One convivial evening, a band of misfits who were less “mainstream” sported bleached hair and weaved uncensored poetry set out for a new daily habit. They skirted Makati to the fringes of the vibrant Barangay Poblacion where they discovered just what they sought in the form of a gray building plastered with black graphic art.
Dulo, the happening place they ended up in, had neon lights illuminating the windows and R&B/soul singer-songwriter Daniel Caesar’s “Get You” playing off their playlist, which had nothing too Pop.
There was a spoken word open mic that night and so, with poems that tried to make sense of the world, our poets entered the room intent to express their personal and emotional feelings. They were welcomed by the high-spirited staff and other passion-driven creatives in the crowd. This positive acceptance was one of the major components of the great energy at Dulo.
Those who have become quite blasé of mundane hangouts found this concept unconventional! The two-story lifestyle spot features a restaurant-bar-cafe on the first floor and an event space on the second with artistic performances like live music resonating through its walls.
After 4 months in operation, Dulo has become known to the local community as the stage of every artist in any career category- established or emerging. It peaks the curiosity of creative souls or anyone who wants to get to know about art, in general. Apart from the chill vibes and grungy but inviting atmosphere, it’s gaining serious street cred for its elevated comfort food and craft beverages. It’s also accessible to the end-to-end market from students with low spending power to more affluent individuals wanting a bang for their buck.
In this creative safe haven, people can talk about life, art, music, and whatever else they please. It’s uncensored and unfiltered; there’s no judgement. Speaking of judgement, food never judges, amiright? The following signature dishes are from their rotating Taiwanese-Filipino menu curated by their chef, Keith Curitana:
A ‘Bao’ is basically like an open-faced siopao or a Chinese taco. There is no struggle eating this light meal at all! The pork belly slathered in homemade sauce is a bit sweet, juicy, peanut-y, and oh-so-tender.
Vegetarian option: Mushroom Bao, which customers have mistaken for sisig!
Their rice bowls are packed with steaming Japanese rice for the chicken and fried rice for the salmon, a sous vide or slow-cooked egg, bonito flakes, and other fresh garnishes. This is their twist on the classic tapsilog and we must say: we like their version much better!
The cafe displayed a fresh batch of mostly green desserts for the day: Pistachio Sylvanas (Php85), Matcha Cheesecake (Php150), and Queso de bola Cheesecake (Php125).
For this salty and chocolaty drink, the barista uses a “Mellow Seduction” coffee blend from Guatemala, Panama, and Brazil. It’s delicious, though it is not the antidote for falling asleep. They also have local beans from Mt. Apo that you can choose for any of their caffeinated drinks.
Also try: Aleva, an intriguing spicy coffee drink!
Their two refreshing non-alcoholic drinks are Pandan Iced Tea (Php85) and Melon Yakult (Php85). The latter is a better-tasting version of our favorite childhood drink, all fizzy and supersized.
By cocktail hour, more lights were lit, music volume turned up, and conversation grew louder from more barkadas that frequented the shop. Their cocktail-forward menu highlighted alcoholic concoctions and local craft beers (Php100-Php120).
Kath Eckstein, international bartender and Dulo’s mixologist, puts a Taiwanese spin on the classic martini. The smooth cocktail tastes like milk tea and has sago for added fun!
For a fuller experience, regular events are held weekly. The transitional event space is a purposely half-done room that can house up to 120 people. It’s a practically bare, blank canvas dressed up to suit the occasion. The usual events revolve around workshops, exhibits, Comedy Manila stand-ups, and music gigs like Fête de la Musique 2017.
At Dulo, energies and spirits are high and everyone is celebrated for who and what they are. Patrons come for both novel and familiar experiences loaded with Asian flavors, a creative atmosphere, and a nurtured artistic expression that left them feeling a powerful sense of belonging.
4992 P. Guanzon St, Poblacion, Makati
(Mon-Sat) 8AM – 2AM
(+63) 975 694 9176