The elegance, style and comfort that Discovery Primea now stands on has a rich history that Primea is actually recounting. More than half-century old rich history, the Discovery Primea is the former location of the first serviced apartment building in the country established by Virgilio Hilario in 1962. The building was named after his son Gil and his Miss Universe beauty pageant winning wife, Armi Kuusela. The former building’s name was Gilarmi.
As a tribute to the glory of once stood in the spot, the Discovery Primea named its lobby lounge as The Gilarmi Lounge.
The Gilarmi Lounge offers various styles and brews of coffee, high tea, cocktails, draught beer and Filipino-inspired bar fare suited for the after office relaxation or even an afternoon meeting with friends and clients.
With an view of the Ayala Avenue inside the high ceiling Gilarmi Lounge, meetings or after office hangout is just right next to your busy office. Factor in the live piano music to fill the mood with ease.
You can definitely relax after work or business within Makati. As for me, I find it that way, after driving all the way from Taytay, Rizal to find a wedding venue, all the way to Makati. What a way to cap the night, right?
I had the privilege of experiencing some of the choice food and drinks prepared by Discovery Primea’s executive chef Luis Chikiamco and their consultant mixologist Lee Watson of their Modern Filipino Bar Chow offered every night.
The two made a combo of drink and meal to sizzle in everyone’s palette that night. So, I was just there to look, to taste and of course, to enjoy the offerings.
First off, was the Riviera Fizz and Filipino Ceviche
The Riviera Fizz is a Mediterranean inspired cocktail that combines tart and herbal liquer from Spain with blood orange from Italy, in a tall carbonated drink.
The Filipino Ceviche is made of fresh marlin fillet, coconut vinegar and chilies. Ceviche is what Filipinos locally know as “kilawin” only this time, Chef Luis spiced it up using coconut vinegar and coconut milk.
Second pair was the Pinoy Rockefeller and the Guyabano-Tarragon Mojito.
The Pinoy Rockefeller is made of oyster with creamed spinach and hollandaise sauce. Chef Luis added kangkong and used calamansi (instead of lemon) and coconut vinegar (instead of white vinegar).
The guyabano masked the alcohol, making it more “friendly” for those not wanting much of kick of alcohol in their drink.
This pair actually became my favorite among six.
The third combination is the Tropical Gin Fizz and Sisig sa Riles.
The Sisig sa Riles is a spot-on of common Pampanga Sisig. According to Chef Luis, some Pinoy foods that he does not want to alter too much for guests might be expecting something traditional. But for this one, he upgraded it by cooking it three way – the pork is braised until tender, then grilled before chopped and sauteed in a pan and tapped with a 63-degree celsius egg.
The Tropical Gin Fizzis Lee’s version of the classic Ramos Gin Fizz, made of Licor 43 and tropical coconut puree. This drink actually right for the sisig at it neutralizes the after taste on the tongue of the sisig.
It is quite sour, yogurt-like taste combined with soda lime.
The fourth pair was the Cilantro Sour Paired with Tuna Brochettes
The Cilantro Sour is a Whiskey Sour made with fruity Single Malt Scotch and fresh cilantro. As for a solo drink, I prefer this among the six drinks that night.
The Tuna Brochettes is Chef Luis’ upgraded version of inihaw na tuna. He marinated the tuna loin in a classic lime and soy-based sauce and added red chilli and garlic gremolata on top.
If you like spicy foods like me, this is better with extra pepper to add more flavor.
Next is the Blue Caipirinha paired with Chicken Wings Inasal
The Blue Caipirinha is a twist of the classic Brazilian Caipirinha, flavored with almond syrup and garnished with blue pea flowers. What’s obvious on this drink is its smell – more of like a bubble gum.
The Chicken Wings Inasal of Chef Luis is a bit upgraded from the traditional Ilonggo-style chicken barbecue. He used garlic, spices, lemon grass, annatto oil and vinegar to marinate the chicken.
Lastly, the Cherry Blossom Whisky Sour and Binondo Cua Pao
The Cherry Blossom Whisky Sour is quite rough. Probably due to the whisky sour blend. Never the less, it is a good combination to the Cua Pao as the Cua Pao acts as a neutralizer, soothing that whisky kick on the throat.
The Binondo Cua Pao Mantaou bread filled with Chef Luis’ rendition of char siu pork or pork barbeque.
Overall, the combination offered by Chef Luis and Lee truly complemented each other – cocktail and bar chow. Best of all, it still has its kick of Filipino culture in it.
Now, if you happen to work nearby or wanting to try of a new hangout place, it wouldn’t hurt to try The Gilarmi Lounge.
G/F Discovery Primea, 6749 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Telephone: +632 955-8888
Instagram: @ReyBelen and @LifestyleBucket