I’m not the type to go around Makati just to hunt for fancy restaurants—it’s more like my go-to place for a Friday night when I wouldn’t care if I drink in the gutter with my friends.
So when I was randomly looking for a quiet night out, Zomato led me to Lampara in Poblacion.
It’s honestly not like your typical Poblacion crowd (or maybe because I was early) as it has this sophisticated yet intimate atmosphere that I can only guess attracts couples and late 20s working millennials.
The interior wowed me the moment I entered the place. It’s like a modern Scandinavian slash rustic interior with tons of natural lighting, which all the more makes it homey.
I met the chef and co-owner—RJ Ramos—and he told me a few things about Lampara Poblacion.
The name Lampara for them means “to bring new light to Filipino cuisine”—something that’s evident in their dishes. They basically deconstruct classic Filipino food and give it a fancy twist.
But no, that doesn’t mean they’re completely changing the way Filipino classic tastes. It’s just that they try to switch up the cooking techniques done with the same (mostly) familiar taste that we know of.
What to try at Lampara Poblacion
As a part-Ilocana myself, I tried their best-selling Dinakdakan (PHP 360). To my surprise, they use duck instead of pork. RJ even joked about it being ‘dinuck‘-dakan. I don’t eat duck (not even chicken) but you won’t really taste it here.
Duck breast is sliced into squares—pretty tender—and placed on top of a fried egg that looks like a nest. Very clever, really. I’ve tasted a lot of Ilocano dishes using duck meat as a kid and they were usually greasy but this one is not.
And since I’m new to the place, I had to try their signature cocktails. I ordered their Pana Kakana Kana (Php 350), a gin-based cocktail infused with whole pepper and garnished with orange peels, lemon, cardamom seeds, and rosemary tonic.
You can taste that zesty, spicy mix, which was new to me. RJ also shared that this cocktail takes about a day to make.
But here comes the funny part—this was also the night that I confirmed I was allergic to pepper. I literally had an asthma attack after one sip but I just had to finish the glass! Still worth it (but kids, please, don’t dare if you have asthma).
Overall, Lampara is a cozy restaurant hidden amidst the bustling Poblacion area. It’s that place you’d want to keep in secrecy so your friends can have your usual spot.
Lampara is located at 5883 Enriquez Street, Poblacion, Makati. They’re open all week from 6 PM to 12 AM.
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