December 3, 2018

Secret Bar: INT. Bar

They say in those Anonymous meetings that "You're only as sick as your secrets". So are secrets really bad for us? Psychology says so and they can manifest emotionally or physically. I don’t know about you but I am someone who can keep secrets especially if they are very dangerous once they get out to the public. But there are secrets that are not worth keeping or well worth it to be shared, probably because you want others to know about them and enjoy them too. 

Ok, not to get you confused or anything, but what I'm saying is that I’m gonna share with you a secret and I know you’ll be excited to hear about it (or read about it ha!). I’ve found my 9th secret bar! Clearly, secret bars in Metro Manila are not so secret anymore. But still they get people like me who likes the speakeasies undoubtedly enlivened. I saw this secret bar in Cubao Expo one day on my Facebook feed and right there and then, I knew I gotta visit.

So when my good friend whom were my ex-officemates wanted to meet up for a catch up, I suggested that we get drinks here after our dinner. Good thing we have the same wavelengths and they were as excited as I am to look for this secret bar called INT. Bar.

INT. Bar hides behind a photo booth inside the Cubao Expo compound in Quezon City. Cubao Expo is a well-known place for artists, creatives, musicians and foodies especially those hipster millennials who have a thing for the old-school or the anything vintage. Cubao Expo to this day, still exudes that vintage feel and still attracts youthful vibe.

There’s no sign outside, just the photo-booth (and it’s a working photo booth, you can get your photos from their Facebook Page) with walls covered with black and white posters of movies, plays, books etc. Enter the photo booth, take some photos and push the door on your side and get transported to a different world altogether. INT. stands for or the short version of the word “interior”. I don’t know what is the story about that but the bar staff, who attended to us, told us that all their drinks and food are named after or inspired by movies, books and other literature and arts. 

Since all of us 4 are lightweight drinkers now, we only had one drink per person. Here’s what we had at INT.:

Bucket of Popcorns - this is a complimentary snacks that you can snack on while waiting for your drinks or while drinking. 

Cigarettes After Sex - Lapsang Infusion, Laphroaig 10 y.o. Islay Scotch Whiskey, Honey, Egg White, Rosemary Smoke. This is my order. I asked for the staff which of their cocktails have whiskey and this is what he suggested to me. He also told me that this is one of their best sellers. The drink came inside a dome with smoke and he served it in with quite a fanfare. It was strong, let me tell you. But I love whiskeys that have very smoky taste to them so needless to say, I totally loved my drink and I found the name of my drink way too funny but clever at the same time too. 

INT Bar Mojito - Bacardi Superior, Mint Leaves, Lime, Simple Syrup, Soda Water. This was Tracy’s drink, if you know her, you’ll realize how this drink is just perfect for her. It’s bar list staple but it’s fun and it’s light. Just like my friend Tracy who’s always there and she’s fun to be around with. Mojito is also one of my go-to drink so I liked this one too. Though I must say the liquor part way too upfront, I would put more mint on it to tone it down though. 

Murmur of the Heart - Bulleit Bourbon, Laphroaig 10 y.o. Islay Scotch Whiskey, Curry Leaves, Lime, Zanthan Gum Syrup. This was probably based from the movie with the same title which is a loosely plotted coming-of-age tale follows the life of 15-year-old Laurent Chevalier as he stumbles his way over the burgeoning swell of adolescence in 1950s France. This was Nancy’s drink and she got curious about it because of the curry leaves. We all tried it and agreed that the curry leaves gives it an unexplainable savoury after-taste. 

La Dolce Vita - Blanco Tequila, Absinthe, Lemon, Orange, Egg White, Mango Caviar. Another drink based on a movie and translates to a “A sweet life” in English. The movie La Dolce Vita is a 1960 Italian drama film that follows a journalist writing for gossip magazines, over seven days and nights on his journey through the "sweet life" of Rome in a fruitless search for love and happiness. This was KC’s drink, perfect for such a sweet and timid girl like her. This drink is quite on the sweet side but still has a pronounced liquor flavor, especially that it contains Absinthe! The mango caviar on top got us all curious and I tried bursting it in my mouth while taking a sip of the drink and that made a difference. 

Sausage Platter - Hungarian sausage, spicy Italian sausage and Cheese sausage with barbecue sauce and garlic aioli dip. We munched on these while we tell stories of our lives and travels to catch with what happened in our lives for the past three years that we didn’t get to see each other. 

I like how INT. Bar has so much of that speakeasy atmosphere with its vintage dim lights, plush leather couches and just a small bar. I also loved that they played classic and jazz music. The place is quite small yet perfect for intimate conversations with friends or S.O.’s. The vibe is just so relaxed and you can just come as you are, wear whatever you want and just enjoy the night with drinks in hand. Service was great as well and the server was very knowledgeable of what their place has to offer. It’s a must visit!

Check out some of the other secret bars in Manila here: 
Shhh... Don't Tell: Some of Manila's Coolest Speakeasy (Hidden) Bars
Solaire Resort & Casino's New Speakeasy: Baccarat Room & Bar
Secret Bar: RM-16
Secret Bar: ABV
Secret Bar: OTC
Secret Bar: Bank Bar MNL
Secret Bar: The Exit
Secret Bar: Mandalay Whisky and Cigar Bar
Secret Bar: The ODD Seoul
Secret Bar: INT Bar 
Varra Restobar - San Juan's New It Place
Secret Bar: Alibi
Secret Bar: Bar by EAST at Lamp Quarters Marikina

Cubao Expo, General Romulo Ave., 
Cubao, Quezon City
Contact Nos: 09178069991

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
INT. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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