Words by Christian Chagas
Photos by Phyl Pangilinan
Graphics by Lance Tongol
The cozy and welcoming atmosphere of Ireland is confined within four walls along F. Calderon, San Juan. It delivers a refreshing perspective towards drinking among any age group in the Metro, and it may just be your new, perfect spot for drinking, dining, and socializing.
Finnians Irish Pub is a two-story, simple, yet elegant pub. Once you reach the place with your car, they offer valet services for hassle-free parking. Not only that, they have a bouncer outside the pub. Walking inside, since it is a pub, Finnians plays subtle music which sets a very conversational atmosphere. The next thing you know, you will find yourself feeling at home as you are welcomed by the friendly staff.
The Irish pub’s ambience itself is enough reason why you should pay a visit—and we haven’t even started on what they serve. True to its identity, Finnians’ foods and drinks are inspired by the Irish culture. The owner of the restaurant is Irish, which explains why the Irish approach feels genuine and on point. They offer Irish food like Shepherds Pie, and also core Filipino foods such as Sisig as they wanted to introduce Irish food while keeping open towards the Filipino taste bud.
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look on their dishes. Here are all of the mouth-watering items we tried at Finnians Irish Pub:
Honey Bourbon Ribs
What makes Finnians’ Honey Bourbon Ribs special is how they put their twist on the sweet and tangy classic by incorporating Jameson. The alcohol is barely noticeable as it is vaporized, yet what’s left is the sweet and tangy coating it provides for the tender and soft meat from the ribs. The dish, at P340, comes with a serving of potato wedges and veggies. A perfect pulutan or entrée, honestly.
Finnians’ take on a definite Filipino classic all-around comfort food, the plate of Sisig comes sizzling on the table, centered with a freshly-cracked egg to be cooked into your liking. The taste of their sisig is so impeccable that one of the WIMTerns, Lance, told us that he’d put Finnians’ Sisig as one of his top favorites in his list of Top Sisig Plates Around The Philippines (Yes, sisig is his favorite pagkain)—get theirs for only P210!
From the Filipino staple such as sisig, let’s branch out to the Western, shall we? We had Finnians’ Buffalo Wings! Crispy? Check. Spicy? Just right. Delicious? Definitely. The dish is perfect for those who are not planning on trying out foreign items on the menu, but want to have spice in their palate—only for P230.
From ribs, to the very Filipino sisig, and buffalo wings from the west, it’s just right that we go back to the Irish pub’s core: Ireland. And what is Ireland without Shepherds Pie? A crowd favorite among their customers. The melt-in-your-mouth dish is best eaten with a spoon so you’d be able to see the layers of Finnians’ astounding Shepherds Pie. The P275 plate comes with a serving of onion rings, the perfect fried add-on to balance the softness of the pie.
Finnians offers stout beers—Guinness and Murphy’s. Their bartender of 20 years (wow), Jun, mentioned how these beers are widely-known around Ireland. He tells us that stout beers are different from our local beers as they are made from wheat—roasting and malting are what make wheat become the stout beer Ireland has come to love. Guinness is perfect for light drinkers for its lower alcohol volume. Meanwhile, Murphy’s may be a little stronger than the other beer, but both are perfect for any type of drinker.
We have nothing but excellent praises for the humble pub in San Juan. There is something unique and different about Finnians Irish Pub that makes you feel like you are at home. It might just be how cozy the place feels, it may be how approachable the staff and crew of the pub are, it may be the incredible array of food from different continents, or the pleasantly foreign buzz their beer and alcohol give—honestly, it may just be all of the above. Pay the place a visit, and you’ll be thanking this article once you experience being inside the lovely Irish pub.
FINNIANS IRISH PUB
403 F. Calderon St., Little Baguio, San Juan