In the heart of the concrete jungle that is Makati City, only few places seem to cater to that much-needed respite from everything solid and sturdy. But thanks to creative minds who have created that perfect oasis right in the middle of the city. Enter The Wild Poppy in Poblacion, Makati: the newest food haven serving Asian flavors and fresh cocktails on a rooftop urban garden setting.
Every corner is undoubtedly Instagram-worthy: bright yellow and aqua walls with Chevron patterns, wooden tables and chairs with colorful throw pillows, plants and flowers everywhere, and an outdoor rooftop area with the quintessential stringed light bulbs. No need to worry about the rain, too! There’s a transparent overhead tent outside, perfect for that al fresco dinner on a rainy night.
The design itself is already visual feast. The food and drinks take the experience to a whole new level. The Wild Poppy serves Asian-inspired dishes, from Thai to Korean to Indonesian, all with a fresh and exciting twist. The menu is short and simple, the serving size relatively smaller than expected but the flavors are bang-on.
The best starter would have to be the Pokpok Bites, light and crispy bite-size chicken nuggets topped with shallots and laksa leaves. It comes with a special vinegar sauce, too.
The Yoko Tomorokoshi is a sure-fire starter as well, grilled yellow corn topped with kesong puti, scallions, yuzu smoked aioli, onions, and cilantro. Seriously, corn has never looked and tasted this good! The Wild Poppy takes you to the busy streets of Vietnam with their Roll Chi Minh, fresh spring rolls of grilled prawns, pomelo, tomyao, and rocket with a smashing peanut dip on the side.
The buns and rice dishes round up their offerings with flavorful meats and interesting pairings. A personal favorite is the Chicken Ren Damn, their take on chicken rendang. It is sweet, spicy, and packed with a silky coconut flavor that is a treat to the palate!
If you’re in for a classic Asian dish, Hoi Belly! is for you. Braised and pan-seared hoisin-glazed pork belly. Both dishes can be ordered in a mantou bun or with wild rice. The Kim and Reuben can’t be missed, either. It’s an Asian take on an American favorite: smoked corned beef, Kewpie mayo, Swiss cheese, and Kimchi all in one slider bun. It’s a rollercoaster of flavors and textures on the mouth.
Rounding up the burst of tangy Asian flavors are their refreshing drinks. Cucumber Frost to the front: lemon juice with blended fresh cucumber and a spike of gin. Imagine splashing yourself with cold water on a hot summer day. Yes, that’s the feeling you get. Those who want to skip the alcohol must not skip on their Sun Brew, a mix of tea and dalandan juice. And it is honestly like sunshine on a glass you’d actually end up getting two.
The Wild Poppy might not be the most ideal place for the hungriest of tummies but the small, bite-size Asian-inspired dishes definitely do not disappoint in flavor, texture, and aroma. And to eat them in an urban garden on a rooftop in the middle of the city? Best wild idea ever.
The Wild Poppy is located at 2F, Mekanor Building, 5666 Don Pedro Street (next to Z Hostel), Poblacion Makati. Open from Mon-Thurs 5PM-12MN and Fri-Sat 5PM-2AM. IG @thewildpoppy
All Photos by Claudia Aotriz