Restaurants / Bars

Beer Snow to Cool Down With, in Manila’s Red Light District

January 19, 2016

The Snow Panda along Adriatico street in Malate somehow elicits childhood memories of patbingsu, a Korean shaved ice dessert that’s topped off with condensed milk and a variety of sweets—traditionally, red bean. Despite being foreign, most Filipinos can definitely relate, with our affinity for the ubiquitous halo-halo. The establishment, however, feels slightly out of place. Beside it, a night club that boasts exclusivity (called Exclusiv), while the view from this neon lit al fresco ice cream parlor is primarily scantily clad women, advertising their establishments through skin. The one thing that keeps Panda from being alien, and maybe its best asset, an inflatable machine advertising snow beer.

Beer Snow-8890

This sidewalk pseudo-ice cream parlor, with its glowing neon lights, fits right into Malate’s night life.

The enterprising people in Snow Panda have been putting their snow flake machine to good use. In addition to the icy milk treats, they’ve also been serving bowls of frozen beer.

Beer Snow-8852

The machine, which is meant for freezing water and milk, is more than capable of reaching beer’s typical freezing point of -5 °C.

A typical order requires two bottles. The bartender pours one bottle in the machine, and sitting at the bar gives you a hypnotizing view as the beer transforms into snow. The beer in the other bottle is poured halfway into a glass, then topped off with the beer snow. The result is a smooth flurry that’s reminiscent of Below Zero that hit the countertop too hard, only this time, you control the slush with a drink that stays cold longer and never gets watered down. Word of warning though, it’s easy to lose track if you’re drinking alone so remember, you’re consuming two bottles at a time. On the upside, this means that the view gets better faster.

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The drink requires two bottles (priced at PHP 70 each) to make, one to use as its base and the other as snow.

It’s possible to order just the snow—it’s incredibly light and, for a time, fluffy—without ordering an extra beer. But they frown on this and so would we. Manila’s temperature is not agreeable with snow so it’s best when halved with a drink. For a little bite to stomach the buzz, walk two steps further in for wings and samgyeopsal, as it shares the space with Ulkeun Beer and Chicken. Snow Panda is part childhood memory part adult depravity, which is something we’d all like to visit from time to time.

Beer Snow-8868

The snow numbs the tongue just enough to kill most of the bitterness associated with beer while concentrating the alcohol of two bottles in one glass.

Snow Panda

Address: 1917 Adriatico, Malate, Manila
Damage per Person: PHP 200 (drinks) PHP 700 (drinks and food)

Foodnote: Parking might be difficult but you can park in Remedios Circle, which is around a five-minute walk (or less) away. It’s a nice ender to any late night Malate food crawl.

Miguel Ortega SEE AUTHOR Miguel Ortega

Miguel once worked for a bank before realizing words did so much more for him than numbers ever could (because if you can't dazzle with brilliance, you sure can baffle with bullshit). He has since gone on to write regular articles for Rogue magazine and video scripts for large-scale corporations, on top of working as a communications associate.

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