Ibayo by Barrio Fiesta: Tradition with a Modern Twist

If one is coming from Quezon City, the San Miguel By The Bay area across SM Mall of Asia can indeed be considered a far “Ibayo” (the next town). But it can be a worthwhile visit for Filipino cuisine lovers.

Ibayo Barrio Fiesta

Ibayo Barrio Fiesta

Barrio Fiesta has been an iconic restaurant here in the Philippines representing good old classic Filipino dishes well-loved and tested through time.

And with the onset of the owners’ third generation family members in the person of Tristan and Tyrone Ongpauco, they have decided to give it a new twist. From the Filipino home-inspired rattan tables and chairs, Ibayo gave it a touch of modernity with new interiors while retaining the Filipino touch.

From a full-pledged restaurant into a bistro, you could now find bar chow, beer, and cocktails (such as the Ibayo Sunset) in the menu, obviously catering to the younger crowd. The Ibayo branch in San Miguel By The Bay also serves alfresco.

Ibayo Firesticks

Ibayo Firesticks

I tried it about a week ago with some friends. We had the ever-staple Crispy Pata (deep fried pork knuckles), White Adobo (Adobong Puti), Lechon Kawali, Mama Chit’s Special, Ibayo Firesticks, and  Pinaputok na Pla-pla wrapped in foil.

But before all that, we had the Ibayo Firesticks (or should I say “they” because I never got to try one). My comrades are very fast on the plate. 🙂 These firesticks are jalapeños & cheese rolled up as a spicy appetizer

Ibayo Crispy Pata

Ibayo Crispy Pata - P425 Regular P525 Large

White Adobo / Adobong Puti

White Adobo / Adobong "Puti" - P190

Pinaputok na Pla-Pla

Pinaputok na Pla-Pla - P265 per 500grams

The twist to White Adobo is the combination of chicken and pork marinated in vinegar but without the soy sauce (hence ‘white’) while Mama Chit’s Special (P695) is a mini fiesta of sorts served in a bilao. There’s shrimp, calamares, lumpia, chicken, bangus, and others – all fried. It serves 4-5 persons.

Barrio Fiesta Rice, Kare-Kare, and Buko Fresh Fruit Shake

But what I loved about dinner that night is the Barrio Fiesta Rice, a native Paella style rice. The paella rice was flavorful on its own, surrounded by tahong (mussels) and topped with shrimp and crab.

Barrio Fiesta Rice

Barrio Fiesta Rice - P250

Another winner that night was their Kare-Kare, tender oxtail and tripe stewed in peanut sauce. Heat is maintained with a small fire at the pot’s bottom. Kare-kare would be one of the few dishes we can expect to be consistent through all of Barrio Fiesta branches and Ibayo as the peanut sauce they use all come from one source.

Ibayo Kare-Kare

Kare-Kare - P220 Regular P350 Family

Buko Fruit Shake FTW!

Buko Fruit Shake FTW! - P105

I can’t rave more about the Buko Fruit Shake I had. If there’s a drink you should not miss in Ibayo, it’s this one. It’s not overly sweet, but it’s creamy. The shaved-ice’s texture and consistency was also perfect It’s so good it could pass for a sherbet.

Turon Ala Mode & Majablanco

Turon Ala Mode / Majablanco - P75 / P65

We also had Turon Ala Mode and Maja Blanca for dessert. I’m not sure why it’s “majablanco” in their menu. Maybe it’s an alternative term. I’m just used with ‘maja blanca‘ since I was a child. 🙂

Ibayo by Barrio Fiesta

Ibayo by Barrio Fiesta


Dining @ Ibayo

That’s my Ibayo by Barrio Fiesta experience. Try them out at Building G, Unit 7-8 in San Miguel by the Bay, SM Bay City (bayside behind MOA). Don’t forget the Barrio Fiesta Rice, Kare-Kare and Fresh Buko Fruit Shake!  They are open 3pm-12mn on weekdays and 3pm-2am on weekends. Call 0917-5376062 or 0906-5002782 for reservations.