Fred’s Revolucion is the only dive bar in historic Escolta, Manila, and it’s what you’d imagine a neighborhood pub to be—nondescript on the outside; unfinished, gritty, with tin roof and plywood-clad on the inside. A couple of craft beer brands are on the rafter, while plywood shelves display imported and local liquors.
The decor is eclectic—a mix of items accumulated by owner Jose Enrique Soriano from his travels and gifts from family and regulars throughout the years. In between Japanese posters, stickers, and beer cartons on the walls are a photo of Che Guevarra by the bar, Philippine and rainbow flags by tap beer dispensers, and other intriguing pieces. Music is diverse.
The pub isn’t intimidating at all so if you’re a newbie on, say, craft beer, you’ll not feel alienated nor judged in case you end up being a bit inquisitive. If half of Fred’s charm goes to good food and drinks, the pub’s honest, casual, cool vibe could rightfully take the other half.
Try any of Fred’s specials: fleishchkaese, German meatloaf, Mexican fried rice, salsa, and fried egg; Fish, Fish and Chips, batter on a bed of fries and fried dilis; sesame seed tuna in poke salad dressing; grilled tuna belly in peanut sauce with crispy bagoong alamang (fried shrimp paste); and the savory salted egg wings, chicken wings coated in salted egg, chili, and olive oil.
Ranges from serious beers: Beer No. 1, which has a citrusy Pinatubo’s Magma Bock for a more intense note, or the smoky and hoppy Brainstorm IPA.
About Php250 (USD5) per person
Craft beers are from Php115
Words: Jonalyn Fortuno
Photos: Pauline Dycoco