Boracay has always been synonymous with white sand beaches, picture perfect sunsets, and good food. While travel restrictions have made it difficult for many of us to visit these days, Manileños can find a taste of the island in the heart of the city: Spicebird has arrived in Manila, and this time it’s staying for good.
The Sunny Side Cafe Group’s piri-piri grill has found a permanent home at the Rockwell Center’s The Grid while its flagship store in Boracay remains closed indefinitely. The new location is open daily and serves Spicebird’s signature grilled dishes and famed selection of piri-piri sauces, as well as select vegetarian and Keto options.
“At the end of the day, we’re happy to be able to help our own,” said Nowie Potenciano, who co-owns the Sunny Side Cafe Group with his wife Odette. After closing their Boracay restaurants in March, the pair have been actively involved in pandemic relief operations. Aside from running feeding programs in and outside of Boracay, they’ve also flown in their original staff from the island to work at the new Spicebird location, to help them earn a living in the city.
“They were really our first choice when we opened here,” said Nowie. “Some of our staff have been with us since the beginning, so we wanted to make sure that we could help as much as we could.”
Since opening Spicebird, Nowie and Odette have also started Please, Senpai at The Grid’s virtual food hall, which offers yakitori dishes and other Japanese fare. Their ice cream brands Mochiko and Coco Mama are also available for limited deliveries around Metro Manila.
The Sunny Side Cafe Group is currently working with the Kaya Natin! Movement on its Eat Out to Help Out program. All of Spicebird’s and Please, Senpai’s profits from dine-in and takeaway sales on November 4 will go towards relief efforts for those affected by Super Typhoon Rolly.