Monday, October 30, 2017

First Bite: Finnians Irish Pub

St. Patrick's Day is a worldwide celebration of the Irish culture. It is also the day synonymous to October Fest. Known to be the day everyone dons a green garment, the night ends till  your face turns green as well with alcohol. It just comes once a year so it's fine. But what if I tell you that there's a place that makes one feel like you're in Ireland and gives the St. Patrick's Day vibe year round?

Hello, Finnians Irish Pub.

Tucked inside the foodie jungle San Juan, this quaint restaurant and bar is right beside the classic Calderon. 
Dark fixtures are the first thing you'll notice when you enter Finnians. Right beside the staircase is its bar filled with liquor, Irish beers and whiskeys that will make anyone fond of drinking giddy with joy. 

We started off with some Kropek (PHP65), Spicy Garlic Mushroom (PHP150), Chicken Tenders (PHP195) and some pints of Guinness Stout (PHP210). 
The Kropek was your straightforward cracklings paired with spiced vinegar. But the Spicy Garlic Mushroom was something else. It was like salpicao, only without the beef. It had a beautiful rich garlicky taste that made me look for rice. 
Chicken Tenders were good too. The light and crisp batter enveloping the juicy chicken fillet was a nice starter. 
I tried two of Finnians' pies next--Guinness Pie (PHP285) and Shepherd's Pie (PHP275). Though similar in presentation and core ingredients, I liked the latter more as it tasted meatier for me. Then again, I might have just gotten a better portion of it compared to the former. My fellow foodies found the Guinness Pie to lack some of the famous beer's flavor to deserve its name. 
I liked Finnians' Cordon Bleu (PHP245) too. The oven-baked then fried chicken wrapped with ham and cheese was delicious. I'm sure kids and kids-at-heart would love this.

My favorites though were Pork Sisig (PHP210), Honey Bourbon Ribs (PHP340) and Bangers & Mash (PHP285). 
Bangers & Mash is one of the classic European dishes and Finnians got it on point. The sausages were juicy and was beautifully complemented by creamy mashed potato. 
Pork Sisig was the perfect pair to the Guinness Stout. The slightly spiced crispy pork bits served on sizzling plate was love at first bite and I wouldn't mind having this as my weekly cheat meal. 
The best dish that night went though to Honey Bourbon Ribs. The sweet and tender meat was addicting. I can't help myself from nibbling every piece of meat off the bones!

Overall, it was a pretty good dining experience. The ambiance was perfect for a night cap with friends and it did its job in providing an Irish pub vibe with its choice of music and decor. Unfortunately, the place is temporarily closed but I hope that it opens its doors again soon. Do check its Facebook and Instagram accounts for updates.

Finnians Irish Pub is located at F. Calderon, San Juan.

Finnians Irish Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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