Makati’s after work hangout place branches out to Ortigas
When cousins and foodies James Lim and Notsky Lou found a bakery in its final days in one of the busiest streets inside the business district of Makati, they immediately jumped at the spatial opportunity.
“We enjoy dining out and drinking, so it made sense to invest in a restaurant,” Lou told Expat.
In 2010, the cousins—with their friend Charles Ty—opened The Plantation—coupling
the name with interiors that evoke the comfort and simplicity of life in a plantation in the countryside.
“Our restaurant is very relaxed, very minimalist, almost like a country club,” Lou explained. “It’s a hang out place for people to unwind, have fun after work with drinks and tasty comfort food.”
The success of their very first gastronomic endeavor quickly picked up, expanding their area to twice the original size after just a year.
By 2013, they took up another space behind their spot in the building, and by 2014, they opened for 24 hours—in time for the FIFA World Cup, which attracted a lot of football fans in the area—and laid the foundations for a second branch.
However, choosing the perfect location for their second branch proved to be a challenge for the trio.
“The success of the business is a combination of different factors… Everything has to work together: the food, the servers, the ambiance, the whole experience itself has to work together,” Lou shared.
And finally, after two years, they found the perfect venue for The Plantation’s second home: Sapphire Road in the Ortigas Business District of Pasig City. They officially opened their doors early September, welcoming the neighborhood of Ortigas to their signature style of bar chow and comfort food in one hip place.
At The Plantation, you can enjoy addictive bar grub, mouthwatering main dishes, and signature cocktails anytime of the day.
For starters, Lou (and this writer) highly recommends The Plantation’s Gambas (salty, sweet, and spicy shrimp) and Salpicao (marinated tender beef and plump mushrooms).
If you feel like having something light, their Classic Caesar Salad (crisp fresh romaine
lettuce topped with Caesar dressing, tomatoes, parmesan, and hard-boiled eggs) and signature Salmon Plantation (perfectly cooked salmon fillet topped with home-made pesto and served with mashed potatoes) are sure wins.
“We know more and more people [are starting to be more aware of what they eat], so we are currently working on our menu to add lighter, healthier meals,” Lou said.
For a more substantial meal, their best-selling Lechon Kawali (extra crispy and sinfully delicious pork belly with Filipino fried rice and home-made achara or pickled vegetables) is as addictive as it is filling.
Other best sellers include their Baby Back Ribs, Chicken Parmigiana, Mediterranean Pork Chops, Chorizo Fundico, and Steak Habanero are also highly recommended.
“This is a place to be themselves,” Lou said, referring to guests. “This is a place with awesome food for everyday working people… And when you leave our place happy and full, that means we succeeded at our job.”
The Plantation is located along C. Palanca St., Makati, and Sapphire Road, Ortigas Business District, Pasig City. They are open 24/7 except holidays. For more info and updates about The Plantation, visit www.theplantation.ph
By CHING DEE