Liberty Asian Refuge and Bar
Eastwood City Walk 1, E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave. (C5), Eastwood City, Quezon City, Metro Manila
- 22 Reviews
- 147 Recommend
- 19 Reviewers
- Business Hours
- Reopens: 4:00p - 4:00a
- 3:00p - 3:00a
- 4:00p - 4:00a
- 4:00p - 4:00a
- 4:00p - 4:00a
- 4:00p - 4:00a
- 3:00p - 5:00a
- 3:00p - 5:00a
More Business Info
- Take Out:
- Outdoor Seating:
- Good for Groups:
Most Recent Reviews
We were trying to escape the scorching heat on a Friday night and ended up here for early dinner. They just opened so the airconditioning wasn't as strong. We were the only diners at the time and the music was on full blast. They turned it down after we asked them to.
Not quite sure what type of resto this is but they serve food with Asian influences. Food was generally ok. The Liempo Bagoong Rice was the best dish of the night. It was flavorful but not spicy. The Baby Squid were soft but I would have preferred it more well done. Bacon was fat and more of a ham piece. Spicy Crab Bao was something different but could have used more filling and flavor. I ended up not eating all of the bread. Chicken Dumplings were so so. Most of the food were oily. They use pretty and heavy serving platters.
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And finally, dinner at LIBERTY.
Honestly, there's really nothing special here. Nothing worth trying (if I will base it on the dishes we tried). Nothing remarkable and memorable. And service wasn't that good, as well. I don't think I'll ever come back here.
So these are the items we were able to try:
NACHOS. Not in the menu. Usual nachos. It was good but I think would be better if there's more cheese? And medyo lasang "bumbay".
I've heard a lot of good things about their BAOs so I was looking forward to trying them but sadly... they were just okay??
SPICY CRAB BAO. Chili aioli, cucumber pickles. Not spicy, not tasty. Nothing.
LIBERTY BURGER. Angus beef, house barbeque sauce. Hands down the saddest burger ever. 🏼
And then we also tried 2 rice bowls. Their "bestsellers" according to the server.
HONEY PORK KIMCHI RICE. Miso pork belly w apple and pear kimchi and fried egg.
LIEMPO BAGOONG RICE. Spicy bagoong rice, grilled liempo w tomato salsa.
I loved the egg on top. Yun lang.
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We requested to get a table at the 2nd floor outside area on a tuesday, a friend of ours was about to pop the question to a gf so we requested if we could get sort of a private space for the event. Waitress said no and did not even consult their manager. They even wanted us to do a consumable table of 10k just to get that space. (Mind you food comes from the 2nd floor so there are table attendants around the area always and lights were on so no additional cost would be needed for them to attend to us there) bad service overall. PS: before we left we saw a small cockroach on our table.
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Liberty Asian Refuge Bar is from the same people behind Lola Cafe+Bar in Tomas Morato. It's an Asian fusion restaurant specializing in smaller portions so that you can try more stuff out. I shy away from fusion restaurants because there have been several not-so-tasty attempts in the past. Since I do love their first baby, I figured the sibling would be worth a visit.
My fiance and I (then bf actually) tried this place out on a Sunday afternoon. We were actually accompanied by our dog so we only got to stay outside. So don't ask me what it looks like inside, I have no idea.
Our meal started with the scallion flat bread. It was served with curry and yogurt on the side. I actually liked this though my fiance found the scallion taste overwhelming. Only thing was it's too oily, so I didn't really want to finish the whole order.
We also ordered the miso pork bao... The moment they set it on our table, my pug kept begging for it. I guess she liked the smell a lot... As for me, I liked this dish but found it bitin. I liked the kimchi on top which gave the dish some much needed acidity. One serving has either one or two pieces of bao. I found it pricey but delicious. We also ordered skewers-- a beef one and one with chicken skin-- but honestly these didn't stand out.
For dessert, I was itching to try the Matchamacallit. Because it's matcha. They brought us a beautiful and inviting dessert. Think of an elevated rice crispy-- made of peanut butter crisps with matcha sauce and torched meringue on top... O.M.G. I am definitely recommeding this, even if you are not crazy about matcha. I absolutely enjoyed this. Even my non-matcha loving fiance liked it. That says a lot, he will usually say it tastes like leaves. It does get a bit sweet, so eat little by little.
Lastly, I have to say that the staff were so nice. They brought us water for our dog. I love those little touches. I think this place is a bit pricey but still worth a try.🙃
The Yogurt Soju was GREAT!
Oooh 2,100 reviews. Coolio!
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Found this place in the middle of the night when me and my friends decided to meet up..it was the only time to catch up.. got their thick bacon rice bowl, braised beef and crispy chicken rice bowls.. taste,price and food quality are perfect we didnt even get to finish everything as the bowls were stuffed.. also got their seafood platter with tuna,salmon and shrimp in it.. desserts were not as good as expected aside from the fact that we had to wait for almost 15 mins for them to be served.. not recommending their cheesecake.. the matcha and the crunchy bread with ice cream are ok..
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Had the Matchamacallit and it was unbearably sweet. Would've given it just one star if not for the cocktail and service. Will probably come back to try their mains, though.
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Salmon & black arroz.
Wonderful taste, priced just right and served in a good ambiance. Too lazy to elaborate. Just try it for yourself and form your own opinion.
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So far so good! Had a great time with friends and damn, their drinks are on point!
We had cocktails/mocktails; Mt. Fuji, Yakult Soju (MUST TRY) and Whiskyade. Everything is so affordable and good for sharing!
Oh and please order the Liberty Fries (PHP199), it is that worth it!!
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It took me a while to write this review. No, it's not Writer's Block. I finished my other backlogs except for this one. Words are a lil elusive, truth be told.
The visit was a couple of weeks ago.
I dragged him to Liberty after our Vietnamese feast at Annam. I wanted something matcha infused (La Lola is not an option as i wanted something light). I read somewhere that they have a matcha infused dessert here.
Liberty is situated near the bar alley of Eastwood. Do
not expect a serene dining experience as it's neighbours are playing loud awful music. It is a small joint, it looks like a drinking joint at first glance. We opted to stay outside as i was aiming for natural light for my photos. Yes, it is a lil dark and humid inside.
Anyway, on to the food:
| Matchamacallit. Rice crispies infused with peanur butter and drizzled with matcha sauce. I didn't like it. Why? It is way too sweet, diabetes inducing sweetness. The proportions are off the scale as there is no matcha flavor.
| Chili Crab Bao. I forgot how this tastes like. He paired this with a bottle of pale. I remember taking one bite and the taste is buried somewhere in the deep chambers of my mind. Maybe a lik hypnosis so i can remember.
Forget hypnosis. I know why words are elusive and why it took a while to write this review. I wasnt blown away with the experience and food (nothing that merits praises and or ranting). Dining at Liberty is like short term memory loss. Forgettable.
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Took my boyfriend here lastnight and he had a good time!!! I was so glad he enjoyed the Miso Pork Belly Bao that I have been raving about for so long! He devoured it in 2-3 chomps! It took me more bites to finish it but it tastes as good as usual! ️ On Sunday's their P99 per piece Bao becomes P60!
We also tried their chicken skin skewers! P60 for 2 sticks was so sulit! It wasn't too crispy, more of chewy. But I really liked their take on the chicken skin! It was a combination of skin, fat and a little meat. Maybe it's cause they didn't skin the chicken well... Or maybe it was done on purpose. In any case, I really liked it!
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Been checking looloo reviews in Eastwood and still can't decide yet where to eat at around 8:30PM. But I've been eyeing Liberty since I read a lot of good reviews.
I browsed their menu first, and since I haven't eaten yet since past 9PM I have to monitor my heartburn triggers. I decided to just ordered MISO PORK BELLY BAOS P180 for 2pcs. (baka bitin yung isa ).
Login at Eastwood's free wifi while waiting, there were 4-5 tables occupied that night (Sunday, Independence day). Most of them were having a drink.
Service was a bit slow, but, once the BAOS arrived, I got excited. Kept my expectation on a mid level to not to dissapoint myself.
But after my first bite it was an explosion of flavour. Everything perfectly blends well. From the soft bun, tender juicy pork belly, sweet and little tangy from the apple and pear kimchi, with nutty flavour from toasted nuts. It was like Ippudo's Pork Bun but cheaper and tastes better.
This order was enough to sarisfy my cravings and had a happy late dinner.
Accepts credit card payment, no free wifi, knowledgeable & accomodating staffs, well-lit and relax ambiance, a bit pricey but worth the price and size.
Will I go back? Definitely YES! A lot to explore from their menu.
Happy Independence Day 🇵🇭
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After our failed attempt to hangout at GH last Saturday, I took my sister to Liberty for dinner.
Since she read my first review about this resto, she wanted to order Black Cod skewer but unfortunately they ran out of it. We ordered the next best thing, which are the baos. We got Miso Pork belly, taste good as I remembered it to be and we got to try Liberty Burger. It was a bit oily in my opinion. Our last dish order was Braised Beef in Soy, we think this made us extremely full.
Mt. Fuji - I got to try this before, stronger alcohol content.
Godzilla - matcha alcoholic drink, yum!
Yogurt Soju - surprisingly good combination, made out of lambanog, green tea lychee and yakult.
It took some time to get our bill, I had to ask 3 times for it.
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Finally got to go back to Liberty over the weekend! The first and last time I was here was for a looloo rendezvoos. Hihihi
I suggested this place to my mom, so she could try something new. I was super raving about the Baos, so I made sure to get the Miso Pork Belly Baos. And, in addition, we also got a Seafood Platter that had 1x of each type of skewer in the seafood list.
The Baos was just as amazing as when I first had it. The different flavors and the textures all came together so well. It was salty and sweet at the same time!
Aside from the Baos, the Seafood Platter was amazing as well! I rated each skewer from 1-5 stars, according to my personal preference
1. Baby Squid this was so soft and juicy and flavorful. I was so addicted, I ordered another single order hehehe
2. Tuna - this was my top preference from the first time I was here, but now I didn't really like it huhu
3. Black Cod -
4. Shrimp -
5. Salmon - more flavorful than the first time I was here
Serving time may just take awhile, but it's really worth the wait promise!
And if you live kinda far, I think it's worth the trip, just make sure to order a lot para super sulit! Hehe
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And there goes another round of sponsored rendezvoos held at one of the newest sanctuary for food lovers in Eastwood - the Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar.
You know there's something good to happen when Peanut sent you a message. And I was right! Another looloo invite!!! Yaaay!!!! Since Pea already know that I’m a true-blue kaladkarin and madaling kausap, I immediately say yes! Like, agad agad! I was more than excited mostly because it’s a new place and I felt really privileged to be one of the firsts to try this place. Also, it's few tumblings away from the office so I’m pretty sure that I won’t be late as always. LOL. And I was right... I was one of the earliest to arrive! Achievement unlocked!
With that being said, I actually had more time to chit chat with the other loolooers who were already there. I immediately noticed the cozy and industrial vibe of the place. The Japanese postcards on the wall of the second level are very noticeable as it almost fills up the two corners of the wall.
Since everyone suffered from the heavy traffic madness going to Eastwood from different parts of the city, we started out with the drinks of our choice from their cocktail selection. Since I just suffered from acid reflux few days before the rendezvoos, I asked our server Richard for some recommendations and which one's best to try for someone who has gastroenteritis. He recommended me to try the Mt. Fuji drink, and I said yes in an instant without even looking at the description. When Jonvic mentioned that it's definitely the best drink to try when you want to up your game with alcohol, I was like.. Oookaaay! It’s a mixture of vodka, tequilla, rhum, gin, tri-sec and an apple. Well it definitely tastes like a strong alcoholic apple juice drink which I think my stomach could handle.. And thank God, it did!
Few moments later, the owners gave us a walkthrough on how they came up with the concept of Liberty. The first level of the place is more like a refuge for socials and booze hunters, while the second level has an intimate ambiance with more seats that’s perfect for family gatherings and catch-up dinners.
Inspired by several Filipino favorites and different Asian cuisines, Liberty came out with great number of dishes that will surely top the charts generally because of its matchlessness and affordability.
We start off with the Small Plates. We had the Sea urchin, Tuna Tostada, and Chili Lime wings.
Sea Urchin – Uni with burnt eggplant and yuzu oil. The first time I had Uni, I was a bit upset and I don’t know why I didn’t like it back then. But I was surprised that I really like it now.
Tuna tostada - This is pretty good and interesting! Tuna sashimi on top of the toasted sliced bread and joined by cubed watermelon cuts to sweeten up a bit the spicy flavor of the tuna. Nicely done!
Chili Lime Wings – A little sweet for me. Hope it could be a bit spicier though. The green mayo dip adds an interesting flavor to the wings!
Now, let's head over to one of the highlights.. The BAOS! Everyone's calling it as the BOSS, so I'm joining the bandwagon!
First we had the Miso Pork Belly Bao. Oh my! I still can't forget how good and delectable this is! Same with the fried chicken bao! Both baos are definitely the game-changers that night! And would you believe that each bao only costs 99 bucks!? Hell yes! Start saying NO to fastfood and start saying YES to baos!!! You should really try this!
Next, we had the chance to try almost everything from the Skewers section. I couldn't recall all their names but some of those I've tried are the Beef & Pork, Chicken wings, Chicken liver, Salmon, Bacon & Mushroom, Steak skewers and a lot more actually. Everything is just good and worthy to try!!!
Then we tried some of their rice bowl meals. We tried the Salmon & Black Arroz and the Braised Beef in Soy.
Braised beef was good. Just loved the killer combo taste of caramelized onions, mushroom and smoked brisket in one bowl. It's too rich and flavorful that I almost felt overwhelmed after a spoonful of it.
Salmon and Black Arroz was different! It's definitely the best rice bowl for me. The black rice was buttery, and almost resembles to a risotto. I’m also surprised that the salmon wasn’t bland and was not overpowered by the black rice. One of the sure crowd-favorites that night!
Next we had some of the noodles. Inspired and derived from existing local noodle dishes, they came up with the Roasted Chicken noodle soup and Bacon & Peanut Noodle soup for us to try. Both were packed and generously served with toppings to fill in your hungry tummies. The roasted chicken noodles reminds me a lot of chicken mami but with a better flavor and quality. I haven't tried the other one because I'm starting to feel really full. So I decided to spare some space in my tummy when they told us that we'll try the steak and one more from the Mains.
We were able to try the Hanger Steak and the Roasted Red Pork Belly from the Mains section. The Roasted Pork Belly was juicy and works perfectly fine for me. The Hanger Steak is a grower. It didn’t get to like it that much on the first try, but I’ve grown to like it the more I have it. And it’s best paired with Asian chimichurri with roasted garlic!
Lastly, we tried the Sweet four! That’s Matchamacallit, Tablea & Banana Loaf, Cheesecake, and Dessert Bao. Everything is awesome in their own ways but Matchamacallit stood out for me as their best dessert! I just love the Peanut butter crisps mixed with the fine matcha chocolate in a crispy meringue form. This is just irresistible!
I was more than overwhelmed with everything we ate that night. I seriously can’t forget how I was smiling the whole night not just because of the glorious food but also because of the great company!
Thank you once again, Looloo for the invite! Peanut D & Odell R - thanks for the invite although I’ve been very inactive for the past few months. I’ll be more than willing to be the guard naman if you needed. LOL.
It was nice seeing you again Gio C after almost a year! Also to JP G (@chubbyperohappy) aka THE "Chubby Pero Happy"! Safe travels and good luck to your new destination for work! It was a pleasure to finally meet these awesome people behind their profile pictures – Muffy T Abbey A Sun M Mico C & Julie L!!!
And of course, thanks to Liberty for serving us great food! Will surely go back here the soonest!!!
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Say hello Liberty, the newest kid in Eastwood. And no, they don't sell tea for your liver... Okay, LAST KO NA YUN .
Coming from the description of their joint as an ASIAN REFUGE + BAR, you know you're in for some comfort food and feel good vibes. The inspiration is basically a military refuge camp where you can escape to. In this case, you can escape from the hustle and bustle of life or from your usual food choices and feel liberated. Liberty can mean Liberty from the norm of the customers' pallets. It can also mean Liberty for the chefs' creativity as they have creative license to innovate here (as their dishes are a mix of different flavors inspired by different Asian dishes).
From the aesthetics all the way to the creative food choices, everything's on point. Everything spells out casual and laid back. They even have an open kitchen for you to see how everything is prepared and to interact with the chefs if you're feeling a bit chatty or if you're alone. Trust me, the chefs are a hoot so it would be to your benefit to mingle with them... And challenge them for a customized meal (yes, they can do that if you're sitting in the open kitchen bar). My only issue really for the place itself is the AC. Idk if there's an issue with the AC or its really THAT hot now.
Food wise, these were the dishes that stood out for me (you can check out the reviews of the other loolooers):
🏼 Fried Chicken Baos
- my favorite dish from the batch. tender thigh meat with Sriracha sauce, mayo, and slaw. So juicy and so savory. Definitely a must try!
🏼 Miso Pork Belly
- tender pork belly, Apple, kimchi, honey miso, and toasted nuts, all enveloped in a soft bao. Enough said!
🏼 Black Cod Skewers
- I was genuinely surprised as it looked simple but it packed a wallop! So fresh, so juicy, so yummy!
🏼 Salmon and Black Arroz
- this dish actually reminds me a but of Your Local's Salmon Donburi but with a twist. The rice is similar to a black paella but seasoned with miso butter, coconut cream, and roasted carrots. Definitely an explosion of flavor! 🏼
🏼 Braised beef in Soy
- meat lovers would definitely love this. Juicy braised beef topped on freshly cooked rice and layered with egg and the soy dressing. Savory, delicious, and filling! Perfect for those with a big appetite
🏼 Mt Fuji Cocktail
- yes! They have alcohol! Perfect combo for comfort food. Genuinely surprised that their cocktails were affordable but packed a wallop. Hindi tinipid! The mt Fuji was my favorite of the night because it tastes like juice but makes you dizzy after a couple of sips. In short, traydor!
Thoroughly enjoyed the meal! And is gladly go back and challenge the chef for a customized meal!
Definitely a gem in Eastwood! 🏼
Thanks Looloo and Liberty for the awesome rendezvous! My tummy was nothing short of ecstatic! And it was nice hanging out as always with all of the loolooers
To summarize (like what I do in my IG chubbyperohappy):
🏼Value for Money: 4.5 yums
🏼 Taste: 4 yums
🏼️️️ Ambiance: 4 yums
🏼🏻 Service: 5 yums
🏼🏼 Overall happiness: 4 yums
*The scale is 1 to 5; 5 being the highest*
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I was very fortunate to have been invited to my first-ever looloo rendezvoos! So first things first, thank you so much to Looloo and Liberty for being so generous. Full disclosure: This was a sponsored event and everything served that night was generously given to us for free.
Another full disclosure: I walked out of there very full.
Just like other times I did something for the first time, I overprepared. I reserved a lot of space for the feast. Throughout the day, I practically ate my hunger to make it to dinner time. I must have underestimated the generosity of Liberty, since they served us practically half of their menu that night. More on that later!
A stalled truck on the southbound flyover along C5 created so much traffic and increased the travel time of participants exponentially. We all trickled into the restaurant one by one, everyone tardy save for a lone early bird. Everyone who had passed C5 suffered a bit, so it was only fitting that Liberty opened by giving us a list of drinks - perfect for cooling our heads.
I was handed an alcoholic beverage list. After a bit of contemplation, I decided not to order anything since I’m allergic to alcohol and run the risk of getting red when I drink. When I mentioned that, my seatmate offered me the mocktails list instead. I like trying new things, so I looked for the most unique option I could find and went for the Bell Pepper and Pineapple mocktail. I liked the drink, it worked, surprisingly! The balance between the bell pepper and pineapple was just right, with the bell pepper not being too overpowering. I felt like the pineapple was there just to accent or taper the bell pepper taste, and it did its job well.
Next came the small plates. In order of preference: Tuna Tostada, Sea Urchin, Chili Lime Wings. I loved the Tuna Tostada, with the sweetness of the watermelon complimenting the tuna well. This particular dish has a bit of a spicy kick but the watermelon offers enough moisture to the dish that it balances it out. Next dish was a dip made of sea urchin, burnt eggplant, and yuzu oil. It’s served with toasted bread. I was very excited to try this dish because I like uni very much. I liked the subtle uni taste of the dish, though I expected it to be stronger. I was a bit disappointed with the chili lime wings. I think it’s because the restaurant has a deep focus on innovation, and so I felt they fell a bit short with this simple spicy chicken dish. It just didn’t appeal to me that much especially after tasting the first two. Before we began, the management expressed their pride over the freshness of their ingredients. As I took my first bites of their small plates, I heartily agreed.
After the small plates, we were served the baos. Baos? More like boss! I think if you look through their whole menu, you’ll notice that the Baos section is highlighted and differentiated from the other items. I guess management and I agree that these items are on a different level. First of all, value for money wise, across all things they offer, I think the baos are on top. Also, they taste real good. And, they’re all healthier options. When I go back, I’ll order at least one bao item for my family.
Next came the skewers. They served a lot but the one that stuck out was the black cod. It’s the most expensive skewer in their selection for a reason and it’s worth it. If you visit Liberty and can only choose one skewer, choose this one!
For noodles, we were given the bacon and peanut soup and the roasted chicken noodle soup. I was not a huge fan of the bacon and peanut soup, the only dish I tried out of the two. I think the way they made the noodles unique and slightly better than its base dish was not as impressive as the earlier dishes they served.
For our rice bowls, we had the Braised Beef in Soy and the Baby Squid and Crab Fat. Loved the egg in the braised beef in soy dish and I can definitely see myself eating this dish for lunch or dinner. I find their rice bowls selection very affordable given the quality of their raw materials and the dishes. As I was going through my pictures when I got home, I saw the Baby Squid and Crab Fat picture. This was the most interesting looking dish among all the dishes presented to us. I realized though that I was not able to taste this dish. Such a huge fail because I remember getting excited when this was served to us. I guess I’ll just have to go back. haha
When I thought we were done with the mains, we were gifted with the Hanger Steak and Roasted Red pork belly. Serving sizes were huge but accompanied by equally hefty prices at 850 PHP (400g) and 550 PHP (300g) respectively. They were really good, but I recommend you don’t order these for just yourself. They are definitely dishes for sharing.
To end the night, we had some dessert. I just want to commend the team for coming up with the cheesecake. The use of sesame crumbs was genius, I loved this dessert. They also served a dessert bao – ice cream sandwiched within the bao bread. After the success of the savory baos, the dessert bao was a bit underwhelming. For some reason, it didn’t work for me. If you do order this, eat it before the ice cream melts. If you’re a fan of matcha, try the matchamacallit, a matcha, peanut butter, and meringue confection.
From what I saw during our visit, I just love how the restaurant operates. They experiment a lot with their dishes and it shows from their ingredients to their presentations. If you don’t ask about the dishes, it’s very possible that you won’t be able to find out the small details. But aside from the excellent and unique dishes which were served to us, we also had the chance to learn more about the restaurant and the people behind them. I cannot stress how impressed I was with the focus and the empowerment they give to their employees. It shines through in the high quality of the dishes served to us, with the cooks themselves having collaborated to come up with some of the dishes.
Liberty is situated in the area of Eastwood which is known for drinking places. This may lead to it being categorized simply as a bar and not fitting for family night outs. But this particular establishment offers food selection wide enough for family dinners, aside from just for your regular drinking nights with the barkada. The 2nd floor is more fitting for the families or individuals who want to have a simple meal there. The music though can sometimes be a bit too loud for comfortable conversations, as I found myself slightly going above my inside voice level every now and then for others to hear me. Given the extreme temperatures our country has been facing the past few days, the air conditioning in the second floor struggled to reach a comfortable temperature cool enough for our group. We found ourselves asking for ice in our drinks just to mitigate the discomfort coming from the heat. Although this is a very minor downside which, when placed beside their delicious and well thought-of food, is practically negligible.
Thanks again to the generous and hardworking team behind Liberty. Continue to do well and more power. I enjoyed my stay very much and it’s always inspiring to meet very passionate people such as the members in your team!
Thanks to the Looloo team, especially Odell R and Peanut D. Mga alamat!
Great to meet all of you: Muffy T, Julie L, Sun M (formerly hermouthisfull), Abbey A, Russel F, Gio C. Nice to see you again Sir JP G. Stay mahusay everyone!
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Finally able to attend my first ever looloo rendezvOOs last Tuesday! Woot!!! I was feeling a little under the weather that afternoon, but nothing stopped me from attending. I am glad I made it...ALONE. haha. I do not normally eat out without King Y, my photographer because I am busy eating and reviewing. Lol! I am a bit familiar with Eastwood so I accepted Peanut D 's invitation. I had to decline the first invite because I am not much familiar with Greenhills, and my over-protective bf would not allow me to go alone.(feeling!!!)
Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar is the restaurant that would literally give you the liberty to devour tasteful Asian dishes because of its very affordable price and extensive menu.
Looking from the outside, this newly-opened restaurant-bar stands out from the other restaurants alongside with it. The beaming lights from this resto will lure anyone to hop in instinctively. They have tables set up outside that serve as a perfect spot during the night while inside welcomes you with more dining tables and a mini-bar that you might want to take advantage of. I was immediately attracted with the restaurant’s ambiance, interior, and the music they play.
The looloo rendezvoos was held on the second floor. Going up, you will find their kitchen bar where anyone can observe how the food is being prepared and served. One thing that caught my attention the moment I stepped in was the colorful collage-poster on its wall.
One more thing is this one secluded part in the resto that is overlooking the Eastwood City Walk. This is my favorite spot in the restaurant that I imagined myself seating while eating there. For now, I was only able to take a photo. Haha. It gives me the feeling of ‘privacy’ whereas the dramatic lighting looked perfect for photo opts. On the wall is a powerful script that says, “Freedom is a Right. Independence is a Choice.”
I was really really shy that I was late. As a punishment, I missed their Small Plates and Baos. Huhu. Abbey A told me that the Chilli Lime Wings is a must-try from their small plates. One thing that made me even more regretful for being late is missing the game-changer of the night - the BAOS – it’s like a soft steamed bun sandwhich. They have 4 variants for their Baos:
Miso Pork Belly
Looks like the Miso Pork Belly (Php99/pc; Php180/2pcs) hit the # 1 spot in the top chart! Haha. I immediately made a mental note to try the Wings and the Pork Belly Baos on my next visit!!!
Albeit being late, one of the staff offered me a drink. I opted to have the Watermelon Mint shake. It was refreshing and wasn’t too sweet. I was lucky enough to make it to the SKEWERS. Before going here, I did a little research of what they offer and this is one of the dishes I wanted to try. They are generous enough to let us try some of their Chicken, to the Meat, Seafood, and Vegetable Skewers.
I’m a huge fan of seafood so I tried the Salmon (Php180) and Tuna (Php180). I loved that both of them were cooked tenderly and didn’t taste fishy or slimy. These two are my favorites among the other Skewers we tried. I tasted the Cob Corn (Php85) too, and it was flavorful. (Tip: You can have it sliced if you find it messy to eat the cob). I also had a bite of the Mushrooms (Php100) and I thought it was okay.
On my next visit, I would love to have their Baby Squid, Shrimp, Wings, more of the Tuna, Salmon, and Cob Corn! Gaaash, I’m literally craving for these right now! Per order comes in 2 servings so the price is really worth it. From here I could tell how diversified their dishes are. I mean, they have everything covered! If you are not a meat-lover or if you are a vegetarian, they have vegetable skewers, seafood, and chicken. You don’t have an excuse not to order anything at all. Haha.
The night went on and more of their dishes were introduced to us. Next were the NOODLES. I love the idea that comes with it. Jon, the owner, explained that they try to put a slight note in each of their dishes just like with their Noodles. Simply put Mami, with a twist of a ramen broth. I loved Ramen so I was excited to try this one.
We were served with the Chicken Noodle Soup (Php233) & Bacon and Peanut Noodle Soup (Php247). I was able to try the Bacon and Peanut Noodle Soup and I swear loved it! The peanut made the noodle and brother really tasty and creamy. (Another mental note to order this on my next visit.)
This restaurant is slowly becoming my refuge as they give us a taste of their Rice Bowls - Braised beef in Soy (Php255) and Salmon & Black Arroz (Php288). I loved them both. I loved the combination of the smoked brisket, caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, and the rice itself! I’m pretty sure my boyfriend and brothers would like it too. Need I say more with the Salmon and Black Arroz? I’ve repeatedly said that I love seafood, especially squid. The fact that it came with squid ink I knew I would love it. Everything in this bowl tasted like a piece of heaven for me. The coconut cream made this dish truly astounding.
I was getting a little stuffed already, but I think Jon and his Kitchen Crew had a fun time watching us experience and talk about each meal served on the table. That’s multi-tasking right there! Haha. So they brought out more!
As a finale, they served us two dishes from their MAINS. We had the Hanger Steak (Php850/400g) and Roasted Red Pork Belly (Php500/300g). I liked the Hanger Steak only that the cabbage underneath was a little spicy. It was tolerable, but I’m not into spicy foods. The Roasted Red Pork Belly I liked better. It was tender and juicy and tasty. I think my dad and brother would love it too. Both are good for sharing, but with the price, the Roasted Pork Belly is FTW!
Everyone thought that it was time to call it a night until they served the Grand Finale – D-E-S-S-E-R-T. My all-time favorite part of the meal! When dining, dessert is always a must-have for me! Haha. Here’s my ranked version of their desserts:
• Dessert Bao (Php110) – the cheapest, but the deadliest! I loved this most out of the 4. The Fried Bao was stuffed with Montecado Ice Cream and Salted Egg Custard. It was heavenly and best-eaten while the Bao is hot!
• Cheesecake (Php140) – I liked that it wasn’t too sweet. I has a little sour taste which I believe was because of the cream cheese.
• Matchamacallit (Php145) – made out of Peanut Butter crisps. I think most of them loved this while I find it’s name eandering. Haha. I love matcha, but I put this as a runner-up because I find it too sweet. Better share this so you won’t have a headache.
• Banana and Tablea Loaf (Php150) – I didn’t put much attention it, but I was surprised when I tried it. The loaf was sweet and chocolatey enough. My issue was with the banana. I think it did not match well with the loaf or maybe it was too banana-ish.
Something in common I noticed with the food they serve is its picturesque and colorful presentation. Hashtag #instagramworthy!
Jon gamely answered all our questions and cheerfully gave us a background about Liberty Asian Refuge. He said that they basically want to provide the Filipino community a comfort place and serve asian cuisines without hurting anyone’s budget. I admire how he values his staff and even serve as a ‘father’ to them by listening to the their needs. He is very open-minded as well to the feedback of the customers and online reviews.
With Liberty Asian Refuge’s palatable menu and budget-friendly offering, Jon and Howard wouldn't have to worry in maintaining their high ratings here in looloo and other review sites.
In fact, my boyfriend and I plan to go back here with our family and friends anytime soon and I will let you know by posting another review! I want to try more of their seafood skewers and squid dishes! My boyfriend wants a taste of their skewers too and plans to have some booze!
Kudos to Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar! Keep up the kitchen liberation!!!
To sum it up, I looloo looloo enjoyed meeting my fellow loolooers!!! Haha. On a serious note, it was a very humbling experience to meet the owner of Libery Asian Refuge + Bar, Jonvic M and Howard, the founder of loolo Odell R and the every pretty Peanut D. Thank you so much for this opportunity!
I consider the ight extra special after Peanut handed me my dream looloo shirt! Wooot woot!
Know more about Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar from Mico C, Abbey A , Julie L Russel F Muffy T and Gio C !!!
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Last Tuesday, I attended my 2nd |ooloo rendezvoos and it couldn't have been more timely. Timely, because I really needed saving from the bad day I was having, plus the traffic on the way to Eastoood... which I don't want to be getting into anymore, so now let's talk food!!!
Okay, so first, I really love the overall concept of this place. The owners, Jon and Howard, explained to us how they wanted this place to be some sort of comfortable hideaway from the everyday hustle and bustle. Aside from the refuge camp feel of the restaurant's interior, this is achieved through allowing their customers to enjoy the comfort of good quality food without demanding too much from their hard earned money.
Simply put, Asian comfort food! I am not the most excited when trying new Asian dishes because I used to be a picky eater so if there's one thing on the dish that I don't like I usually don't try it anymore but I tried almost everything here!!! And surprisingly, I enjoyed most of it.
For the 4 appetizers we had (all good for sharing):
1. Sea Urchin with Burnt Eggplant- was a hit for me! For this, it's a spread and comes with toasted bread. I would have had another piece but I needed space to give the others a try too!
2. Chili Lime Wings - I liked this too, a lot! Even if it was spicy, it was tolerable.
3. Tuna Tostado - diced tuna sashimi and watermelon on toasted bread. I'm not a big fan of this because of the spicy kick after and it was cold lol but I found the touch of watermelon very refreshing.
4. Noodle and Egg Salad - from all the appetizers, this was the simplest in flavor, which was actually a good thing. Like @muffy said, it makes for a good palate cleanser.
We next had their showstoppers, THE BAOS! Bow down to the baos. Lol so basically, a bao is like a cuapao taco like sandwich. We were made to try 2 flavors, the Miso Pork Belly and the Fried Chicken, but I only got to try the former and it was so good!!! Huhuhu someone said it was kind of like a Bahn Mi and I must agree but only better because of the soft white bun! tears of joy! This was really my favorite. Will definitely come back for this!
Then the next to come out of their open kitchen were the skewers. These were actually what I was anticipating the whole night because of how they caught my attention when I was going thru the resto's Instagram account the night before (medyo stalker lang hehehe)
I'm pretty sure I didn't get to try all the skewers but these are what I got to try:
1. Bacon and Mushroom - Loved!!
2. Salmon- was OK
3. Tuna - Surprisingly, loved!
4. Miso Pork Belly - Liked!
5. Mushroom - Disliked
I would love to try the rest of the skewers and lucky me they're all 10% till the end of April 2016 (based on their Instagram post)
The next few dishes were a surprise! I really thought we were ending with the skewers but wahh I didn't know they had a second page for their menu! the actual mains were just about to arrive hehe
We had noodles, rice bowls, and some 2 other mains.
For the noodles, we had 2 kinds, the roasted chicken noodle soup and the bacon and peanut noodle soup. The noodles were very filling, and I liked the bacon but I wasn't really digging the peanut flavor of the soup huhu. And I missed out on the roasted chicken one, which seemed to be the better of the two.
We also had 2 kinds of rice bowls, braised beef in soy and salmon & black arroz. From the 2, I liked the salmon & black arroz so much more! The rice kind of resembled risotto and the salmon in this dish was more seasoned as compared to the salmon skewer. On the other hand, I didn't really like the braised beef in soy because it was too garlicky for me.
The last 2 main dishes were the Hanger Steak and Roasted Red Pork Belly. Both were good and good for sharing.
And finally, we ended with all the desserts listed on the menu!! ️
1. Cheesecake - I started with this one and really liked it! Light and a tad bit tangy.
2. Matchamacallit - I'm not a big fan of matcha but I liked this one because there was also a hint of peanut, which reminded me of peanut brittle. I know I said I didn't like the peanut flavor for the soup but sugar coated peanuts are not so bad as desert!
3. Banana & Tablea Loaf- this one I really thought I'd like but huhu I didn't
4. Dessert Bao - the best way to end a show is with a Bao! (Lol I hope you got that) and that's how we ended it. Mantecado ice cream with salted egg custard sandwich in between a tosted teeny tiny bao.
Some of the dishes, for me, were a hit and some were a miss. I guess it's just each person's personal preference. But overall, I enjoyed trying out all the new combinations and flavors I found in the dishes prepared by the 20 year old, lovely, Head Chef Lady, Chef Ger, and the rest of the kitchen staff and restaurant staff. ️️
If you're looking for comfort food but also want something new to try, pick this place, they offer both!
Thank you for sponsoring our dinner, Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar x |ooloo, Peanut D and Odell R!!!
And nice to see new |ooloo faces!! ️ Hope to see you guys again soon, JP G Russel F Sun M Gio C Mico C Muffy T Julie L!!
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I always want to get my money's worth and I believe I was able to. Almost all of their dishes are affordable and the quality is good - a plus on my book. Their dishes range from 50 pesos to 850 pesos (cost of the 400g steak)🏼
It was my first ever Looloo rendezvOOs and it was sponsored by Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar. What an experience. I got to the place early so I was able to witness how Chef Lady, Chef Jer and their team work their magic. The theme of the restaurant is inspired by various Asian cuisines, which you will notice even more when you see their 2nd floor. It was a bit warm though. The AC probably had some issues.
Since I got there early and it was really hot outside, I opted to get a mango shake. Then to begin the feast, we got alcoholic drinks. I got the Whiskayed. It was good but I was able to try Mt. Fuji and that one can be considered a "traydor" because you'll barely taste the alcohol. A must try! As the night progressed, I ordered the watermelon and mint. It was so refreshing I felt I was on the beach.
We got to try Tuna Tostada. It had an interesting flavor because it's both sweet and savory. Savory from the tuna and Japanese mayo, then the sweetness from watermelon. Another appetizer we got to try was the Chili Lime Wings. It is great with beer or any alcoholic drink.
We were able to try Fried Chicken and Miso Pork Belly. Both were so good. I wouldn't mind having it for breakfast, lunch AND dinner. Chef Jon and Chef Howard both said we should try Liberty Burger next time we visit.
They served almost everything on their menu but out of all of those I truly enjoyed the black cod. It was like heaven in my mouth. Every bite was packed with flavor you won't expect when you first look at it. This unassuming skewer looked dull but up to now I can still taste it in my mouth.
Chef Jon explained that each bowl is made perfectly for individuals who are on-the-go and want to have a complete meal that is still affordable. Their Braised Beef in Soy is their take on pares and Baby Squid & Crab Fat reminded me of lugaw and paella. That one was sinfully good.
Ramen style Filipino favorite dishes - I wasn't a fan the pasta on the noodles. It was too soft. Maybe it's just me but I prefer the pasta on noodles to be firm.
Hanger Steak and Roasted Red Pork Belly is perfect for sharing with family and friends. I would have eaten more but I was so full with all scrumptious dishes we had that night.
I really liked their Matchamacallit - yummy combination of match chocolate and the crunchiness of rice crispy. Dessert Bao is like their own version of fried oreo. Cheesecake is also good.
I really felt each dish was created with love with the collaboration of everyone who works in the kitchen. Everything seemed meticulously thought of and you can certainly taste it in their food. Each dish combined what works well together and was at times reminiscent of popular Asian dishes.
Chef Jon mentioned that they welcome a challenge through customized dishes. Something to look forward to when I visit them again.
Thank you so much Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar for the delicious food and drinks. Also thank you to Peanut and Odell for having me. My tummy had a blast!
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When the |looloo crew calls for a rendezvoos, you know some serious eating is gonna happen. No questions asked, just go!
This particular one was held at the newly opened Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar (April 7 to be exact), owned and operated by the same great folks behind Lola Cafe in Quezon City (go visit them for some awesome comfort food!)
The concept at Liberty was to create a "refuge", where people could have good quality, nutritious Asian food, at a price that won't break the bank. And boy do they deliver on that promise! A lot of their food and drink items don't go over 200 pesos, and those that do are enough to share with a friend or two.
They started us off with the cocktails, all concocted in-house. I had the Godzilla (150p), which is a matcha latte with vodka and sake, and can be served hot or cold. This was reminiscent of Bailey's but with Green Tea instead of coffee. Fairly good, with potential to be a Judas drink. I also took sips from my neighbor's drinks: the Whiskeyade (reminiscent of some sort of alcoholic cinammon iced tea), and the Mount Fuji (tequila, vodka, sake, rhum, some other alcohols, and a fuji apple). The Mount Fuji was sweet, and could be the ultimate Judas drink if you aren't careful!
Shortly after, they served us some of their starters:
1. Sea urchin with burnt eggplant, yuzu oil, and grilled bread (130p) - pretty good, not exactly my favorite since the Uni wasn't so pronounced.
2.Tuna tostada (220p), essentially Tuna sashimi and watermelon chunks on toasted bread, and topped with japanese mayo - also pretty good, would recommend if you like your food on the sweet side
3. Chili-Lime Wings (190p I think for order of 3 pcs) which are these gigantic buffalo wings coated in 3 kinds of chili (korean, japanese, and vietnamese) - I would have preferred it spicier actually, then it would have been great.
Following that we moved on to an intermission by the Baos:
1. Miso Pork Belly (99/pc, 180 for 2) which has apple and pear kimchi, honey-miso, and toasted nuts - this is easily the star of our experience here. Like chef Jon described, it's a nutritious better option than a fast-food order of the same price. This alone is worth a visit!
2. Fried Chicken Bao (same price), which has marinated chicken thigh, sriracha mayo, and cabbage slaw - chef Jon describes this as their homage to the Zinger, and in many ways, it is... But I guess healthier. Honestly I preferred the pork belly bao more, but I enjoyed this too.
Then they brought out a noodle and egg salad (147p), which was okay. Light and refreshing, but not really my thing.
To close out the first page of their menu, they served us an assortment of skewers, I'm guessing are inspired by Yakitori from Japan. These range anywhere from chicken wings, to meatballs, to seafood and cost anywhere from 60 to 195 for an order of 2 sticks. Or they can be ordered in combinations as a platter! The stars here are the seafood: Tuna, Sashimi, and Gindara (this last one particularly becoming a point of discussion at our side of the table).
Moving on to noodles: I was only able to try the roasted chicken noodle soup (233p), which came in the size of a ramen bowl at your favorite ramen joint. This was okay, better if you're really craving for it, since it tastes just like chicken mami (which is the point anyway!)
Then came the rice bowls, which came in the form of:
1. Braised Beef in Soy (255p) - braised beef with mushrooms, garlic, and caramelized onions - not my favorite; too much garlic... And I happen to really like garlic. And I guess there just wasn't anything special enough to remember.
2. Salmon with Black Arroz (288p), miso butter, coconut cream, and roasted carrots - this here was another favorite. Super tasty, and the salmon went really well with the miso butter, rice and carrots. Though, I guess you should be aware that it might not appeal to you if you don't like strange-looking food.
We then got to sample some of their mains, which cost more than 200, but could feed a group of 3 or 4 (depending on appetites):
1. Roasted Red Pork Belly 300g (550p)
2. Hanger Steak 400g (850p)
These were both very good, and I think would be a good price for sharing.
Finally we got to sample all their desserts:
1. Matchamacallit - green tea dessert inspired by Whatchamacallit. Not really a fan, since I found it too sweet, and wasn't too fond of the peanut butter in there (but I do love me my peanut butter!)
2. Yuzu Cheesecake - light, but creamy, and with a zing of lemon. Would recommend.
3. Banana & Tablea cake - least favorite, it was... Dry.
4. Dessert Bao - pretty good in small doses, especially after an already heavy meal. The sweet vanilla ice cream contrasts the saltiness of the salted egg custard. Would also recommend.
All in all, it's a place I look forward to returning to, and would definitely recommend to my friends and family. Great food, for a friendly price? Look no further than this Asian refuge in the middle of Eastwood.
Full disclosure: everything generously provided by Liberty free of charge!
Thank you to the |looloo team: Odell R and Peanut D!
Thank you to Chef Jon, Howard, Chef Lady and her team, and Richard and his team of servers for taking care of us last night!
Great to meet you guys Julie L, Sunshine S, Mico C,Abbey A! And good to see you again JP G, Russel F!
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