Tucked along the bars and gastro-pubs in Eastwood Citywalk 1 is Liberty Kitchen + Brew. Its façade may give you the impression that it’s solely a drinkingplace like its neighbors, but a peek at their menu will enlighten you to the fact that their offers are not limited to the usual drinks and pulutan.
The first floor of Liberty often accommodates those who wish to have some drinks, but just try to explore a little bit further up to the second floor, and you’ll find the kitchen where they prepare their specialty comfort food inspired by flavors from all over Asia. Here are some of the dishes that have liberated us (see what I did there?) during our meal:
Cauliflower – Php 95.00
If all veggie dishes are as good as Liberty’s cauliflower, dieting wouldn’t be too hard. This somehow reminded me of Juicesabel’s Vegan Honey Garlic Cauliflower which I also loved.
French Beans – Php 99.00
You know those appetizers that are so good that you can’t stop eating once you’ve had a taste? Liberty’s French beans is one of those. The beans are fried with a salted-egg batter and sprinkled with (wait for it) bacon powder! I can imagine this to go well with beer.
Sea Urchin – Php 130.00
I’m not a huge fan of sea urchin – which is probably why I didn’t enjoy this as much as the others. The sea urchin itself is served with burnt eggplant and yuzu oil, and is had as a dip / spread to the toasted bread that goes with the order.
Curry Rice Balls – Php 105.00
Curry and Japanese Mayo has always been a classic combo, so the Curry Rice balls easily ended up in my must-try list. I enjoyed the crunchy crust that held the warm curry cheese melt inside, although I wished that the pickle remoulade tasted less salty.
Mussels – Php 190.00
I liked the mussels’ surprisingly light taste. It was pretty good, as I was tempted to ask for some kanin.
Liberty Burger – Php 110.00
Miso Pork Belly – Php 99.00
Crispy Crablets – Php 99.00
Fried Chicken – Php 99.00
I’m not sure if I’d classify Liberty’s baos as appetizers or side-dishes because one order is packed with ingredients that they’re actually pretty heavy on the tummy. My personal favorite is the Miso Pork Belly (because hey, it’s essentially liempo in a bun). Offhand though I was also confused as to how the Liberty Burger fell under the Bao category, as the bread seemed to be fried, not steamed.
Chicken and Egg – Php 190.00
Baby Squid Crab Fat
The rice bowls are bound to be popular – with a variety of toppings like salmon, chicken, baby squid, and bacon being paired with equally exciting rice assortments including spicy rice and curry rice. I’d recommend the Baby Squid– the squid itself had a hint of sweetness, and the aligue was a nice additional seafood touch too.
Clams and Bacon – Php 209.00
Smoked Beef Brisket – Php 245.00
Spicy and Sour Soup – Php 233.00
If you’re in the mood for sabaw, Liberty’s noodles were also pretty decent. The Spicy and Sour soup reminded me of laksa, although I’m not sure if that was the point of the dish. The smoked beef brisket also did well, but maybe they can tone down on the garlic a little bit.
Chef’s Platter – Php 430.00
Ox Tongue – Php 140.00
Meatballs – Php 90.00
Bacon – Php 110.00
Shrimp – Php 125.00
Salmon – Php 180.00
At this point I’m already amazed at the wide variety of dishes that Liberty serves. Carnivores will be thrilled with their skewers, with lots of options for chicken, pork, beef, seafood, and vegetables. Each order gives you 2 sticks, but if you’d like a bit of the bestsellers, get the Chef’s Platter.
Of course, my favorite was the bacon skewers.Soft, oily, and juicy – just the way I like my bacon to be!
I couldn’t find the steak in the menu, but I was glad they served it to us when we visited.On first look you’ll notice that what’s different about Liberty’s steak is that the fat has been separated to the side of the dish, and served at a nice burnt crisp. The meat itself is tender, and actually does well even without the sauce.
Matchamacallit – Php 120.00
Cheesecake – Php 130.00
The appetizers, sides, and main courses were all interesting, that you’d expect the desserts to be no less exciting. The witty-named Matchamacallit is made up of peanut butter crisps (which thankfully was not soggy), torched meringue, and bathed in matcha chocolate. The cheesecake on the other hand, was a classic, and was a nice mix of sweet and tangy.
DRINKS AND COCKTAILS
Yogurt Soju – Php 150.00
Whiskyade – Php 130.00
Godzilla – Php 110.00
It was noon when I visited Liberty, yet I enjoyed sipping on their cocktails even with the sun still up. I’d recommend the three drinks I indicated above, as they’re not the usual, and the alcohol isn’t that strong too. The Yogurt Soju tasted like a refreshing lychee drink (and the soju wasn’t that strong), while the Whiskyade had a light hint of cinnamon. Godzilla was the most interesting – being a mix of matcha late, sake, and vodka. For the taste, imagine a mix of matcha and Baileys.
Liberty Kitchen + Brew turned out to be a delightful find. I wasn’t expecting to discover a concept resto to be in this part of Eastwood, especially that the neighboring establishments are mostly bars and pubs.
If you’re in the Libis area, this may be a interesting place to have lunch if you wish to try something different from the usual restaurants in malls.