A lot of bars nowadays come with loud rave music and neon lights made for wild partying. If you’re the type who just wants a chill place to hang out with friends and some good ol’ beer, though, The Portal Bar would be the right place for you!
The Portal Bar is a little nook located along the Commonwealth area in Quezon City. Established three months ago by husband and wife Chuck Cabrera and Binky Cruz, The Portal Bar will take you back to the days of 80s pop culture, which you will see artfully arranged all around the restaurant.
On bright blue walls, you will find comic book posters and pictures of artists like Michael Jackson…
… along with lightsabers from Star Wars and tons of Marvel memorabilia!
Even their smoking area (which by the way has a really strong exhaust system that completely gets rid of the smell of smoke) comes with framed photos of artists. It’s really a blast from the past!
Everything, from the coasters framed on the wall, to the miniature wine bottles and toys were carefully collected by the owner Chuck since his high school days. The whole time, he kept thinking that he would use them in the future. When he established The Portal Bar, the culmination of his high school dream, it was fate to fill it with the memorabilia he had been saving!
The Portal Bar was created when Chuck realized that he wanted to create his own place to bring his friends over instead of spending money elsewhere. Using his knowledge from always going to different bars, he put together this retro concept with his wife Binky. The name “portal” came to be because he wanted his bar to feel like a doorway through time— a throwback to the 60s to the 90s— and even through different superhero universes. The Portal Bar is meant to be a place of nostalgia that allows you to backtrack through time and reminisce about the golden days of pop culture.
The Portal Bar features a wide variety of alcohol – from local beers to imported brands.
The creative genius behind the dishes served in The Portal Bar is none other than Binky herself! While her husband handles the operations, her element is in the kitchen, where she whips up a wide variety of hearty meals and snacks to go with your drinks.
Binky really loves cooking, and you can tell that from the taste. It’s fusion cuisine, much like home cooking, but made better! These are some of their bestsellers:
These deep-fried squid rings make for great pulutan while nursing a bottle of beer. The crunchy batter is lightly seasoned, and when you bite into it, you get soft and springy squid that isn’t tough and rubbery at all! Dip it in their mayonnaise sauce for added creaminess.
No appetizer is ever complete without some crunchy chips to munch on. The Portal Bar’s version includes bits of ground beef, diced tomatoes, and jalapeños atop tortilla chips. However, what sets them apart from the usual nachos is that they use a mix of carbonara sauce and grated cheese to add a creaminess that blends well with the chips’ sour, salty and spicy flavors.
Tokwa’t Baboy (Php180)
Whether you enjoy this as a chaser or as ulam, The Portal Bar’s tokwa’t baboy does not disappoint. Diced tokwa paired with bites of fried pork are made better with the soy sauce and vinegar dipping sauce that it comes with. I recommend just pouring the sauce over the whole dish, so it gets an even coat of flavor.
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