Poco Deli is Pasig's little foodie secret

Posted at 10/31/12 3:57 PM

Poco Deli is located at Barangay Kapitolyo's bustling food row. Photo by Rhett de Jesus
MANILA, Philippines -- Barangay Kapitolyo used to be a sleepy, residential section in Pasig that has now become a foodie’s secret haven.

These days, just trying to get a table during the busy lunch hours is a challenge. Restaurants, new and old favorites alike, abound and there are food choices for everyone -- young and old, for dates, group dates or family gatherings, from drinking holes to dessert shops

Tucked between a sandwich shop and a Thai place and right across the popular Charlie's Burgers, Poco Deli welcomes diners with a sign that signals simple and homespun right from the start.

Inside, one realizes that the place is aptly named, “poco” literally meaning small in Italian. The limited area is artfully arranged to make the most of the space, fitting in a tasting room, a main dining area, a deli display and even a freezer to showcase their artisan sausages.

Artisan charcuterie

Sausages and cakes at the display counter of Poco Deli. Photo by Rhett de Jesus

The word “artisan” is easily bandied about in this era of home food business starting left and right, but what does it actually mean? To qualify as an artisan product, it must be hand-crafted with skill, use only the finest ingredients and usually made in small batches to ensure quality.

Poco Deli’s sausages pass all three criteria.

Charcuterie, or the art of preserving meat products like ham, sausages and the like, is alive and thriving in Poco Deli. What started as a hobby last 2005 from a trip to Paris is now a successful business that brings joy to our tummies.

According to Janine Lim, manager and one of the owners, they only use only the best ingredients available, starting with prime whole meats, never using ground meat or meat parts. The meat is carefully inspected and meticulously trimmed, using only the freshest ingredients -- no fillers and no extenders.

Veering away from the mass-produced, Poco Deli insists in making their products in small batches, smoking them in their brick oven, and selling them to Kapitolyo’s hungry food lovers.


Poco Deli's sausage platter is meant for sharing. Photo by Rhett de Jesus

Highly recommended on their menu is their lamb sausage. It tasted like a juicy lamb chop, keeping the gamey flavor without the off-putting taste usually associated with lamb. Other sausages to try are the Wagyu sausage, and their version of the Nürnberger sausage (made popular by the now defunct Mickey’s Deli).

Their German sausage platters come with home-made sauerkraut (one of the yummiest and tangiest we have eaten in the Manila) and start at P300. The lamb and Wagyu platters start at P450.

Deli lovers will also love their selection of sausages, salamis, dry cured meats, luncheon meats, deli-roast beef, corned beef, pastrami, roast turkey and smoked ham --all available for eating in the restaurant, or to enjoy at home.

More than just sausages

Bacon slabs with rice and eggs. Photo by Rhett de Jesus

But Poco Deli is more than just a sausage place. On their menu, you can find quite a selection of pasta, pizza, salads, sandwiches and a wonderful section called "comfort food."

The comfort food section’s first item can make the alleluia chorus start in anyone’s head. It said "bacon slab." Two thick slabs of bacon, smoked-daily, served with a fried egg and bacon rice. It comes in a plate, heaping with bacon-rice goodness. The meat? When you cut it, it’s tender. When you put it in your mouth, it’s perfectly crispy outside; with the insides tender and succulently pink, like all well-cured meats are. Heaven in a plate.

Other items in this section include Irish beef stew, pot roast, meat loaf and callos, among others, all served with bacon rice— comfort food at its most comfortable.

Irish stew with rice. Photo by Rhett de Jesus

Staying true to their artisan ideals, they also serve specialty ice cream, with interesting flavors such as pesto, salted caramel and red wine. The red wine ice cream is served drizzled with sherry syrup, that’s simply divine. And dark chocolate lovers will have no problems with their Valhrona chocolate ice cream.

Dessert is more than the end of a meal at Poco Deli, with the restaurant serving a mouthwatering selection of cakes and cookies, with each variety boasting of their own fans.

Poco Deli often runs out of their famous Blackout cake by dinner time or even just late afternoon. It’s a dark chocolate cake layered with caramel, and covered with Valhrona chocolate chips. Not too sweet, but very, very rich. It’s a perfect finish to the bacon slab meal, actually, to any meal.

Coffee, wine and beer

Poco Deli also serves wines, beers, and coffee. With a selection of wines ranging from P700 to P2,000, the waiters can help you select the best wine to go with your meal. International beers are also available like Stella Artois, Hoegarden and Erdinger among others. And as a nice artisan touch, American craft beers are available on display—which are award-winning beers from micro breweries.

Choose your beer. Photo by Rhett de Jesus

For the non-alcoholic, coffee, teas, and milkshakes—so there’s something for everyone.


Like a Spanish wine bodega, Poco Deli’s ambience welcomes you with wooden benches, shelves filled with wine, blackboards and walls with colorful chalk scribbles, and display cases of meats and cheese.

When we were there at 3 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, the place was bustling with activity. Look around and at first glance, one couldn’t really figure out the market of the restaurant. Is it a family restaurant, a date place or a meeting area?

It is what it is---a place for happy food. And as long as it stays true to its battle cry of “Happy Food, Happy Life,” we’ll surely be coming back to Poco Deli for many years to come.