Along the bustling night scene in Aguirre Street, a rooftop and its lanterns light up the southern sky, inviting you in for a drink—maybe two.
“Can you guess?” Karina Jaranilla, one of Tas Roofdeck’s owners, flashes a coy smile when asked about the story behind the bar’s name. “It’s actually a joke,” she teases. It was after hours of brainstorming for a name over drinks that five friends kept spewing out all the words they knew that had anything to do with the word “up”. When they were finally stumped, they started joking around, making fun of the way Karina pronounced “taas”, which, funnily enough, stuck.
The history of this quaint rooftop hangout traces back to the Jaranilla’s monthly barbecue cookouts. Mario, the cooking maestro, would serve up homemade pizzas and skewers, when one of their friends, whose hunger and excitement got the better of her, placed the skewers on a pizza and ate it like a wrap.
“We were like, ‘Oh my God. Genius!” Mario recalls. From there, the Jaranilla siblings, along with a few of their friends who wanted in on the incidental wrap brilliance, began all the necessary preparations—food tasting, location scouting, the works.
With this signature dish at the heart of their menu, no trip to Tas would be complete without splitting a wrap (or two) among friends. The first step is choosing the base of your wrap, which comes in a variety of classic pizza flavors: Margherita, Pesto, All-Cheese, Alfredo, Garlic Shrimp, Garden Pizza, or Toasted Pita. The second step is choosing your skewer: Steak Salpicao, Liempo Bacon, Pork BBQ, Chicken Inasal, Chicken Teriyaki, Southern Quail Eggs, Bacon-Wrapped Quail Eggs, Vigan Longanissa, Seafood Sticks, or Grilled Veggies. The final step is simple: un-skew, wrap, and chew.
“You can mix and match based on your personal taste. It’s part of the experience that we’re selling here,” Mario explains, as he expertly shows us how it’s done. For first time visitors, he recommends the Salpicao skewers with Pesto—an all-time favorite, and one of their originals when they were first starting out.
For Vegetarians who want some of that Salpicao flavor without the guilt, you can even request for no meat and all mushrooms with any wrap. Pro-tip: top each order off with Tas’ homemade chili sauce, which adds a touch of spice to just about anything. Their homemade sauce has become such a hit with customers that they’ve even decided to sell them by the bottle.
If you’re not up for a wrap (or still hungry after one), their Adobo Nachos and TASilog (Pulled Beef Tapa) are your best bets. In addition to their unique bar chow, you can’t miss out on their refreshing Sangrias served in mason jars, which come in Classic, Pina (White), and Peach (Rosé).
“We didn’t set out to be a bar, but it all worked out because everything on our menu complements each other,” they explain, “From the food down to the vibe.”
I’m sipping on my second sangria (Peach is my fave) when the first customers of the night start making their way to their respective tables. A couple sits by the bar and immediately orders a couple of drinks along with the classic popcorn and dip while a group of guys take the table beside us, debating which skewer and pizza combo they’re going to try next. A question we’re also left asking ourselves.
Photos by Kitkat Pajaro
TAS ROOFDECK IS OPEN FROM 6PM TO 2AM FROM TUESDAYS TO SATURDAYS AND FROM 6PM TO 12AM ON SUNDAYS. IT IS LOCATED AT 3/F 31 AGUIRRE STREET, BF HOMES IN PARANAQUE CITY.