What lies behind The Belle and Dragon’s mysterious wardrobe passageway?
by Cessi Treñas, Art by Alexandra Lara
2015 has been a year of badly kept secrets. Shondaland had its revealed red devils, Hollywood its annual round-up of scandals, and Makati its new wave of disclosed speakeasies. Standing out among the slew of new places to be is Mandalay, a concept-driven cigar and whisky bar nestled in the confines of Legazpi Village’s The Belle and Dragon.
A visual interpretation of Burma’s last royal capital, Mandalay draws its old world charm from an eponymous poem by Rudyard Kipling. True to the Burmese philosophy the bar was conceptualized after, a night spent behind Mandalay’s heavy wardrobe doors is a cultural experience in itself. Dimly lit and heavy with old world ambience, the speakeasy welcomes guests with the sight of four chinthe lions, guard creatures both beloved and respected in Burmese culture.
Even Mandalay’s offering of liquor and smoke pay tribute to their Indochinese motif. Cheroot cigars are a vital element of Burmese tradition, while whisky remains one of the most popular beverage choices in modern-day Myanmar. With the most covetable whisky selection in the metro and cigar sticks and ashtrays aplenty, Mandalay is a spot-on visualization of lofty glamor.
We can’t discount their Western-inspired food choices, either. Mouth-watering duck confit, umami chips, and a deconstructed cheesecake to complement a glass of Sinatra’s favorite drink? We know where we’re headed for our humpday tipple this week.
Try to spot Mandalay’s wooden doors and stop by for a little mid-week relaxation at 100 C. Palanca St., Legazpi Village, Makati City.