Drink

The Men Behind Agimat Want to Turn Greenhills Into the Next Cool Drinking Destination

Hey Brew wants to change the way the Greenhills crowd dines and drinks.
IMAGE COURTESY OF HEY BREW
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A few decades ago, the Greenhills complex in Ortigas was a watering hole where college kids partook of Tia Maria’s Zombies and Weng-Wengs while their high school counterparts were at the spacious parking lot chugging on beers. For those who wanted to seem classier for their dates, there was Rhythm and Booze where you burned cash on beers to the tune of Kenny G’s sad sax. 

As for the dining choices, there were—and still are—Chinese restaurants to suit different budgets and group sizes, along with concepts that have come and gone through the years. Make no mistake about it, the Greenhills market is quite hard to figure out, but one thing is for sure, they love trying out new things and are sticklers for the value-for-money proposition.   

Burrata and Compressed Watermelon, Baked Smoked Mussel, Foie Gras Chawanmushi, Ox Tongue Skewers, 3 Cheese Oyster Rockefeller

Photo by COURTESY OF HEY BREW.
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It is understandable then, that the regulars quickly became curious about Hey Brew Eatery + Bar, which is hard to miss. The restaurant is located right smack at the front of the Greenhills Theater and at the very corner of the complex, so you can’t help but notice that there is something new, er, brewing. 

Just by its name and a quick glance at its interiors, it is natural to think of it as a corner coffee shop, but a look at its menu reveals that it is so much more. The concept is borne out of the culinary partnership between wunderkinds Chef Nino Laus and Kalel Ervin Demetrio of Poblacion hotspot Agimat and Alamat (the latter has expanded to a branch in BF Parañaque). While their first two concepts have a Filipino flair, Hey Brew has a more continental feel in its menu, as well as an Instagram-worthy appeal via its tropical-inspired interiors and artful food presentation. 

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Beef Tongue Sandwich: 72 hour braised ox tongue, salted egg sauce, pickled red cabbage, homemade brioche

Photo by COURTESY OF HEY BREW.

Baked smoked mussel New Zealand mussels, garlic and cheddar, edible potato shell

Photo by COURTESY OF HEY BREW.
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Braised lamb shank hoisin braised lamb shank, pumpkin seeds, roasted baby squash, fried pumpkin blossom

Photo by COURTESY OF HEY BREW.

Greenhills Glow-up

The two say that their menu is likely to evolve as they get a better feel of the Greenhills crowd, but what they have so far is definitely different. Among the dishes they presented at their preview were interesting bites for bar pairing, including a Foie Gras Chawanmushi with Uni and Ebiko served in actual eggshells, to be scooped up with a teaspoon; Grilled Ox Tongue on Skewers drizzled with Ponzu; Three Cheese Oyster Rockefeller with sautéed Spinach and Wakame, Bacon, and a Cheese Sauce; and Baked Smoked New England Mussels served on edible “shells” made of potato flour. 

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Mains are luxe heavy hitters with Duck Leg Confit and Braised Lamb Shank in a thick, umami-rich Hoisin Sauce. Carbs come extra, by the way, so you have to make a separate order for either Black Rice or Marble Potatoes. A lighter bite is the Burrata and Compressed Watermelon Salad (with the watermelon braised in konbu) served with red radish, grilled red beets, toasted pumpkin seeds, and marinated cherry tomato, then drizzled with maple balsamic vinaigrette, and given a bit of a contrasting crunch with garlic cornick. There are sandwiches too, for those on the go, and the Beef Tongue Sandwich (buttery brioche holding a 72-hour braised ox tongue with salted egg sauce on a bed of pickled red cabbage) was a crowd favorite. 

Laus deviates from the Filipino and foraging aspect of his cuisine to come up with the Hey Brew menu. He describes the dishes as French-bistro cooking with Japanese elements, hence the use of ingredients such as wakame and ponzu. In his hands, the flavors come out really well and we can definitely say it is a change from the cuisines that the Greenhills crowd is used to. 

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Burrata with compressed watermelon braised in konbu, red radish, grilled red beets, toasted pumpkin seeds, pickled hijiki, marinated cherry tomato, crushed cornick, maple balsamic vinaigrette

Photo by COURTESY OF HEY BREW.

Foie gras chawanmushi With uni and ebiko

Photo by COURTESY OF HEY BREW.
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Granita oysters with watermelon, konbu and cucumber granita, pickled konbu, craft hot sauce

Photo by COURTESY OF HEY BREW.

Unique Drinks 

The drinks match expectations of Demetrio’s subversive nature, with thick Brown Sodium Milkshakes as his take on the usual salted caramel and “4th wave” coffees such as his Crème Brulee Latte, patterned after his favorite dessert, leche flan. 

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His cocktails are just as imaginative, with mixes such as the potent Italian Mafia—a decadent concoction that puts together dark rum, chocolate liqueur, truffle liqueur, orange juice, pandan syrup, and egg white with his wickedly delicious Kanto Salted Caramel Vodka. These drinks, we were told, can only be found at Hey Brew, so fans might want to take that drive soon.

3 Cheese Oyster Rockefeller (sautéed spinach and wakame seaweeds, bacon, dashi cheese sauce)

Photo by COURTESY OF HEY BREW.
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Gochujang braised US short ribs complete with roasted bone marrow as well as cauliflower puree and grilled cabbage steak.

Photo by COURTESY OF HEY BREW.

With the combined culinary creative forces of the two, they are sure to pull a lot of surprises that are different from what you are used to. When asked what we can say about the new concept and how it fits into the Greenhills ecosystem, our reply would be for them to give in and satisfy their curiosity.  

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Open from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., from Sundays to Thursdays, and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Hey Brew Eatery + Bar is on the ground floor of the Greenhills Theater Mall. Visit their Instagram @heybrewgh for more information.  

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