Many of us look forward to weekends for relaxation and quality time with friends and loved ones. While some prefer loud and party music at the club over cold beers, there are also those who would opt for a more relaxed environment and lighter drinks. If you are one who is more inclined to a quieter weekend night, I recommend that you visit this new place we discovered in Shangri-La EDSA.
Planet Grapes was first established in McKinley Hill in 2013 with the sole aim to introduce wine to non-drinkers. However, wine may only be paired with pica-pica (finger food). Since some customers were looking for a wider array of food choices to complement the wine, the owner decided to upgrade the once ‘wine only’ hub into a restaurant. The first restaurant opened in Cebu, followed by two more branches in Alabang and Shangri-La.
Since some may find wine drinking a bit intimidating, Planet Grapes decided to introduce it in a fun and lighter way. They have an enomatic machine, a wine serving technology, used with the help of an enomatic card. Customers may choose what they want to drink without spending much for a whole bottle since they can choose whether it’s just for a sip, half, or full glass.
If you’re not sure what wine you’d like to try or simply want to learn what differs from the other, the wine flight opens the opportunity for you to figure that out. All wines served in this hub are exclusive for Planet Grapes, making the experience more special.
And they also offer delicious food! Here’s what we tried:
Who doesn’t love Chicharon? This crunchy staple became even more special with the tinapa dip on the side. The dip added more flavor to the already yummy chicharon. And if you’d ask me, it’s best paired with the Chardonnay.
Squid balls, like fish balls, is a classic street food here in the Philippines. Planet Grapes makes it even more special by adding flavor to it. And it is generous in size, too! This one is best paired with the Colombar.
If you love food which are smokey in taste, this one’s for you. The meat is tender! Have it paired with the Merlot for a richer experience.
Aside from street food, Planet Grapes also offers heavier dishes like this BBQ spare ribs. The meat was so tender, we only used the knife for formality. The rich sauce of the spare ribs also added boost for this staple. With the equally-yummy veggies on the side, it’s no wonder why this has become one of Planet Grapes’ best sellers. Best paired with any red wine.
Adobo is a favorite of many and we count ourselves in. The Adobo rice was well-seasoned, made even more appetizing with the delish chicken flakes! The chorizo and salted egg rice, meantime, has a texture to it. It was probably because of the salted egg, which made it even more rich and flavorful. Both can stand alone, even without a viand.
This rich, succulent fish easily became our favorite. It brings you to the sea, in a good way. The meat is tender, too. And if you’re not a fish fan, I bet this one is going to be an exception. This is best paired with a white wine.
Planet Grapes also serves yummy sweet treats like an adaptation of the classic Filipino snack, turon. This dessert is absolutely the best! Unlike the traditional turon sold in the streets, especially during merienda, this Turon Trilogy was baked! Yes, it’s baked, so sans the oil and grease. Instead of using lumpia wrapper, Executive Chef Jonathan Bautista made use of filo pastry, a thinner counterpart for the lumpia wrapper. It was an excellent move to let the main ingredient (saging na saba) stand out. It is also served with a luscious langka sauce. Call us overacting, but this one tastes like heaven.
This is one great sugar fix. Once served, you will be tempted to indulge right away. And it doesn’t only look good, it’s also mouthwatering!
Just an insider tip: there is no pressure, no judgement, and no drama in here. You can pair any wine with any food. They have wine and spirits specialists in the store to coach you if you need help with the wine and food pairings. But based on what we learned, if the food is bland, choose a lighter wine. For the flavorful dishes, bolder wines are the best!
Your wine journey is best started here. Do let us know about your wine experience. We’re guessing it would be great!