THE MINOKAUA: Reviving the Malate Good Food and Music Vibe!

by Monique Tendencia


THE MINOKAUA by Billy Villareal and Chef Mike Tayag is a Spanish-Filipino comfort food resto bar and music venue for various genres that aims to revive the Malate vibe.

The name is a tribute to the giant dragon-like bird of Philippine folklore, which ate the sun and caused the solar eclipse. 

We were here recently to try their most recommended dishes and watch the musical duo of Bo BismarkNoli Aurillo. Here’s what we think…


1951 M. Adriatico St., Malate, Manila, Philipines
Operating Hours:  6:00 PM – 3:00 AM (Monday- Saturday)
Facebook: The Minokaua

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The Minokaua Menu: Share-Size Eats | Minokaua Meats | Bar Chow | Burgers, Desserts

The Minokaua is located in the former location of 1951 and the last location of Penguin, along Adriatico St., Malate.



Minokaua Bar List: Classics, Bottled Cocktails | Single Malt, Hangover Cure | Juices, Sangria, Liquor

The second floor is where all the music magic happens. There is enough space for people to move around, and also a loft area for people who prefer a more private space.


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We watched the awesome guitar duo of Bo BismarkNoli Aurillo, who effortlessly make their guitars sing and inspire nostalgia in music fans.


The ground floor is a co-working space in the morning and the office of advertising agency Flex Design Muscle (DM), whose employees are all passionate about art, music, and food.




Wilted Taiwan Pechay Salad (P240)Wilted Taiwan pechay, garlic, grilled tomato, fried egg.

We loved this dish as it deviates from the more common cold salads served in other restaurants. The flavors and textures of all the elements in this dish work really well together.



Chicken Chicharrones (P300)

This is just your ordinary crispy chicken skin, paired with garlic vinegar. Best to eat this while it’s still fresh so it doesn’t get gummy.



Buffalo Pops (P350)

The buffalo glaze was the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, and the dip it came with matched the flavors perfectly. They were able to keep the skin crispy and the meat juicy at the same time.



Green Thunder (P260)

This is Minokaua’s take on the Filipino lumpia, with a twist. Instead of the usual lumpia wrapper, The Minokaua’s uses filo pastry. This works great as a bar chow or as part of the main course.




Sisig Minokaua Rice (P880)

The Sisig Minokaua Rice comes highly recommended by Chef Charlie Caliwan. The rice is cooked paella style, sautéed in sisig, chorizo, and marinara.

The rice was cooked perfectly and we couldn’t help but get second helpings! This dish is definitely a must-try.



Mussel Pot/Kimchi Style (P850)

The Minokaua prefers to have everything locally-sourced, but the mussels in this dish are an exception. The mussels are noticeably larger than the local ones, but there’s not much considerable difference in flavor.

Served with kimchi and garlic bread, this is a good appetizer for those who like bigger portions.



Beef Riblets (P520)

This dish works well both as an appetizer or as a main course paired with rice. We really loved this dish! The contrasting textures of the fatty bits and crunchy meat make for an excellent dining experience. Best eaten as soon as it’s served.



Roasted Garlic Lamb Shank with Mustard Gravy (P1,250)

The lamb was cooked perfectly and the gravy provided interesting flavors to the dish. They know how to cook their meat.




Grilled Ensaymada Ice Cream Melt (P320)

The ensaymada in this dish is denser than the ones from local bakeries, as it needs to be able to hold the ice cream together, without getting soggy. The serving size is generous so this dessert is great for sharing!




Original Bottled Cocktails (P280)

The Minokaua also serves their own Original Bottled Cocktails. We tried their Agent Orange, a mix of Vodka and Orange Juice. We found it too sweet for our liking. This is more suited for those who don’t like the taste of alcohol.

House Blend Iced Tea is also available for those who prefer something light.



Overall, if you’re both a foodie and a music junkie, this is the perfect place to visit in the heart of Malate.

We would definitely recommend the Sisig Minokaua Rice, Beef Riblets, and the Grilled Ensaymada Ice Cream Melt. Order the Wabu’s Boneless Lechon Belly if available. Budget about P500/head.

Best to check the music lineup on Minokaua’s Facebook Page before you go. Musical performances start at 9pm until past midnight. 

Congratulations to The Minokaua for a cool art+music+food concept!  


1951 M. Adriatico St., Malate, Manila, Philipines
Operating Hours:  6:00 PM – 3:00 AM (Monday- Saturday)
Facebook: The Minokaua


Live an Awesome Life,



Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of The Minokaua. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. 

P.S. Thank you for reviving the Malate vibe! 

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