Friday, February 16, 2018

First Sip: Versus Barcade

Tired of the normal night out with friends where all you do is drink, chat and maybe dance (when someone gets overboard in alcohol)? What if I tell you that there's a new bar in town that could make your mundane night a little bit funner? Hint: Barcade. 
Hello, Versus Barcade.
Tucked inside the quiet side of Uptown Parade lies this spacious bar that mixes drinks with a different kind of fun. Stepping inside is like travelling through time as the place is a marriage between modern and the 70s or 80s with its nostalgic arcade games.
We were too excited to even bother look at the drinks list and went straight to the game room which has enough games to entertain a group of about 20. There were two pinball machines, Street Fighter themed machine, and even Mario Kart. 
There's also this air hockey-like game where the goal of the players is to keep their pucks in the 1, 2 or 3 pointer grids to earn points. I tried it several times and after what seemed forever, I managed to score 1 point. 
The best part here is that you can play all these fun games for free during its soft opening. Versus Barcade is still working on the best way to manage its game room but I'm sure that if ever they do charge per play, it will be worth it!
After trying some of the games, we headed back to the main dining area and tried some of the drinks and bar chows. 
We had Mr. Pacman (PHP1,250) and Mrs. Pacman (PHP1,200) for sharing and we each ordered other drinks to try. I went with Bedtime Stories (PHP380) simply because I saw the word "cacao". For bar chows, we tried Kwek-Kwek, Chibul (Chicharon Bulaklak) and Chikin (Chicken Skin). I didn't see the individual prices of these dishes but it is available as part of a set of 2 appetizers/bar chows and one main dish for PHP600. I don't think it's priced badly as you'd definitely get your money's worth if you pair your quick bites with the likes of Gambas or Beef Salpicao.
All of the bar chows were very straightforward and prepared without any frills. But one thing I liked about all three was that each one was done right. 
Chibul and Chikin were crispy and enjoyable to eat. 
I had to stop myself from grabbing another serving of both to give others a chance to try it too. But seriously, I can't wait to get my hands on more!
Kwek-Kwek was paired with this brownish sauce which I first thought was for squid balls. Though good, I still prefer the classic vinegar with it. 
We also had this hefty serving of nachos perfect to be enjoyed with friends. 
Mr. Pacman is a mixture of Casadores Reposado tequila, Orgeat Syrup, Vanilla Syrup, Fresh Orange Juice, Lemon Juice and Chocolate Bitters. Though unpopular with our group because of its slight bitter taste, it was light enough to be enjoyed even by those with low alcohol tolerance. 
Mrs. Pacman, on the other hand, reminded me of punch. The Beefeater London Dry Gin, Spicy Mango Syrup, Aperol, Lime Juice and Orleans Bitters mix works better for me as I had three glasses of this drink! It was a bit sweeter than Mr. Pacman and tasted lighter too in terms of alcohol. 
My Bedtime Stories was one of the last drinks served and it was a lot darker than I imagined. The drink was bitter because of Johnnie Walker Gold but it was complemented by Frangelico, milk, gingerbread syrup egg yolk (as emulsifier) and cocoa powder to garnish. Sadly, even with the cocoa, it was something I wouldn't order again. 
Maybe I'll just go with a non-alcoholic version of it which P had. 

And speaking of non-alcoholic, you can request for mocktails at Versus Barcade too! You could either choose the ingredients yourself or have them surprise you with their concoction. Price starts at PHP300 and could go as high as PHP800 depending on the ingredients. 
Versus Barcade also has a second floor perfect for those who want a bit of privacy. There is one arcade game there for entertainment too! 

And if you happen to be a smoker, this place also has its own smoking area which is located at the back of the game room, near Mario Karts. 
We went on a Monday and the place was pretty much ours till around 9 p.m. We were told that the crowd could get crazy on weekends where this barcade would be like a standing room event place. So for titos and titas of Manila, I highly suggest that you go on a week night and try to come early. 
Overall, it was a fun visit and I will surely be back to play all the other games.

Versus Barcade is located at Ground Floor, Uptown Parade, Fort Bonfacio, Taguig City. It is behind Denny's.

Versus Barcade Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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