The Moment Group Takes Control Of The Manila Polo Club Menu

Digest

February 20, 2018 | BY Isabel Martel Francisco

The landmark that is The Manila Polo Club, one of the most exclusive member’s only sports and leisure clubs, just got an exciting upgrade!

The notable Moment Group restaurateurs known for, Mecha Uma, 8cuts, Manam, Bank Bar and Din Tai Fung, have recently rolled out their F&B partnership with Polo Club, taking over the Sports Lounge, the Cogons and Sports Café, but don’t worry, Last Chucker and Nanten are there to stay!

“At the onset, we have used our restaurants to inspire us for this Polo menu. We will start of with an introductory menu, to set us up slowly but surely. But over the course of time, we have a whole slew of fun dishes that we think would make sense in the setting that is Polo. Hopefully it makes sense for us to introduce them into the menu, one by one, as we get to know the Polo diner more intimately over the course of the following months. So in the end, expect new dishes that have come from our imagination and not necessarily from any of the restaurants.” – Abba Napa, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Moment Group.

This is quite a surprising change for its members who have been accustomed to the same menu items for many years…which most of us have memorized! The takeover will prove to be refreshing as it will breathe new life into the Club’s menu. 

When Polo Club’s members think of the establishment, a few staples come to mind: the expansive polo field, the pool, bowling, spending way too much time hanging out at the Cogons, and of course our favourite snacks! From cheese sticks, taquitos to pepitos, to name a few, some things never get old!

Yes the menu has been the same for years on end, but the nostalgia that comes with those traditional bites we grew up eating, between playing sports or during lazy days with family and friends at the club, are exactly why we loved that classic menu.

Abba assured us that, yes, Moment Group will infuse their take on casual club food from their many beloved restaurants, but that they will also maintain some iconic dishes as “nostalgia is hard to beat!”.

“We’ve got some of the crowd favorites coming into Polo - from Manam’s Crispy Sisig and Watermelon Sinigang to 8Cuts Cheeseburgers and Skinny Fries to Bank Bar’s Small Batch Cocktails like the Negroni and Old Fashioned.” – Abba Napa 

Did she mention drinks by Bank Bar? You’ve got that right! Sit back, watch the sun set on the Polo field, and sip on your favourite Bank Bar cocktail as the Makati sky turns from pink to orange. Can it get any better than that?

I asked Abba more about this challenging yet exciting project – read on to see what she has to share:  

What made the Moment Group decide to embark on this endeavor?

A lot of persuasive people ! Haha. Kidding aside, the nostalgia of dining at Polo during our childhood is powerful and recreating nostalgia is a trap that we are, clearly, so easily drawn to!

Are you going to maintain the casual, country club vibe with regards to the food or will you be elevating the food?

I think you really have to be in context with your surroundings and the mindset people are in when in a certain environment. So we are definitely keeping the country club vibe. I have already gotten countless messages asking if we will be offering cheesesticks and keeping the kropek on the menu. Again, nostalgia is hard to beat and we aren’t about to fight that!

What are you looking forward to with this project?

Drinking a negroni or martini while facing the polo fields, thanks to our slotting in bank bar’s menu into the cogons bar!

On a less shallow note, I really hope that we get the chance to create food that can be nostalgic for future generations to come!

What is a hurdle that you are facing with regards to the Polo x Moment Group collaboration and how are you planning to tackle it?

We call ourselves the Moment Group because we believe restaurants are as much about what goes on around the plate as it is about what is on the plate. There is food and there is service and atmosphere. When that all comes together seamlessly is, to us, what we call a “moment”.

And we’ve always created our food and our service style in context with the surroundings where they will be cooked and served and we have tried to do just that as well in the creation of our menu for Polo.  

So, this is the first occasion wherein we will not control all aspects of the experience. Atmosphere is the one element that is already set in Polo and we will be working with and around that - whether that be the tables and chairs or the kitchen equipment. 

Whatever hurdles there are though, that sunset over the polo field is a sight that no amount of interior design budget can buy.  

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