Southbank: Alabang’s Secret Melbourne-inspired Cafe

As featured in 10 Best NEW Homegrown Restaurants in Manila of 2019!

It’s starting to feel like Melbourne in the south because of the demand for better cafes and better lounge and food experience in the Alabang Area.

This motivated Patrick Leyble, Wendy Esteban and Stevie Ang, who moved back from Melbourne to start a new wave of cool cafes and lounges inspired by the Melbourne scene, to create Southbank. We loved the food, the gin+cocktail program and the warm hospitality of the owners.

We tried this out for breakfast and lunch with the family, and here are our favorites…


SOUTHBANK Cafe +Lounge
Central Plaza, Westgate Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines
Operating Hours:
Weekdays 7.00am – 1.00am  Friday – Saturday 7.00am – 3.00 am
Mobile: +63 916 247 8516
Instagram: @southbankcafelounge

First Things First

Southbank, hidden behind UCC and Neil’s Kitchen in the Westgate area, has a plain black facade that will soon serve as backdrop for an awesome mural.

Southbank Menu
All Day Menu (7.00 am – 5.00 pm)Wine, Adult Beverages, Cocktails | Coffee Tea JuiceDinner Menu | Wine Drinks Dessert

This is the best table in the house, located on the ground floor with a view of the bar and nice window lighting for your photos.

There is a spacious second floor that faces the afternoon sun and transforms into a cool lounge space at night.



Smashed Avo
Smashed Avo (₱350). smashed avocado, feta cheese, edamame, sous-vide egg, sourdough toast

Sometimes you just need a good Avo toast when hanging out with friends.

Ricotta Salad
Ricotta Salad (₱390). arugula, whipped ricotta, cherry tomatoes, candied walnuts, pesto dressing.

Fresh arugula and smooth ricotta cheese to start the day healthy.

Croquettes (₱350). potato cheese croquettes, sous-vide egg, roasted capsicum

Two big croquettes—crusty on the outside, smooth and cheesy with a bit of truffle inside. Best to eat mixed with the eggs, greens and capsicum to break the monotony.

Chai Latte
Chai Latte (₱170)

Perfect with the morning sunshine while you take sips between conversations.

Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict (₱380). English muffin, bbq pulled pork, sous-vide egg, hollandaise sauce

Open-faced muffin topped with a good portion of pulled pork, egg and oozing with hollandaise sauce. Yum!

Shashuka (₱370). stewed tomatoes, baked eggs, ricotta, crostini
Shashuka (₱370). stewed tomatoes, baked eggs, ricotta, crostini

Surprisingly, our boys loved this, and we had to fight over the crostini bread, scooping it with a bit of egg, tomatoes and meat.

Cortado (₱170)

I love it when a cafe can serve a good cortado, which requires skill and good coffee beans to produce.

They are the first cafe in the Philippines to serve ALLPRESS beans roasted in Melbourne, shipped to Manila and consumed within a week or 2.



Salmon Aburi Bowl
Salmon Aburi Bowl (₱620). torched salmon, furikake, tobiko, multi-grain rice, sweet soy, dojunbang mayo

Our favorite!  Japanese-inspired multi-grain rice with Southbank’s dojunbang mayo and toasted salmon plus umami from furikake spices, seaweed and flying fish eggs.

Buttermilk Chicken Burger
Buttermilk Chicken Burger (₱490). brioche bun, slaw, pickles, dojunbang mayo, curly fries

Loved the big chicken patty-to-bun ratio. Best to eat it whole with the bun. Must order and good to go.

Tiger Prawn Risotto
Tiger Prawn Risotto (₱580). tiger prawn thermidor, mushroom, sundried tomato, parmigiano

Two big prawns on a bed of cheesy risotto with bits of mushroom and tomato.

Steak & Eggs
Steak & Eggs (₱820). tenderloin steak, fried egg, garlic rice, onion strings

The steak was tender, flavorful and good by itself or may be enjoyed as a steak-silog that can be shared.

Southbank Burger
Southbank Burger (₱580). brioche bun, 100% pure beef patty, bacon jam, lettuce, tomato, truffle mayo, curly fries

This could be one of the best burgers in Alabang. It was juicy and the type of burger which was messy to eat as you bit into the brioche bun. Sarap!


Gin Program

We fell in love with the Gin + Tonic program, with their premium gin selection and their signature Four Pillars Gin, including an array of Fentimans tonic.

Bar Menu: Bar Food | Whisky Your Way | Back to Basics | Cocktails: Southbank Specials | Cocktails: The Photographer, The Scent Stretcher | Cocktails: The Lifestyle Changer, The Spice Seeker | Cocktails: The Confectioner, Whisky List | Single Malts, Gin List

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin + Fentimans Rose Lemonade + Orange
Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin + Fentimans Rose Lemonade + Orange

Their signature gin + tonic that was citrusy and refreshing, with a bit of sweetness to stimulate the appetite.

Opihr London Dry Gin + Fentimans Premium Indian Tonic Water + Cardamom (Optional)
Opihr London Dry Gin + Fentimans Premium Indian Tonic Water + Cardamom (Optional)

My kind of gin specially for pairing with the food. Add some cardamom for some spice.

Brockmans Premium Gin + Fentimans Ginger Ale + Hibiscus
Brockmans Premium Gin + Fentimans Ginger Ale + Hibiscus

My wife’s favorite because it was on the sweet side, a good alcoholic alternative to her usual ginger ale.


For the Boys

Raphael is the burger guy and loves to eat a whole burger on his own.

Joshua loves steak and always orders one when available.

Yugi is easy to please even with just a simple hotdog.

Aidan eats anything, and it’s hard to capture him in photo these days without a bit of coercion.



Southbank Pancakes
Southbank Pancakes (₱390). mixed berries, maple syrup, honeycomb, housemade seasonal sorbet

Reminded me of Kettle Black’s beautiful pancakes with a garden of berries, floral accents and honeycomb.

The pancake though was a bit thin and dry. Hope they could make it bigger and fluffier for the same price.

Dear John
Dear John (₱550). H VSOP, Guava, Apple, Hazelnut, Sangria Foam.  A fancy cognac drink that is a favorite. Fresh fruity taste with nuttiness from hazelnut perfectly complimented with Southbank’s secret nitro infused love potion. Definitely for the perfect ones.

This dessert cocktail was like a rum-based cake in a drink topped with alcoholic sangria foam.

Brioche French Toast
Brioche French Toast (₱370). brioche toast, whipped ricotta, maple syrup, housemade butter

French toast with butter, ricotta and waffle. Should be good with hokey pokey ice cream.

Final Thoughts

Overall, we had an awesome taste of Melbourne in Alabang, and the boys got to enjoy every dish. Loved the family-friendly ambiance in the morning, where the parents could still enjoy a good gin or cocktails.

Try the Salmon Aburi Bowl or Buttermilk Chicken Burger for your lunch and the Southbank Pancakes for dessert. Once you tried their gin & tonic (like the Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin + Fentimans Rose Lemonade + Orange) or signature cocktails (like Dear John), you’ll get hooked on going back and hanging out here in Alabang. Budget about ₱500/head for food + drinks.

Congratulations to Chef Martin Espiritu for the awesome food at Southbank, and thank you for the Negros Blue Crab meats!

Finally, this is a cafe + lounge the southern peeps are waiting for! This is a place where you can enjoy breakfast with the kids, brunch with friends or hanging out at night with the barkada.

Best to go now to be counted as the first ones to discover this cafe. It is a place to make your Manila friends drive all the way to Alabang.

Congratulations to Wendy, Patrick and Stevie Ang for a great concept!


SOUTHBANK Cafe +Lounge
Central Plaza, Westgate Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines
Operating Hours:
Weekdays 7.00am – 1.00am  Friday – Saturday 7.00am – 3.00 am
Mobile: +63 916 247 8516
Instagram: @southbankcafelounge


Live an Awesome Life,
Founder, Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of Bhong Bibi and friends.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.

P.S. The boys loved stamping their ice with the logo of Southbank.

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