#IssaEATS: Tortuga @ Poblacion, Makati
With the many bars and clubs all over the streets of Poblacion, choosing a place to chill with your friends can be quite daunting. For someone like me, I'm always looking for a place without the loud, mainstream music and boring drinks. And honestly, it's tough finding one that fits the measly budget I give myself for nights out!
I came across Tortuga, which had what I need and want for a night out with friends: Great food, island vibes, and the middle ground where both south and north friends can meet up in.
Tortuga moved from Katipunan to the bustling and lively Poblacion, offering the same cozy feel and drinks their regulars know and love. It's a bit hidden, located at the second floor of the Lokal Hostel (above Senor Pollo!), and if you're a direction-less person like me, it can take a few minutes before you figure out how to get there.
When you enter Tortuga's territory, you can immediately see what sets them apart: Their vibrant island ambiance. I admire its polished design, without over-the-top decor and keeping things low-key. Instead of unleashing the "wilder" side from their Katipunan days, they chose to be chiller with their bright paintings and moody lightings.
Delicious and Unique Caribbean Cuisine
They offer the Caribbean-style dishes and drinks to pair with their overall theme, with their mains including thick slabs of grilled and fried meats. Though limited (for now), they'll be rolling out new dishes and also focusing on main courses for dinner, perfect for those who live or work around the area.
Their bestseller, the Jungle Pumba (350 PHP), is my new favorite. Don't let the blackened exterior fool you, because this slow-cooked pork belly is as moist and delicious as promised. It's juicy, charred to perfection, and goes well with the generous portion of rice and vegetables.
The Jerk Chicken isn't officially on the menu yet, but is another interesting dish: grilled chicken paired with fried plantains and pickled vegetables. You'll be surprised as to how much the grilled chicken goes well with the slightly sour and crunchy vegetables and sweet plantains. Definitely opened up my tastebuds!
If you're not up for something heavy and want an appetizer or pulutan to go with your drinks, then I highly suggest their Chicken Skin (180 PHP). It's not the usual chicken skin you'd purchase off the streets, as it's cooked excellently with the savory crunch and has the unique kick to it with a blend of spices.
Cool and Fresh Drinks!
Of course, the drinks! I love the fact that their drinks are as refreshing as the place itself.
The Sneaky Tiki (240 PHP) is definitely sneaky, as it tastes more of a raspberry iced tea than an alcoholic drink filled with vodka and bourbon!
The Espaniola (240 PHP) is a cool drink I like because of its pomelo pulp.
But my favorite has got to go to the Sol Swizzle (240 PHP)! The sweet and tangy taste from pineapples and guyabano is what gets me, and even if I'm not a huge fan of cocktails (as compared to before), this is something I would definitely come back for.
Besides these cocktails, they also offer cheap shooters (only 70 PHP each), beer, wine, and a ton of other hard liquor to get your night rolling. They're moderately-priced with a ton of promos, AND are a part of Zomato Gold, so you can get 2+2 on drinks!
Would I Go Back?
The only reason why I would go back to a bar is because of its cheap drinks and chill ambiance. However, Tortuga surpasses my expectations in many aspects, from their refreshing drinks and yummy restaurant-level dishes, down to their friendly service and cozy, Instagrammable interiors!
So yes, when I go back to Poblacion (walking around here brings back memories and has me want to do a pub crawl, which includes Tortuga!), I'll definitely be back to order more of their other cocktails and main dishes.
Address: Second Floor, Lokal Hostel, Ebro Street, Poblacion, Makati City
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 6PM to 2AM
Contact Number: (+63) 916-243-9044
Facebook: Tortuga PH