Filling Station Bar and Cafe

7:52:00 PM

There is something wholesome situated at the heart of Makati's red light district. It comes in the form of a diner-type bar and cafe, crammed with vintage knick-knacks (supposably from the 50s and 60s), known as the Filling Station. It is as what nostalgic Hollywood hits would allow us a preview of: old posters, red diner booths, antique telephones and radios, a jukebox (or more?), neon signs, superhero effigies, motorcycles and pool tables you can actually rent. Blues, rock & roll, jazz and country music filled the air, and we were greeted with staff in white collars and pink bow ties.    

Looking around (and, occasionally, up at the vinyl discs fastened to the ceiling), it all felt so promising. I almost didn't want to touch the menu anymore, being a little apprehensive about the food not living up to the visual and emotional hype. The thing about many concept restaurants these days is that the owners put so much thought into satisfying our eye candy but fail hard with their true purpose: good food. A looksie through Google has already warned that it might be an expensive night, and I certainly did not want to be going home broke and unhappy.

And with that, let me start with costs. We spent close to P1200 on dinner, which feels modest in a place like this. Last time I spent a thousand bucks in one sitting, it was to feed four hungry tummies with so much food our table would shame onlooking dieters.  This time, I was with one friend and only three choices to last our long, winding, pointless but absolutely fun conversations.

We start with the 16-inch California Bacon Pizza (P498), which I had been craving for throughout the day. I have squeezed the thought of it at every possible opening (a friend celebrating her birthday next month, another one nearing her last days in the office), but to no avail. I was able to bargain with the universe for half the prize of an entire pizza, which also meant I only get to eat my rightful share.

Before I go into details, let me just say that I still think Shakey's has the best bacon pizza out there. It's not a jab at the Filling Station's, only a declaration of truth.  To be fair, what this one wins against the Pizza Bianca, however, is the gooier cheese. California Bacon Pizza isn't as saucy as you would imagine any meat pizza and the bacon serving not as generous too, but you get mushrooms and pineapple chunks (unnecessary, though) to compensate. Since it's thin-crusted, it could pass for a single-person meal if you're hungry (or selfish) enough.

I find that their pizza offerings are the only reasonably-priced food in the menu, but I could just be biased as a pizza person. I'm not a steak fan and so I feel a bit uneasy about the idea of shelling out a grand for a plate. I'm not a pasta lover and so coming across single-person servings that cost more than 200 sounds preposterous to me. (Big word.) And I've had cheaper milkshakes, too.

But that's just me.

Because MJ had an appetite of a whale's, four slices of pizza wasn't enough for him that night. He ordered a plate of Shelby - Tenderloin Tips (P388), which according to Munch Punch is "marinated beef tenderloin with gravy, buttered vegetables and garlic rice". He seemed satisfied. Then again, he's never been the pickiest eater.

I'll leave it at that and move on to what got us to the Filling Station in the first place: milkshake!

It was more the thought of payday (not genuine generosity) that got me to agree with "libre mo ko ng milkshake sa Filling Station". But if I knew then that a glass of Chocolate Milkshake costs P20 short of P300, I would have probably reacted a bit more violently.  

I mean...How. Did. A. Glass. Of. Blended. Ice. Cream. And. Milk. Come. To. Be. So. Expensive?! 

But was it good? N--yes. Thick and creamy and just a little bit on the sweet side. It seemed to have been the highlight of my friend's evening. And it is well-recommended in food review sites like Zomato. To be fair naman din, portions do compensate. We couldn't exact the order nga lang, as it was served half in separate glasses. (I don't know if this is standard, or they just like to assume you'd want to split it with your company.) So okay, fine, price justified.

I wanted to take more pictures of the place, even at the risk of looking "promdi"  (a non-issue MJ raised) - ganito pala sa Maynila! I simply didn't have the energy for it anymore and thought I would most probably come around again anyway. 

Filling Station Bar and Cafe
5012 P Burgos Street, 
Makati City

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