A recent visit to San Mig was somehow reminiscent of eating at Spanish tapas bars, sans the Spanish food.
Though mainly a pub, San Mig has a section for its non-smoking dining clientele, which even has its own entrance door. One wall was flaunting curios of different spirits and liqueur. Another was adorned with old black and white pictures as well as wine and beer decors.
Leather covered seats meant to induce a relaxed atmosphere complement the dark interiors, perfect for unwinding with good friends along with a drink or two.
A complimentary basket of freshly baked rolls was served. The aroma filled the table and evoked a hunger for a snippet of those hot buns. The outer layer had broken skin, a trait mainly due to the crispness of the bread, proof of its freshness. Tearing a piece, the dough was light and airy, redolent of a cotton ball being ripped apart. A side plate was blanketed with slices of slowly melting butter, its surface scintillating against the pub's dim lights. The chilled butter deliquesced some more as it touched the warmth of the roll. As I took a torn piece slathered with butter into my mouth, a muffled crepitation confirms its texture. The interplay of cold against hot was a delight for the gustatory organ; a fine start to the appetizers we were about to degust.
Eight open shells cradling the Oysters Rockefeller (P345) lay on a bed of rock salt, with a small pedestal dish of sliced calamansi at the center. Large oyster meat enveloped in melted cheese with a hue of golden brown beckons and lures. Be wary of taking a bite though, it can be harmful on an empty stomach. Fortunately, I've had a few of the aforementioned fresh bread. I slowly impale my fork upon the elastic and gooey cheese all the way through the soft, slippery oyster flesh. As I crushed through the mollusk, a gush of liquid storms my mouth; the salinity of the cheese and bits of salt intensifying the flavors of the bivalve. I would have happily consumed every single one.
The Beef Salpicao (P330) was laden with bits of garlic, some pieces submerged in garlicky oil. The unctuous brown meat was tender and yielded immediately to the bite. As you chew on a small piece, the garlic flavor seeps out and enchants the palate. Though aware of the hazards of its jus, I was immensely tempted to soak every morsel of this beef into it before every munch.
Rings of perfectly cooked Grilled Pusit (P375) lay in a heap, entangled with a few tentacles. A small vessel containing a dipping mixture of soy sauce, diced onions and sliced chili peppers sits on one end of the sizzling plate. The squid is a bit tricky to cook, too short or too long a cooking time will turn it into rubber. This particular grilled dish had just the right texture, and sousing it into the special briny sauce with a hint of spice made it all the more appetizing.
Both the Red Hibiscus Tea (P79) and Green Apple Tea (P79) were a tad too sweet. The cloying taste reminded me of too much syrup and thus was forced to point my straw directly towards an ice cube just to suppress the saccharinity of the tea.
San Mig offers a venue for destressing, accompanied with good appetizer dishes to tame any liqueur you might opt to ingest. For non-alcoholic people, the different hors d'oeuvres can be enjoyed just the same way you would a tapas bar.
San Mig Pub and Restaurant
Spot: Second Level Corte de las Palmas, Alabang Town Center
Contact Nos.: 842.0776 or 807.3595