If you think you’ve hopped through all of the bustling, cheek by jowl bars in Poblacion, you need to check out this newly opened gallery-slash-bar situated a little away from where the all partying takes place.
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Even from the outside, you already know something is special with this relatively unassuming building a hop and skip from the heart of Poblacion. However, once you push through its doors, an entirely different and highly fascinating world greets you in this gallery-slash-bar owned by Marvin Agustin and Leeroy New. Kondwi is not how you imagine any bar could be, with Leeroy’s out-of-this-world art pieces from his Alienated Spaces collection peppering the industrial space (they are also for sale, by the way), Kondwi has a unique feature of ever-changing interiors. The two-storey bar separates the cocktail counter and the cozy seats from the main art gallery.
Forget about the music at its highest volume because Kondwi lets you chill with their subdued sounds, tasteful cocktails, and twisted staple dishes. Upon taking a look at their menu, we were quick to notice and include in our order our all-time favorite Filipino food Sinigang with our expectations set high, of course. Although it sounds weird to eat a bowl of hot Sinigang paired with spiced cocktails, isn’t it more unusual to include it in a bar’s menu? Well, here’s the twist: their signature Sinigang is apparently served as two skewers topped with radish and water spinach.
Surprisingly, the Sinigang skewers taste close to how your mom or Lola makes it, albeit relatively upscale for its serving. Nonetheless, you’ll want to have a bite of their sour Sinigang over and over again. Their perfect blend of cocktails are also worth coming back for. Try their Negroni, Ancho Daquiri, Mimosa, and Whiskey Sour cocktails to get a satisfying taste of bitterness with a kick of sour flavor.
While all the drinking and low-key partying happens on the lower floor, Kondwi’s second floor has a unique selection of artworks from different local artists. The minimally-curated gallery balances the opposing mood of whimsical gallery and zestful bar.