if you will be let on to a secret only a few knowledgeable of Blind Pig will ever find out. It sets your mind into expecting you will be swept away, both with excitement and a hint of fear and anxiety running through your skin.

Knock on the door, wait for someone to open the small sliding peephole to ask your name. If you have your reservation and made it in time, you will hear the click and be ushered in by the hostess.

And just like that, the expectation of a time warp turns to reality….

Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9625

You are sucked into a time and place filled with darkness, only illuminated by candles, accent lighting, and a dimly lit chandelier smack in the middle. The textured walls and soft leather couches surround the sides. Little trinkets and antiquities adorn the corners. And the music? An ensemble of wind instruments, sultry bar singers, where the noisiest instrument playing may be a saxohpone. You are transported into the Prohibition Era of the 1920’s.

The hostess takes you to your seat. Welcomes you, and asks for your name. You will be remembered by name for the rest of the night, as if they asked you to stay and don’t want you to leave. The level of personalized experience can make you giddy and scream with delight. But remember, you are in a speakeasy. So there are a few house rules to be followed:

Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9617

The role your play when you’re here is: “No one can know you are here, while you’re here”. It is a place of escape from everyone, probably including the authorities. Just sit back, relax, and get some of their signature drinks or cocktails, or have your favorite one made.

And speaking of the cocktails and the bar:

Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9651

Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9649

Blind Pig has probably some of the best bar tenders in Manila, being skillfully trained in their craft by consultants from the Milk and Honey Member’s Club of New York and London. They know their drink, as much as they know how to converse in well structured English. These are learned men (celebrities in their own right) with great stories to tell if you decide to hang out in the bar to watch them put on a show.

Bullet Rye Whiskey served Old Fashioned style with a twirl of orange and lemon rind? They can make one for you, and even explain to you how your drink is made and mixed as it is being served.

Which then brings us to the kinds of cocktails and drinks they conjure up in this exclusive hole…

 

Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9629Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9642Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9628

The level of drinks and cocktails in Blind Pig Makati can put some five star hotels or upscale bars to shame. Craftsmanship is not only how it tastes, but how it looks and how ingredients are used as well. Lime juice and lemon juice here are naturally squeezed. None of the grocery shelf bottled variety. Top class whiskeys adorn the wall. Vodkas are exquisite and exclusive. Even the ultra popular Absolut is scoffed at here for being cheap and mainstream. We joked that there is no vodka that will go below 42 Below (It’s a brand).

Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9634Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9640

Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9654

 

Expect the drinks here to be not of the cheap kind. Expect to pay a minimum of PHP 350.00 for your drink, but you get your money’s worth. Fresh strawberry caipiroska? They have fresh strawberries here, muddled and mashed with fresh lime with a generous amount of vodka. Adjust sweetness with syrup if you wish. This drink is popular with the ladies.

Another popular drink here for the discerning ones is their Mint Julep. Bourbon with newly picked mint, syrup, and tons of crushed ice, this will be one of the most refreshing and life changing moments when you mix up and take a sip of these two cocktails.

Being a speakeasy, it will have its own set of signature drinks. Indulge in their popular Smokey Old Bastard, or be refreshed with the Gold Rush. There is a lot to pick from, along with a few craft beers like Hitachino White Ale.

 

Blind Pig is not all about the drinks, but the bar chow, too!

 

 

 

 

Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9656

Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9631

Rosemary Popcorn has great butter taste with a faint hint of rosemary that may not be detecable until you sit down and let the flavors simmer a bit. Feeling starchy to help with the drinks? Their truffle fries baked with parmesan cheese will be a good call.

Not pictured here, but Blind Pig serves one of the best – if not the best – Sheperd’s pie in the metro. Ground meat with tomato sauce, peppered with rosemary, and packed tight by a thick layer of mashed potatoes is an ultimate indulgence only made tastier knowing only a few know of this secret. Allow about 30 minutes for making, though.

It if is sounding like they don’t want you to leave, probably it is so.

 

Take that stroll along memory lane, on a time when things are slower than today’s fast paced world, yet dashed with a bit of excitement brought about by the idea that there is a secret only a few discerning and capable of Manila’s distinguished would go when they say they quite literally, want to hide from it all. And it is not some sort of publicity stunt. Blind Pig will be here for those moments, as long as you keep it a secret as well.

Related Posts

Blind Pig Speakeasy Bar Restaurant Salcedo Street Makati City Philippines-9621

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Blind Pig Speakeasy is located at Salcedo Street, Makati City Philippines.

Number currently is +63917-549-2264 (It changes)

Reservation Required. And be on time. Blind Pig will reject people if you are late or if you have no reservation and there’s no empty seat. Foreigners and even influential people have been booted out and Blind Pig will not be apologetic about it.

It is a true speakeasy adopted from a time when people keep their word and establishments value their customers almost like family, so reserving here and coming in late like a dashing diva will be scoffed at.

Love Blind Pig Speakeasy? Too snooty for your taste? Hit up on the Facebook comments below.

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32 comments

  1. Mike T says:

    Odd. I thought #1 rule is that you can’t tell anyone you were there? You just told the world. Speakeasy purpose = defeated. I wish bloggers would understand this “secrecy” and not just so he/she would emerge as the first one to blog about it in Metro Manila.

    • rftreyes says:

      Oh no worries. We cleared it with them before this post came out. I think that part of secrecy you mentioned was something that had to be done back in Prohibition Era when running something like this was illegal.

  2. Hefty Foodie says:

    This is really nice. Would love to check this one out. You guys must have really steady hands can’t imagine taking pictures hand-held with that kind of lighting :))

    • rftreyes says:

      No steady hands needed. Just anything that can hold a camera steady, like place it on top of a glass, or by the counter 😀

  3. Raymund says:

    Nice to see a 42below there, its a New Zealand brand.

  4. […] But this is Metro Manila. And if there is anything that Metro Manila has, it is some of the best surprises nestled in nondescript places, like Blind Pig Speakeasy. […]

  5. […] Blind Pig in Makati for the best cocktails. Even 5 star hotel bars can’t match the expertise of the bartenders here. Oh, and also for their kickass Sheperd’s Pie. […]

  6. […] PHP 1,200.00 for this customized cocktail, you may find a better deal when you go to the secretive Blind Pig Speakeasy in Makati. Although it will not have the hip and lively vibe of […]

  7. […] Dillingers, a nostalgic old American bar like vibe fills the air. It’s like Blind Pig in Salcedo, Makati, but this time accompanied with the latest in dance and top 40 music instead of 1920′s […]

  8. Jane says:

    I made reservations for tonight at The Blind Pig. I sent text messages, then called the number, but I didn’t get a response until half a day later. This guy named Andrew asked me about the details of my reservation: for how many folks, what time, et al. When I said, “2 people, 9:30 pm, thanks,” he replied with “You’re welcome!”

    Come 9:30, we weren’t buzzed in. We happened to tail gate this other girl and when we went inside, a waiter said that we don’t have a reservation. Since my text exchange with the Andrew guy does not have a confirmation, they said that they couldn’t give us seats.

    So, they are asking for a “confirmation,” which, for some reason, they omitted to mention during my text correspondence with their rep.

    I went inside and I saw that it’s a small, highly overrated place, with a staff that is eager to treat you shabbily in the guise of exclusivity.

    I live in Makati and we have wonderful bars and restaurants here. The Blind Pig is just a pretentious and boring hole-in-the-wall.

    • rftreyes says:

      Hi.

      Oh I’m sorry that you didn’t have a good time there. From all the times we have went, the place has been all that it is supposed to be: A Speakeasy experience.

      Regarding the confirmation, that is quite strange. I guess calling is a better option to ensure a more immediate response.

      Regarding bars, maybe there is a specific kind of bar you are looking for. What are the ones you recommend?

    • The Blind Pig says:

      Hi Jane! I’m very sorry for my late reply and this terrible misunderstanding. You asked me “when do people usually arrive,” and after I told you it gets really busy around 10pm, you just answered that “My friend said 9:30. thanks, Andrew!” My fault for not understanding that this was your reservation request. I also apologize if we didn’t treat you as well as we should have. Though your assessment of us is generally accurate in that we are a small (we sit less than 50 people), highly overrated (the praise we get is far kinder than we deserve), boring (same music day in-day out), hole in the wall (it’s hard to tell we’re even there), I hope that we can change your mind about being pretentious and our eagerness to treat people shabbily. In fact if you’re willing to give us another chance, I’d be more than happy to invite you and your friend to a round of cocktails (or beers if you prefer) on us to make amends for the unacceptable experience you received last night with full apologies. I live in Makati too and and agree with you that we do have some wonderful bars and restaurants here. Hopefully if you accept my invitation, we can both agree that Blind Pig is one of them. Sincerely, Andrew from the Blind Pig

    • ia adam lim says:

      I applaud you Andrew for addressing Jane’s comment about your bar (and in a funny way). Still, I do hope that Jane responds to this thread to tell us if this matter was resolved. I’d like to visit the Blind Pig because I like boring holes in the wall. I’m a wallflower anyway so walls are my thing. Though, I am not keen to pretentious and shabby-treating establishments but I’ll decide that when I visit. To be objective, I won’t say when and just comment back here. 🙂

  9. […] Blind Pig Speakeasy in Makati City Philippines: […]

  10. […] to the place was easy. Finding the door that led to Door 74 was difficult. If you thought Blind Pig Makati would be a challenge with its black brailed sign the size of a license plate, this was harder. The […]

  11. […] won’t tell you that Exit Bar is also from the same geniuses as the ones who conceptualized Blind Pig (which is just a few blocks […]

  12. […] stars on our list are the bartenders at the Blind Pig and Exit Bar.  While they cater to different markets (with matching different price points), the […]

  13. Hannah H says:

    My boyfriend and I went to Blind Pig last night to celebrate our fourth anniversary together, and I wasn’t disappointed. Top of the line service, and arguably the best drinks in the metro. Fell in love with the place right from the start, but will definitely go back because of the drinks. Downside is, I probably won’t be drinking cocktails anywhere else anymore. 😀

    • rftreyes says:

      They really have this talent to spoil your palate, don’t they 😀 ? Everything feels substandard after they show you what your taste buds have been missing their whole lives.

  14. Boks says:

    I was impressed by things I’ve read about blind pig, thus I made a reservation for me, my girl and a few friends.

    The things is, my girlfriend and I don’t drink that much. Plus I’m more of a San Mig kind of guy. Did I just f* up?

    Any tips for a rookie on cocktails? What cocktails to order? Or should I just cancel my reservation altogether and come back when I’ve gained more “experience”?

    • rftreyes says:

      Ok. If you are more of a beer kind of guy, there might just be a limited selection of beers for you there, and it won’t be the local kind.

      While you may want to back out because it may feel like it is not your kind of scene, I say don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it. After all, nothing wrong with being a bit more adventurous 🙂

      What I can recommend is you give a description to the bartender on what kind of cocktails you prefer (describe flavors like fruity, sweet, taste of honey, etc… depends on what your preference is). The bartenders (Normally Joey and Tog are the ones manning the bar) will help you out and are out there eager to please the most novice to the most discerning of cocktail drinkers (one thing that doesn’t seem to fail, though, are the Brandy Alexander, Amaretto sour, and a Strawberry Caipiroska)

      • Boks says:

        orayts! Thanks, I was thinking of trying the hit “gold rush” but it seems I better start with their recommendation based on my inputs.

        Oh and I was probably watching too much boardwalk empire when I called for my reservation.

        Thanks! You’ve got a nice blog going on here. More power!

  15. redge says:

    i’ve been hearing a lot of good reviews on this place and im planning to go there this friday. the only thing bothering me is if they have a smoking area. i think we’ll be needing one when we start drinking.. thanks!

    • lynne says:

      Let us know how it goes! For the smoking area, I think you’ll just have to step out for a while since there’s no separate smoking room in the establishment.

  16. […] much in theme to the other Speakeasy style bar that has propelled Manila to the cocktail scene: The Blind Pig, with its lights that seemed like it was designed by Thomas Edison himself, old tiles, […]

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