In the busy financial district of Taguig City, you can find a modest bar and restaurant, Downtown and Halsted. With the simple industrial design theme of the watering hole, it is given life by graffiti, canvas paintings, photographs, films, and music. This is beside the food and drinks.
Even right from the start, the owners of Downtown and Halsted have already intended to open a space and opportunity in the establishment for artists to showcase their talents. After all, Downtown and Halsted got its name from a hip street in Chicago, which is a known place for revolutionary art.
The restaurant opens from 11 am until 3 am and the bar is open from 11 am until 8 pm. They offer a wide range of different drinks but often mixed of freshly squeezed juice and premium spirits. If you don’t know what to choose, you can ask the bartender to decide or invent a drink for you. The curator for their alcoholic drinks is Jason Grey. He is Singaporean-based and making a name for himself in the business of Mixology.
Our coffee was served by Perry Quimbo, one of the partners who organized Downtown and Halsted. He is also the owner of Bugsy’s and Prohibition Liquor Lounge. He is affiliated with Yardstick Coffee. Downtown and Halsted collaborates with the Yardstick Coffee as well to provide their customers with a variety of quality coffee and coffee-based drinks.
I absolutely loved the coffee lemonade drink. It has balanced combination of the sweet tangy lemon and bitter coffee. Overall, the drink is really refreshing.
Their orange juice is just as refreshing too. The owner said that all their drinks are freshly squeezed. I couldn’t agree more. Their orange juice has that natural blend of sweet and sour taste.
So, now let’s get into their food menu. Chef Marco Legasto is the head of the kitchen and tailored the food menu. He is also the chef and owner of Prime 101 and Abuelas.
For starters, I ordered the Mushroom soup. It is thick, creamy and topped with crispy shredded potatoes to remove the umay factor.However, we all found it too salty. A little less salt and this would be good.
Portobello and Quinoa Salad is well-seasoned. Every element complemented each other.
Tikka Wrap is stuffed with not only healthy ingredients but also flavorful. It has strips of tenderly cooked Indian spiced chicken with fresh tomatoes, cucumber, and mixed greens.
The perfectly cooked Buffalo Tenders have that succulent meat inside and crispy outside. It goes well with its blue cheese sauce. It was so good. I think I know now why it is one of their best sellers.
Their Crispy Pork Knuckles is good for sharing of 2 to 4 persons. It has that nice crispy pork skin and juicy meat.
Another one of their best sellers is the baby back ribs. They are super juicy and delicious. No wonder this is one of their best.
Chorizo Pasta is one of my personal favorites. It was really, really good. It only has bits of chorizo for it not to be overpowering.
Great for pulutan are Lengua Skewer, Pork Skewer, and Chicken Skewer. All are tender and delicious. Lengua Skewer is the most succulent among the three. If you want sweet and sour, pick the Chicken Skewer. For a more savory flavor, order the Chicken Skewer.
Spiced Black Mussels with Fresh Chili and Curry Leaves is perfectly cooked and seasoned. For those who are into spicy hot, take this dish.
You might also want to try their other highly recommended dishes. These include Shrimp Ceviche, Fennel Seared Tuna, Steak Sampler, Braised Barbecued Short Ribs, and Seafood Pasta.
When it comes to their service, I’d say I have no problem with them. They are polite, attentive and accommodating.
For artists interested in showcasing their artwork at the bar and restaurant, I think they are still accepting crafts free-of-charge. It will only have to go through screening.
I would recommend this bar and restaurant for families and friends. It is a good place that allows others to showcase talents. Its management and staff are accommodating and professionals. I didn’t have a problem with them. The way they plate makes the food more appetizing. From healthy diet food, Crispy Pata and to foods that are far from the usual for your taste bud, they have them.
Downtown and Halsted
Forbes Park, Burgos Circle