Empingao!

5739 P. Burgos St. cor. San Lucas St., Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila

Empingao!
4.8
5.0 Stars

6 Reviewers

  • 5 stars 5
  • 4 stars 1
  • 3 stars 0
  • 2 stars 0
  • 1 star 0
  • 6 Reviews
  • 30 Recommend
  • 6 Reviewers
Category:
Latin American
Business Hours
Reopens: 3:00p - 2:00a
Phone
+639157257378

Hours

  • Sunday
    • Closed
  • Monday
    • 3:00p - 2:00a
  • Tuesday
    • 3:00p - 2:00a
  • Wednesday
    • 3:00p - 2:00a
  • Thursday
    • 3:00p - 2:00a
  • Friday
    • 3:00p - 2:00a
  • Saturday
    • 3:00p - 2:00a

Payment Options

Cash

More Business Info

Parking:
Street, Parking Lot
Kids Menu:
Yes
Take Out:
Yes
Outdoor Seating:
Yes
Menus:
Lunch, Dinner
Waiter Service:
Yes
Attire:
Casual
Good for Groups:
Yes

Most Recent Reviews

Abe C.
4.0 Stars
9

Say Empingao!

If you've watched the movie, "Chef," many times like I had, you'd remember a scene where the protagonist, Chef Carl Casper, played by Jon Favreau, is with his sous chef, Martin (John Leguizamo), and they shout happily in unison, while eating their creation, Empingao! In the urban dictionary, its meaning is "f***ing awesome!"

And so aptly named is this fairly new restaurant, about six months old, in Poblacion, Makati City, by Chef Kel Zaguirre of Locavore fame (one of my favorite restos). Empingao highlights Latin American food, blending popular street food elements with a comfort food appeal.

I'd heard about this from foodie friends plus saw it on Deal Grocer so we got a few deals so we can try it, and that was September, so I had to wait another two months to try this bad boy.

The wait was certainly worth my time. After watching a musical in nearby RCBC's Carlos P. Romulo auditorium, we headed over to Empingao. I'm familiar with P. Burgos area, but not beyond its red light reputation from decades back. But with the likes of El Chupacabra, Bean and Yolk, and now Empingao in the Poblacion hood, it's getting a deserved foodie reputation.

Good thing it's on Waze. While on P. Burgos heading back towards Makati Ave/JP Rizal, it's a few blocks after crossing Kalayaan Avenue, on the right. Blink and you might miss it. They have parking on that narrow street (San Lucas St.), and the staff will gladly assist you to park, but even my sure fire parking skills were tested when we were leaving because the street is narrow and there are actually vehicles parked 128544 on the street, so be sure to tip the staff coz they will help you park and depart.

Entering the premises, it's shaped like a long rectangle, on the P. Burgos side is their open air, smokers friendly bar section, while on the other end is an air-conditioned part that fits maybe about 20 people at most, and next to that is their kitchen.

Like Cocina Peruvia, Naxional, and Brasas, it's got nicely designed elements of Latin American countries painted on its walls and even ceiling. Festive colors, cultural symbols, architecture and other slices of the Latin American life is apparent. Empingao's dishes are sourced from the likes of Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Peru, to name a few.

We were the only customers there and we were gamely attended to by the wait staff. They were friendly, though in one or two instances, perhaps a little too comfy with us, that they were already joking around or even singing to the 90's RNB songs playing. No worries, though... It was a chill evening and the resto had such a nice vibe to it.

Off to the food we've heard so much about (We were really hungry so I couldn't take much pics without violent reactions so bear with me here. 128513)...

1. Salsa and Chips (P180) - various colored tortilla chips, with 3 sauces-- pico de Gallo (salsa), cheese sauce and sour cream. Solid choice, appetizer type dish. We had to ask for more sauces because the 3 given weren't enough to share among 6 people. Rating 4/5

2. Salmon Tacos (P260) - 3 delectable small tacos with grilled salmon, romaine lettuce, chimichurri, mandarin orange and mango mayo. OMG, it tasted soooooo Empingao! While it may be tiny relative to the price, I think since it was salmon, I find it a well priced dish. The salmon was cooked perfectly, a bit smokey and seasoned well, plus the mixture of flavors was amazing. Enjoyed every tiny bite of it. Had to take tiny bite sizes and chew slowly to enjoy it even more. Rating: 5/5

3. Camarones Al Ajillo (P530) - 5 pieces of black tiger prawns with garlic, butter, parsley, garlic confit and caper and olive ciabatta bread slices. Wonderfully garlicky for me, maybe a bit oily for others. Now, if the shrimp were bigger, like, say the Gambas of Barcino, maybe this would be more worth the heftiest price tag on the menu. But sadly, the value for money of this dish is on the mid to lower mid side. Flavor wise, it's a 4 out of 5 for me, but factoring value for money, it goes down to a Rating: 3/5.

4. Lomo Saltado (P485) - stir fried beef tenderloin cooked with spices and served on a skillet, with fried potatoes (served in this Indiana Jones-esque skull), 3 pieces of flour tortilla and 5 ingredients (chimichurri, sour cream, mojo, chili oil and peppers), sort of a make your own burrito. This is a winning dish! We had to add an extra order of flour tortilla since there were 6 of us. Rating: 4.5/5

5. Churrasco platter (P600) - about 12 sticks of barbecued pork, chicken, cuttlefish and sausage. For sharing. Served with the same mojo sauce as the lomo saltado. I liked the pork and sausage ones. This was probably the filler order among the ones we picked. And I regret not ordering the Elena Ruz or Mofongo instead, but cest la vie. Certainly a reason to come back here then. Rating: 3/5

Ambience couldnt have been better. It's a hole in the wall, so it does fit Poblacion to a tee, perhaps except for some of the pricey dishes. While I loved the food, a few dishes were just fine for my taste. Value for money isn't high for all, either. Plus I found the thin width of the tables a bit awkward at times.

Should you try Empingao? Definitely. Drinking people or foodies will find something to enjoy here.

It's only open late afternoon until 2am I think, so no lunches here. At least for now.

  • No. of Comments: 21
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Jas Hozo H.
5.0 Stars

I'm addicted to latin american foods, I hope there would be more restaurants that would focus on Colombian foods, this is resto that I recommend to my family and friends are so worth it. It's neat and platings are cool. The food presentations are nice.

  • No. of Comments: 2
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Joanne G.
5.0 Stars

Empingao is the newest Latin American Kitchen at Poblacion, Makati. If it's your first time, I would recommend for you to try the Elena Ruz sandwich (turkey, cheese, cream with strawberry jam in brioche bread), salmon tacos and the Mofongo (roast pork, chicharon, mashed bananas and bacon). Two thumbs up! Can't wait to be back!

  • No. of Comments: 5
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Kim L.
5.0 Stars

I recommend Salmon Tacos 290 php) and Pollo A La Brasa (420 php). 10084

  • No. of Comments: 2
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Denise A.
5.0 Stars
10

"SO FUCKIN' GOOD" | "AMAZING" is exactly what EMPINGAO means. This newly opened Latin America Joint situated along Burgos, Makati is now my highly recommended restaurant. Visited this last night and celebrated my boss' birthday here. Fortunately, i got to try most of their best sellers on their menu for free haha!

Chef Kel Locavore is also the chef of Empingao. No wonder from the presentation palang of their food you'll automatically see the playfulness and creativity. Aside from the physical attributes of the food, malalasahan mo talaga yung creativity and unusualness of the combination presented. Galing na galing talaga ako sa pagmimix and match niya and makes it even better. Sorry but i'm actually running out of words on how to describe cause i've been to many restaurants in Burgos already but this one made a mark and even convinced me to bring my friends and go back as often as I can.

FOOD:
1. Elena Ruz (P480)
Brioche Loaf • Cream Cheese • Strawberry Jam • Turkey Ham • Patacones

2. Arroz A La Cubano (P290)
Mojo Pork Hash • Butter Rice • Potato • Fried Plantains • Dried Cranberries • Fried Egg
- I ordered this one and grabe sobrang naenjoy ko. The Mojo Pork Hash is over the top. Para siyang sisig na walang fats pero sobrang chunky and lambot ng meat. Ughgh! Also instead of raisins, they used cranberries cause even the chef hates fuckin raisins haha! Fried Plantains is like strings of veges fried into one, nacurious ako nung una hindi ko maintindihan kung ano siya.

3. Lomo Saltado (P540)
Stir Fried Beef Tenderloin • Fried Potato • Flour Tortilla • Grilled Peppers • Crema • Chili Oil • Chimichurri
- God this is also a favorite. Kakaiba siya. It's like a DIY taco pero sobrang unique ng taste ng sauce which is the Chimichurri + Chili Oil. Even reminded me of Japanese Beef. Sakuyaki? Something like that! Messy siya kainin pero UBER SA SARAP!

4. Salsa and Chips (P290)
Pico de Gallo • Chimchurri • Aji- Cheese Sauce • Patacones • Fried Tortilla

4. Dulce De Leche Cheescake (P390)
Alfajores Crust • Almonds • Dulce De Leche
- Was eating this when I wasn't sober anymore pero I even remembered how it taste. Naalala kong sarap na sarap ako sa cake cause hindi siya SUPER TAMIS as how it looks like.
It's like a cream cheescake with a caramel sauce.
Grabe ang sarap!

5. Iced Tea
THEY'RE ICED TEA IS EVEN UNIQUE. May hint siya ng sourness more than the sweetness which I liked. Parang lemonade iced tea yung dating.

AMBIANCE:
🍽 The place is clean. Ang ganda rin ng mga wall murials nila. Colorful walls with graffiti. The place is just small but it's always jampacked. There's a bar area where you can have drinks and spend time with friends. Clean bathroom, air-conditioned. They also have a smoking area just outside. The place is open from 4pm to 2am.
The neighborhood is a bit sketchy pero keri lang basta make sure you're with friends.
The owners are always there plus sobrang ganda ng customer service.

NOTE: Just had to mention na naaliw ako sa "420" signs nila beside their best sellers = FOOD TRIP!128540

Overall rating:
5/511088️ WILL DEFINITELY COME BACK. Honestly, namamahalan ako though narealize ko lang while writing this na sobrang worth it niya to the point na parang experience yung binibili mo rather than the food. Sobrang APPLAUSE TO CHEF KEL if you are reading this, you never fail to amaze me on your masterpiece. Ito yung food na talagang pinagisipan, out of the ordinary pero hindi para maiba lang. WILD!!!
EMPINGAO!!!!

  • No. of Comments: 40
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Chrissy R.
5.0 Stars
2

The place is as small as a shoebox but the food is yum. Everything we ordered was delicious 128076🏻 Will definitely come back! 128523

  • No. of Comments: 6
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