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Starters, Spirits, and Socializing at Sage

Starters, Spirits, and Socializing at Sage

Saturday, September 13, 2014

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Tasty tapas, captivating cocktails, and fabulous friends -- a recipe for an unforgettable evening.

Sage entrance Sage wine section Sage bar Sage Aged Manhattan barrel Sage lounge Sage band stage

It was bound to be a night to remember. Good food and good company made sure of that. I was actually the first one to arrive at the scene. Scouting the lobby of Makati Shangri-La, my eyes finally locked in on tonight's venue: Sage Tapas Bar. Sage occupied two floors: the tapas bar was on the ground floor, and upstairs was its fine dining restaurant. The day was slowly coming down to a close as I was led past the bar and the wine corner, over to a sunken lounge section with a backdrop of a serene water garden; the only thing between us was a series of large picture windows. Off to the other side was a small stage with band equipment ready for that night's set.

I took a seat and glanced around. Seeing as the place was still almost empty, I took the chance to take photos of the bar. Pretty soon, my companions started trickling in. We were all dressed to the nines, excited and looking forward to an evening of indulgence. In no time, I found myself in between drinks, munching on some food, and laughing the night away. The atmosphere was of a fun one, a night where work and stress are forgotten, when what's in front of you---food and friends---are all you're allowed to focus on.

Speaking of food, Sage introduced their tapas -- a wide variety of snacks and appetizers. Among several dishes we've tried, there were a few that stood out. The Grilled Polenta was fantastic, but if I were you, I'd skip the Beetroot Gazpacho Shot that screamed healthy and earthy--no, not in a good way. Perhaps if they had served it chilled, I would have downed it better.

Both the Crab Brandade and Fried Vegetable Wontons were good, and surprisingly, so was the Dolma. I was intent on having another round of these stuffed vegetables, but between drinks and the chatter, I was pretty distracted and found myself wanting when I finally saw the empty bowl.

Do get the Saffron Brioche, because really, there are only so many ways you can mess up salmon and cream cheese.

Aside from these little dishes, I think the bar chow we enjoyed most of all was their bar nuts -- cashew nuts roasted with an addicting savory mix that had me conjuring up illegal thoughts that included stealing their big container over by the service counter. I'm not kidding, at least four of us were already planning our escape route, complete with purses overflowing with bar nuts. It was utterly good, I think we managed to irritate our server after requesting for several refills. I'd gladly buy a big jar of those cashew nuts, if only they'd sell them or at least reveal where they get them.

Cocktails were also served; a new line of inebriants guaranteed to make you forget your name by night's end. I started with the Waikiki Punch, a mix of rum and pineapple, their version of the classic Piña Colada. It was a bit sour for my taste so I had to wait for the tapas to come out before I allowed myself another sip.

By the time I was done, I think I was a wee bit tipsy, and my dear friends made me taste more of Sage's original cocktails. I think I took a sip of the Gin Basil Smash and Sage Martini---or was it the Whisky Sour? Oh, wait I think it was the Negroni. Frankly though, I couldn't remember any of them save for the best tasting one I've had in a while -- Trish Blossom, a sweet and fruity concoction that made me smile amid a tilting world. I think I had another round of it, though at this point, my mind was hazy enough for me to believe anything so I really can't be sure.

Needless to say, it was a totally enjoyable evening overflowing with food, drinks, music, stories, and laughter; everyone had a blast. So drag your friends and swing by tonight, I'm sure it will be a night you won't forget as well.

Sage Phyllo Cigar
Phyllo Cigar (P360)

Sage Beetroot Gazpacho Shot
Beetroot Gazpacho Shot (P180)

Sage Crab Brandade
Crab Brandade (P300)

Sage Fried Vegetable Wontons with Sambal Sauce
Fried Vegetable Wontons with Sambal Sauce (P200)

Sage Grilled Polenta
Grilled Polenta (P180)

Sage Red Mullet Tartine
Red Mullet Tartine (P320)

Sage Dolma
Dolma (P280)

Sage Saffron Brioche
Saffron Brioche (P260)

Sage cashew nuts
Cashew Nuts

Sage cocktails
Trish Blossom

Sage Tapas Bar
Spot: Lobby Level, Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Ayala Ave. cor. Makati Ave., Ayala Center, Makati
Contact No.: 813.8888
Facebook: MakatiShangrila
Instagram: @sageatshangrila
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