Redefining Culinary Freedom At Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar in Eastwood

Eastwood Citywalk is known as a place where you can unwind and hang out with friends or officemates, and is mostly crowded during Friday nights and the weekends. But one should also know that there are now lots of dining options within Eastwood Citywalk that you can visit anytime of the week. One of those places that I've visited recently is Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar which is initially named Liberty Kitchen + Brew. This hip establishment is still on soft opening with a menu that reflects various Asian influences --- highlighting the use of local ingredients which were once used during times of refuge, as explained by Chef Jonvic Mangibin. Taken from the word liberate, their food at Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar is conceptualized with food that is without borders and executed freely which I found to be impressive.

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So why do I think Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar is one of your must-visit places for foodies? For starters, Liberty's price points are really good, in fact, you wouldn't find anything on the menu that's over Php250 ($6.00), plus both the food and drink selections just as interesting. I'm really happy that I was able to visit a few weeks ago with some of The KTG peeps and I am very pleased with the dishes that I've tried so far! In the meantime, check out their soft opening menu:

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Enter the door and you'll instantly feel liberated!

Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar offers a good punch on their small plates with the use of unusual flavor and texture combinations. Their Sea Urchin, for instance becomes a totally different dish when mixed with burnt eggplant and yuzu oil and served with grilled bruschetta.

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Sea Urchin
Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar also has Cauliflower that are battered, deep fried and topped with tangy, salty red bean sauce and a spritz of lime. I really thought these are fried chicken bites at first, but they turned out to be healthier instead!

SECRET MENU TIP: these fried cauliflowers are best served hot with some of their off-the-menu Flavored Beers (try their Lychee and Butter Beers, oh so good!)

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These French Green Beans take the stage as they, too, get battered and fried, spritzed with lime and dusted with salted egg! Served with salted egg mayo, these are perfect as a light bar snack that goes well with any of their drinks.

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French Beans
Rice balls, anyone? These Curry Rice Balls get another layer of flavor thanks to an addition of cheese melt and pickle remoulade. Yum!

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Curry Rice Balls
I am a fan of the Mussels at Liberty too, which are cooked just right and with ingredients that are equally appetizing. The spiced chorizo hash and curry sauce really brought these mussels to life, giving them that flavor that only Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar can offer.

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Longing for BAOS

Liberty offers delicious Baos made of Fried Chicken -- spiked with sriracha mayo and cabbage slaw; Miso Pork Belly that's made so good with apple and pear kimchi, honey-miso and toasted nuts; the cute Liberty Burger (yes, that's no bun, it's fried bao that which resembles a hamburger bun) filled with ground angus beef, house barbecue sauce and kesong puti; and finally, the Crispy Crablets smothered in chili-aligue sauce, cucumber pickles and salted egg crumbs.

Each one is a must-try, I tell you! If you love baos, then you should be in Bao heaven by now.

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On a roll for RICE BOWLS

Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar serves rice and noodle bowls that are equally satisfying on a Friday night after work, or even on a weekend with the whole family! They offer dishes that are perfect anytime of the day! Move over, tonkatsu rice bowl -- Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar serves a mean Deep Fried Thick Bacon rice bowl served with curry rice, red bean sauce and coleslaw that is bursting with umami flavor.

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Deep Fried Thick Bacon
As much as I wanted to try this dish, I painfully stopped myself from trying the Chicken and Egg, that's made with roasted breast, 63C egg, A LOT of chicken skin and a spike of tarragon vinegar! It's like dinner and bar food in one. I really wanted to try this next time though -- provided I have my meds with me. Whew!

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Chicken and Egg
Although I did try this perfect-for-meatless-Fridays Baby Squid and Crab Fat rice bowl, topped with battered squid, salted egg and smoked roe. Yum! You might seem this dish as bland but the saltiness and savory taste from the crab fat combined with everything else is outstanding.

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Baby Squid and Crab Fat
Not so noob for NOODLES

Clams and Bacon is more of a pancit-style dish, with enough shellfish-sake broth to coat the egg noodles evenly, miso butter and chili oil. It's like an Asian-style Bolognese and perfect on a hot summer day!

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Clams and Bacon
The Spicy and Sour Soup is satisfying with glass noodles topped with salmon belly, more baby squid and made with a miso-based stock infused with kaffir.

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Spicy and Sour Soup
Take it as a leveled-up bowl of Beef Pares, this Smoked Beef Brisket noodle bowl has mustard greens, a 63C egg and a splash of more meat jus if you're still not satisfied in all it's glorious meatiness!

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Smoked Beef Brisket
Too cool for SKEWERS

From pork to chicken to beef and vegatables, Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar has got something unique for you --- including a Black Cod Skewer which is inspired by Nobu's black cod that's marinated with miso. Don't expect skewers made with just one kind of marinade - each skewer is made different which makes hanging out at Liberty just as satisfying.

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You can have the best of their skewer selection by ordering the Chefs Platter which is made up of 2 types of chicken, 2 types of meat, 2 types of seafood and 2 types of vegetable. A la carte skewers, on the other hand, come in 2 pieces per order.

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Chef's Platter
No words, just COCKTAILS

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Liberty has a variety of great cocktails - including their signatures such as Matcha Breath, Mt. Fuji, Why Tai? and Yogurt Soju; as well as some well known Asian beers like Asahi, Sapporo, Singha, Tiger Beer, Chang and Bali Hai. And you should be impressed by the prices of local craft beers such as Pivo Praha and Katipunan Pale Ale.

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This isn't part of their soft opening menu yet, but soon this Miso Butter Prime Rib with black sesame and mustard sauce will join the rest of the dishes on their list. If you wish to splurge a bit for a really good steak in the heart of Eastwood Citywalk, then Liberty would be a good option. And the best part about this dish? You should know that the fat on the sides are trimmed and seared separately until the pieces get to a slightly crunchy and smooth char. I don't think I would have stopped myself from finishing a few slices if it weren't for all the food that I've tried a few hours before. This is just too tempting and I would love to go back at Liberty soon with friends to eat this again!

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800gm Miso Butter Rib Eye Steak
Never stressed for DESSERTS

Those with sweet tooths should devour on two of Liberty's desserts. The Matchamacalit is a matcha lover's dream - this sweet ending is made with matcha chocolate, peanut butter crisps and topped with torched meringue pieces. It's chewy to the bite and has that matcha flavor bursting on your mouth.

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Or have some Cheesecake instead --- made unique with black sesame crumbs and a sweet and tangy yogurt topping which is to die for! I can feel my mouth water already. It's sooooo yummy and I love it!

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Check out these promos at Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar and visit them soon!

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*This post was created by the writer's own thoughts about Liberty Asian Refuge + Bar.

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