Looks can be deceiving, so don’t be fooled by the unassuming facade and explore the treasure trove inside Taguig’s newest food hotspot.

Hole in One Food Hub

Looks can be deceiving, so don’t be fooled by the unassuming facade and explore the treasure trove inside Taguig’s newest food hotspot.

Published January 25, 2018

Somewhere along the calm stretch of Bayani Road lies a gastronomic surprise. Tucked in an assortment of small shops, Hole in One is easy to miss. In fact all you’ll see is a signboard and smoke rising from the grill to know that you’re at the right spot.

Launched in October 2017, Hole in One is slowly becoming Taguig’s favorite tambayan (hangout)—which is exactly how the owners envisioned the ten-stall food hub. “We wanted to create a place where people can dine and relax by offering everything they’re craving for,” shares owner Grace Ambrocio.

Entering Hole in One is as much an adventure as finding it. The only stall visible from the roadside is TTS Liempos, where the sweet-smelling grilled pork belly should be enough to lure customers. Once they reach the entrance, they’ll discover a narrow but well-lit path lined by three more stalls on one side and wall-mounted tables on the other.

Quite a literal hole-in-the-wall, the alley then opens up into a two-storey haven. Downstairs are the rest of the stalls flanking the main dining area, while upstairs provides more seats with a nice view of a vertical garden.

“We did a lot of DIY here,” says Ambrocio, who has a number of wall paintings displayed in the food hub. “Since we wanted to make it laid-back, we included a lot of greenery. The idea is to make it rustic.” The humble exterior has everyone fooled: “When they enter, people are surprised to see a lot of space for seating, as well as dining options,” she continues.

These food choices include popular local, Asian and other international cuisines, prepared with rare ingredients. Jizzlers, the sizzling dish expert, for example, takes pride in its “Crocodile Sisig.” Meanwhile, Brap Burgers raises its burger game by slathering its double 100% beef patty with homemade bacon jam (which, unfortunately, is not for sale). For the Kimchi lover, they’ll get a dose of the staple Korean side dish in East and Nest, whose best-seller “Tapa Kim” is a version of tapsilog served with kimchi fried rice.

More Korean goodness are cooked in SSÄM My Way, where Korean BBQ and lettuce wraps are served in lunch tray sets just like in schools in Korea. If you’re in the mood for Japanese, Takamura can provide the classics: ramen, maki, tempura, sashimi; but they suggest that you be more adventurous and dig in to their “Wasabi Sisig.” Rounding up the Asian must-tries is the traditional laksa noodles from SG Mi&You, which also offers a weekly special.

Hole in One is designed to make people spend quality time together. The long tables and benches, in a way, encourage diners to face each other and talk, and even share their time with strangers. And where there is great conversation, there ought to be great food — and beverage.

Ambrocio notes that people also come here to drink. It helps that there’s live music during the weekend to keep things chill. Soon, its bar will offer cocktails and coffee, but for now it has a selection of local beers that go well with bar chows from Pirates and the cleverly named Nachosera. The former is famous for its sausage platters, buffalo wings, and seafood buckets; while the latter is a Mexican- Filipino fusion that serves generously topped nachos and perfectly tender corn on the cob.

To cap off the dining experience, there’s Happy Endings by Retroeats. Their lollipop-looking S’mores Ice Cream—a torched mix of homemade marshmallows and ice cream—can instantly make anyone feel like a child again.

“It’s very fulfilling whenever customers approach us and say how much they appreciate how the place looks and how they’ve enjoyed their dinner,” says Ambrocio. More than anything, she’s proud of how they provide a variety of high-quality yet affordable meals to residents in surrounding villages. “Most of them are thankful because now they have more food options in the area.”

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