Detalle Bar + Kitchen is All About Details in Food, Drinks and Interiors

Detalle Bar + Kitchen is All About Details in Food, Drinks and Interiors

When in Manila, we found a laid-back hang-out place in the corner of Meralco Avenue and Julia Vargas in Ortigas Center. Right under Anne Curtis’ billboard, is an urban resto-bar that offers gustatory food and premium drinks.

Something is telling us that we need to be specific with the details as this new restaurant is all about the details, as well. Welcome to Detalle Bar + Kitchen.

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Detalle Bar + Kitchen is located in the defunct Taverna Verde, which opened its doors in mid-December 2013. The two-level resto-bar is a refreshing new spot in the busy Ortigas business district.

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Sometime last month, I dragged my friends who both live in the Ortigas area for a quick dinner and a few drinks in Detalle Bar + Kitchen. Our visit was translated into a delightful journey to the history of Detalle as we were welcomed by owners, Denice and Bernice Lim.  

Detalle is an inspiration that spanned from Bernice’s travels in Shanghai, New York and South America. An advertising agency in Shanghai and artist’s studio in New York are the visions for the concept of Detalle’s interior, which is raw, clean and down-to-earth. The name Detalle was taken from a random signage that Bernice had seen in a bus while traveling in Spain. It was like an epiphany that hit her at the perfect time: right when she needed a name for a business that she had detailed in her mind. 

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The first level of the industrial structure is dedicated for diners. Metal stools and chairs and wooden tables dominate the dining area. The lights in hanging metal frames give a stark shadow reflecting a relaxed mood and different perception of dining. The bar, which serves as the focal point of the dining hall, is fully stocked with premium alcohol and spirits.

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The second level is our favorite place! An open-air lounge with comfortable couches and low tables. I would expect men in denim overalls to go up with us to finish the area. The very rugged feel and unpretentious vibe gives Detalle more appeal compared to the fancy bars in the metro. It looks rather unfinished, but it is the little details that makes the resto-bar complete. 

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There are cans of Campbells that serve as napkin holders, ramekins as ashtrays and gray solid tiles as serving plates. We (the always curious me, plus my inquisitive friends in tow) noticed these things as we sat comfortably in the brown cushioned couch. Denise and Bernice gladly told us the stories.

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The couches are supported with solid metal railings and the tables are made of strong wood taken from flooring of old houses. The kind that I see in my grandmother’s house. Denise said that they had to scout for these kinds of materials which give a different edgy look and character. A costly investment that can last for years.

Everything was well thought-of and sourced in Detalle. Just when you thought you had seen everything, you would still find more small details that make every little thing fitting and right where they are in Detalle.

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Place mats and coasters in focus

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 The washroom is decorated with hanging bulbs caged in metal wires

Denise shared that they initially wanted a bar for this spot. But the chef, whom they consulted with for this project, suggested a very good food concept and they decided to open it as a resto-bar. Bernice proudly shared that their menu has a balance of sweet, sour, bitter and spicy in one dish. The kind of food that they offer is “something that they would not be embarrassed to tell people”. Detalle capitalized on serving comfort food with a twist of sophistication.

There was only one way for us to know if Detalle’s new appetizing menu really is congruent with its interiors – a taste test! Our first taste of Detalle offerings happened two months ago when I celebrated my twenteenth birthday in Detalle. Denise shared that they have new offerings in the menu, and we just couldn’t say no.


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