Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ibayo by Barrio Fiesta

As this new world spins, our lifestyles and habits changes. Same goes with our choice for food, our palette may escalate and look for something unique and really delicious, but there’s one restaurant chain that we will surely never miss out, Barrio Fiesta.

And by golly, who says restaurants don’t evolve? Wait till you visit Ibayo.

Ibayo which means “the next town” is the first baby restaurant that came from the Barrio Fiesta chain. Situated at the very lovely and hippy San Miguel by the Bay at the SM Mall of Asia complex, this modern bistro my latest target of my hungry tummy.

Established by the handsome brothers Tyrone and Tristan Ongpauco, third generation members of the Barrio Fiesta Restaurant Chain clan, they decided to put up a place along this hotspot to give family, friends and even lovers a breath of fresh air to unwind and enjoy the wonderful sunset or night life along Manila Bay.

I’ll say upon entering the place, I still felt the heart-warming welcome of an original Barrio Fiesta restaurant, which I think was a really good way to welcome their guests. The interior, though simple, was very Filipino, but with a modern touch. Long tables and comfy chairs were placed nicely, giving this small area a breezy and homey feel.

If you’d like to have an intimate or more casual dining experience, I’d say that it is better for you to stay inside. But if you are ready for some fun and groovy music, they have an alfresco area where live bands play. These live bands are one of the regular gimmicks on this area, so for sure, you’ll get acquainted and at ease anytime of the day.

I never thought that it was a night of feast and celebration. Thankfully, with a loose shirt and hungry tummy; I’m all in for this sumptuous treat!

WARNING: The pictures WILL SURELY make you hungry. :-P

Since this joint is more of a bistro/lounge place, let me start by sharing to you the juices and cocktails we ordered.

For those non-alcoholic drinkers, Ibayo has a wide range of drinks. From fresh juices and smoothies to our very own Pinoy drinks!

Buko / Watremelon / Green Mango Shakes – Php105.00/each

Calamansi (Philippine Lemon) Juice – Php49.00

Sago at Gulaman – Php59.00 (glass) – Php120.00 (fishbowl)

I had Sago at Gulaman because I wanna have that Filipino feel from the start of this gastronomic adventure. There are two sizes of Sagot at Gulaman, the glass one and the fishbowl one. I find the fishbowl thingy kinda icky so I opted the glass one, nonetheless, I enjoyed it!

And for those who wanna have some cocktails, I suggest that you try their Ibayo Sunset.

Ibayo Sunset – Php180.00

I tried a lot of cocktails before and this one was different, in a good way, of course! This is perfect while listening to the great music at the bay. It’ll cool your insides while warming up your mood for the ultimate party of the night.

Mango Bongo – Php180.00

Another choice is this Mango Bongo. The tingling effect of the tropical mix of white rum, mango juice and mint leaves is the thing that you’ll love while slowly sipping this drink.

Okay, now, for the wowing treat of the night, here are the dishes that we had.

Fresh out of the pan, the first dish that we tried and actually this is the newest addition to Ibayo’s menu – the Ibayo Firesticks.

Ibayo Firesticks

Cheese melted inside a green jalapeno and then wrapped in Ibayo’s homemade wrapper, this dish will surely explode in your mouth. The wonderful blend of the chilli and cheese dipped into that tasty sweet and sour dip will surely make you ask for another plate of this one. Not bad to start a sumptuous feast!

For out main entrée, we had a lot! I told you we had a feast that night!
First on our table, the Ibayo Rice. Yum! Then followed by Bulalo, White Adobo, Seafood Kare-Kare and Pinaputok na Pla-pla. Wee!

Ibayo Rice

This seafood paella looking dish is perfect for 5-8 people, depending on how big your appetite is. The nice blend of the seafood to the rice was good, though, I think, a little spice would make this dish better.


The traditional Filipino dish wouldn’t be complete without one of the all-time faves, the Bulalo! This was one of my favourites that night. The perfect saltiness of this dish just readied me for this ultimate feast.

White Adobo – Php190.00

It was my first time to have a white adobo, and in fairness, it was good. It kinda looks like a Paksiw na Lechon, but the taste was really more of the well-loved adobo.

Pinaputok na Pla-pla – Php265.00

I’m not a big fan of steamed fish or something of its kind, I prefer those fried ones, but if you are up for some fishy fish-fish, I suggest that you try this dish. The nice blend of spices and the veggies stuffed in this fish was good.

Seafood Kare-kare – Php399.00

And now, this was the dish that really hit the spot. I love kare-kare, especially Barrio Fiesta’s Kare-kare! Your visit to any Barrio Fiesta wouldn’t be complete without their super delicious kare-kare. And Ibayo’s seafood kare-kare was my favourite that night!

And for all real Barrio Fiesta’s aficionados, don’t worry; you wouldn’t miss out Barrio Fiesta’s best dishes. At Ibayo, they still have the crowd’s favourite Crispy Pata and Mama Chit’s Special.

Crispy Pata – Php425.00 (regular) – Php525.00 (large)

Filipinos all over the world who’ll see this picture will surely drool over this blog while reading it. Who doesn’t like Crispy Pata, right? Yummy!!! 

Mama Chit’s Special – Php695.00

And for those who are going to Ibayo with a small group of friends for some simple night-out, Mama Chit’s Special, which consists of fried seafood and pork, is just the right choice for that “mahaba-habang inuman” session.

And there’s no other way to close the night but with sweetness. So for our dessert, we had nothing but all the sweets that we can find on their menu. And, honestly, I was surprised that they really had the Barrio Fiesta way up to their desserts, BUT, on a modern and yuppie way.

Maja - Php65.00

Turon ala Mode – Php75.00

Puto bungbong - Php65.00

The Turon ala Mode was okay. There’s nothing outstanding about it other than you might be mistaken that it’s the Ibayo firesticks again. Hehe. I was surprised to see a Puto Bungbong on their menu, and more surprise to like it! While the Maja, now this one is a must-try for you to agree with me. It was really, really good! I barely eat Maja, and I’m glad that when I tried having one again, I had it here in Ibayo.

And if you want something to cool you down with sweetness, their Buko Salad is a good choice. It wasn’t that too special, but it’s good. And with a price like that, there’s nothing sweeter than an affordable dessert!

Buko Salad – Php65.00

Halo-halo – Php90.00 (regular) – Php105.00 (special)

And if you’re ready to have something serve on a fishbowl, their halo-halo is the other option for a sweet cooler.

Oh, what a night! I can barely stand from my seat after this delectable and uber yummy feast! With this value of food, every peso is worth spending for! And with that, you’ll surely have a wonderful night with family and friends!

Happy eating!

Ibayo by Barrio Fiesta
Bldg. G Unit 7-8 San Miguel by the Bay
Seaside Boulevard, SM Mall of Asia
(behind IMAX Theater)

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