I live in Makati, a short ride away from the city’s red light district.
When I was still at the old job and carpooling with my friends, we always pass by this area and I make it a point to alight here and walk my way to the jeepney stand.
Yeah, I know it’s creepy but the weird thing about me is I like to people watch and observe–even if most of what I saw are tourists with their Pinay companions “for the night” (shakes head). One place I always pass by is this fifties style diner sandwiched between a girlie bar and a cheap hotel. I was always curious to check out the place, but my fear of being alone in a place filled with foreigners looking for cheap sex is enough to scare the shit out of me.
The city’s red light district is also home to the biggest population of Korean immigrants. Thus, along Makati Avenue, next door to the girlie bars are some good Korean restaurants and groceries and further up north near the old Sts. Peter and Paul Church (we call it Burgos Church) were the biggest concentration of Korean restaurants, groceries and shops.
Since I started working for the new company and lost interest in the usual mall-bar weekend repertoire, I pretty much went straight home each night. But last night, I detoured to this area again and was enticed enough to buy a few supplies on these newly opened Korean grocery at the basement of Makati Palace Hotel. The restaurant was run by middle-aged ajumma (auntie) who had a mean grasp of Tagalog and a very amiable personality. After thanking her, I went home and showed my supplies to the Hubby and the Queen of All Cats, who both devoured my Korean noodles and chips with much gusto we ended up going back to Burgos just for the hell of it.
First, we shopped for some Korean groceries. We went first in this large shop selling a mix of Korean, Japanese and Pinoy groceries, but were immediately turned off by this disgusting, rancid smell emanating from the shop and by four shop assistants (all Pinoy) who immediately proceeded to accost and follow our every move as we check the aisles. It was one of the most annoying experience ever. being followed by four pathetic looking assistants, watching your every move, every inspection of the freaking products. Instead of buying anything, we just left and headed to the shop I went to earlier to buy my Korean goodies. As always, the Korean auntie were helpful and remembered me as the customer from earlier.
After buying our supplies, we decided to hang out at the Filling Station, the diner I was talking about earlier. We headed upstairs and were immediately delighted by the interiors.
Since I don’t have a camera nor a camera phone with me, these interior photos are from www.dessertcomesfirst.com.
I ordered Iced Caffe Latte, while the hubby had a Iced Tea slushee and The Queen of All Cats had the cranberry juice. Since we just had dinner, we ordered Fries and Nachos. They had the biggest servings, and the nachos was so good! It was smothered with gooey cheese and sprinkled liberally with ground beef, jalapenos, diced tomatoes, olives and served with salsa on the side. We were kept busy looking at the “I love Lucy” posters and all the Elvis memorabilia scattered in the restaurant. I kept myself busy plotting on how to steal the “Beatles Hard Days Night” poster above me, without getting caught.
It was a good meal, and we were not a bit bothered by the ambiance, even when tourists and their Pinay companions started occupying the booths next to us. I mean, they were there to get a good meal and so are we–so it’s all good, right?
The prices were not exactly wallet-friendly. Our bill ran to almost a thousand pesos for what we ordered. The price tag was worth it for the Nachos but a bit too high for the fries (which was just average for me). But we figured that the Diner is catering to the tourist crowd hence the high price tag on the meals. Service was okay as the servers were swift and efficient.
So are we coming back? It was yes for all of us–but one must have the following when going to the filling station: MONEY so you can order a lot of other stuff; FRIENDS to share the moment and the kitsch with (and to protect yourself from unwarranted attention) and third–A CAMERA for photo ops with the King of Rock and Roll!
http://www.dessertcomesfirst.com – for interior photos of the filling station