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In the Scene

Silya: Forget the pretensions

A place that may be worth checking out in Malate in the City of Manila (with a branch at Home Depot in Ortigas, Pasig City) is Silya, where hanging-out can be done sans all the pretensions.

No, this place is NOT at all fancy – it can even be described as, err, low class (for the lack of a better term that will get the point across). It’s but an off-street resto cum sing-along bar at the corner of Nakpil and Orosa Street in Malate in the City of Manila (with a branch at Home Depot in Ortigas in Pasig City) with tables at both sides of Nakpil Street, and the (main) resto containing the karaoke machine so that when people make their attempts at singing, the entire street may as well be the audience.

But – despite the lack of “class” – this is a must-check place.

Why so?

Two main reasons, i.e. Tokwa Tokwa (P110) and Sizzling Tofu (P130). For a pescetarian (wannabe vegetarian, and even vegan), I can tell you that finding good – or even great – tofu dishes in Metro Manila is H-A-R-D. And then you encounter Silya’s offerings, and then you know you’ve discovered something… special. The Tokwa Tokwa is, basically, just fried tofu, and then – when served – poured with soy sauce with vinegar and chopped onion; while Sizzling Tofu is basically just tofu with semi-spicy sauce, sautéed with chopped chilis, onions, et cetera. But with the tofu freshly prepared (creamy is the word that comes to mind), these are definitely worth trying (again and again and again…).

And other attractions?

Yes, that the place offers cheap drinks is a big, BIG plus (a bucket containing six beers + free pulutan only cost P270). And this may explain why it’s popular among many (particularly those who go to Malate early, before heading into Bed Bar or Che’lu or Midz).

Yes, there’s the singing, too – an attraction of this place. This is because no one really cares how the singing goes here (hey, not everyone can pull off a Mariah Carey!), with everything done all in the spirit of fun as just about everyone can let their hair down when here.

Yes, there’s the lack of pretensions (note yet again that this is a very un-pretentious place; though having said this, be careful of your belongings, since pickpockets abound), which is a good… relief from the elitist gay clubbing in Malate.

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And yes, there’s the people-watching, too, since Silya offers a good spot for checking out those who are going into or leaving the gay scene (i.e. Malate) – similarly a big lure for those who want to be in the scene, but can’t be bothered with the sweating part of it all.

But for doubters, or if these are not enough to serve as lures, just drop by for the tofu…

Silya is located at the corner of Nakpil and Ma. Orosa Street in Malate, City of Manila. A branch is at Home Depot in Ortigas in Pasig City.


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