Digressions Geek

Elias Wicked Ales opens a proper craft beer tap room in BF Homes with brewery behind it

Finally, a proper craft beer tap house right beside the Aguirre Ave gate.

The history of BF Homes’ drinking culture goes back a decade and a half with affordable bars like Central and Tides selling cheap cocktails and mixers by the tumbler (Blue Illusion for P120 for a tumbler — why not?!). Fast forward to the past couple of years, Metro Manila’s F&B scene has been undergoing a golden age with new food concepts popping up around Bonifacio Global City, Makati and of course, BF Homes in the south. I’ve written extensively about great finds in BF such as our very first 3rd wave coffee shop, Magnum Opus Fine Coffees and my hands-down favorite tantanmen at Mensakaba Geishu.

Local craft beers and hard ciders from Wednesday to Saturday starting 6PM

What the south seemed to be lacking though was a proper craft cocktail scene. Or if not that, perhaps a tap room that was serious about their beer. many bars have offered beer on tap as an option but none have gone fully committed towards the challenge, as craft beer is by nature more expensive.

Since Elias bought out the previous brewery, they’re selling Bel Ale;s remaining stock for only P300.00 for a 6 pack. This is authentic Belgian Beer folks, and I highly recommend taking this home after enjoying a few glasses of the local tap.

Enter Elias Wicked Ales — the name has been around for quite some time as a local beer player together with the likes of Pedro and Katipunan, but nothing spells dedication as to buying out Bel Ale’s complete paraphernalia, lock stock and barrel. For those who don’t know, Bel Ale was a south player I so wanted to succeed, but then I learned that their office by the BF gate was nothing more than, well, an office and not a proper tap room. Elias bought everything last year and today are still selling the remaining stock of beer (SO YES IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR REALLY GOOD BELGIAN BEER, PLEASE DROP BY AND BUY P300.00 FOR A 6 PACK WHICH IS A STEAL!)

Elias Wicked Ales is open from Wednesday to Saturday starting 6PM. They’re closed from Sunday to Tuesday because a lot of back of house brewing work happens on those days — it doesn’t get any fresher than that. Apart from craft beers, they also have a range of hard ciders (a moment of silence for Spiffy’s Grove in BF Homes — we miss you). The bartenders (BEER-tenders heh) tell me that since they don’t serve food, guests can opt to order from restaurants around the vicinity. Since they’re located right at the BF Homes Aguirre Gate (by China Bank, the BF Park and Pergola), choices for food as well as parking won’t be a problem.


Spiffy’s Grove Cider Bar in El Grande, BF Homes

Aguirre Ave in BF Homes has garnered a reputation for being a food haven. Though not quite in Aquirre Avenue, El Grande, which runs perpendicular to BF Homes’ main road brings a similar charm of food real estate. For instance, Fat Butchick’s and Spin Cafe are some of the must-try places for any southern (or norther!) foodie. But this piece isn’t about these two. Today we’re here to talk about Spiffy’s Grove, BF Homes’ first cider bar.


Mensakaba Geishu: Ramen with a Heart

It is May 2014. A quick Google search for “Mensakaba Geishu” and you’ll find a couple of placeholders in online food directories (like TripAdvisor and Looloo), a Facebook page and a couple of geo-located Instagram posts of noodles from an up and coming ramen bar in the south. I heard about the new ramen bar by accident — eavesdropping on a conversation while working at my favorite 3rd wave coffee gallery in the south. There was a new foodie haven in BF Homes — a pseudo hole in the wall with only 12 seats akin to a typical ramen bar in Japan. And it has never been featured on a food blog or a broadsheet, unlike most of the other popular food destinations along the Aguirre strip. So let this be the first.

Mostly Everything

Jonathan’s Greatest Work: Magnum Opus Fine Coffees

Belgian Heartbreaker

Jonathan is what I would call the “reverse bartender.” He’ll listen to you. He’ll engage in small talk but in return he’ll serve you an upper. Jonathan Choi is the proprietor and head bean of Magnum Opus Fine Coffees, an artisan coffee shop located in the always-busy intersection between Aguirre Ave and Elizalde in BF Homes, Paranaque.

Jonathan recognized me from my days with the Hinge-Inquirer group doing a little (big-sized!) magazine known as m|PH. Yes I was famous before the Internet. JK!

In an article I wrote for 8list last week, I outlined the 8 reasons why ‘Magnum Opus’ is the definitive coffee geek’s haven in the south. for one, the Belgian Heartbreaker won me over:

I insisted on his personal take of a café mocha which was essentially an amalgamation of ristretto (quickly pulled espresso shot so it’s not watery), cream and molten Belgian chocolate all served in a short martini glass. The sum is a creamy, frothy tug of war between the jolt of an espresso shot and dark chocolate. This feeling is what the great Greek poet Horace refers to in his poem to Murena, ‘The Golden Mean.’

‘The Golden Mean’ was a Horatian ode that deconstructed the topic of ‘balance’ in the same way that the Dark and Light sides of ‘The Force’ must be kept in check.


On my first visit, Jonathan confirmed a suspicion about how I make coffee. I’ve postulated that my el-cheapo handpresso can pull a better shot of espresso than my relatively more expensive 16 bar espresso machine.

Tarry no further. Do have a read over at 8list.


Magnum Opus Fine Coffees

115 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes Parañaque.
@magnumopusfc on Twitter and Instagram

Mostly Everything

Twenty One Plates by Tinette Villanueva-Miciano


Editor’s Note: Oh no, I’m being sucked in further into writing about gastronomy … O tempora! O mores!

Tinette Villanueva (now Miciano) was a former professor from college, and like most teacher-student relationships in UA&P, we (students + young faculty) all pretty much became a close knit group outside of class. Add the fact that Tinette was moderator for the theater org — AND it was also known fact that she cooked very well. She used to bring batches of her sun dried tomato pasta to our strat plan meetings — and now the updated version of her recipe is in the menu of her newly opened restaurant, Twenty One Plates.