BLACKBIRD BRINGS AN EXCITING DINING DESTINATION
TO THE HISTORIC NIELSON TOWER IN THE AYALA TRIANGLE
AT THE HEART OF MAKATI.
ONCE THE COUNTRY’S FIRST COMMERCIAL AIRPORT,
THE SITE HAS BEEN LAVISHLY REDEVELOPED WHILST MAINTAINING
THE INTEGRITY OF THE ORIGINAL ART DECO DESIGN.
BLACKBIRD OFFERS AN AMBIANCE AND APPROACH TO SERVICE
THAT FOCUSES ON THE WARMTH OF FILIPINO HOSPITALITY.
THE STUNNING MAIN OVAL DINING ROOM OF BLACKBIRD IS FILLED
WITH LIGHT DURING THE DAY. THE HIGH CEILINGS AND WELL-SPACED
TABLES ADD LIGHTNESS TO THE ROOM. THE EVENING BRINGS
WITH IT A SENSE OF ELEGANCE AND GLAMOUR WITH THE ART DECO
FEATURES OF THE ROOM HIGHLIGHTED WITH SOFT MOOD LIGHTING.
A DRAMATIC SPIRAL STAIRCASE LEADS GUESTS TO THE CABIN.
THE FORMER CONTROL TOWER OF THE AIRPORT BUILDING
OFFERS A MORE INTIMATE BLACKBIRD DINING EXPERIENCE WITH
STUNNING VIEWS OF THE SURROUNDING AYALA TRIANGLE
GARDENS. THE ROOM CAN BE BOOKED FOR PRIVATE DINING.
OUR ALFRESCO DINING SPACE FEATURES AN OPEN WOODEN
DECK AND COVERED TERRACE AT THE REAR OF THE BUILDING.
TWO BARS AND A SPACIOUS LOUNGE AREA MAKE THIS
A GREAT VENUE FOR A PRE OR POST DINNER DRINK OR A
RELAXED INFORMAL DINNER.
A GREAT PLACE TO MEET FOR COCKTAILS BEFORE
DINNER WHETHER AT THE ERAMOSA MARBLE AND BRASS
BAR OR IN THE VELVET CLAD SOFAS AND JEWEL TONED
ARMCHAIRS OF THE CHIC LOUNGE. APERITIVO WITH
COMPLIMENTARY SAVOURY SNACKS IS SERVED
EVERYDAY FROM 5PM TO 7PM.
Nielson Tower was home to the country’s first commercial airport. It was built by Laurie Reuben Nielson, a British man born in New Zealand, who had moved to Manila in the 1930s seeking business opportunities. Nielson was an avid aviation enthusiast who proposed building an airport to promote trade and travel and connect the Philippines to the rest of the world. He leased 42 hectares of the Hacienda San Pedro de Makati from Ayala and Cia and built what was considered then to be the biggest and best equipped airport in Asia.
In July 1937, Nielson Airport was inaugurated, with a terminal building and control tower designed to resemble an airplane from a bird’s eye view. What are now Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas were once the runways. When Philippine Air Lines Inc. was established in 1941, their first flight departed from Nielson Airport for Baguio carrying nine passengers onboard a Beechcraft Model 18.
With the outbreak of World War II, Nielson Airport became the US Far East Air Force headquarters. The Japanese bombed the airport and field in December 1941, and after the invasion used it as their air headquarters for the duration of the occupation. Laurie Nielson was taken by the Japanese for internment in Hong Kong and was never seen or heard from again.
After liberation, the airport, heavily damaged during the war, was refurbished and modernised by Philippine Air Lines, quickly becoming the official port of entry for air passengers into the Philippines. The airport was operated by Manila International Air Terminal Inc.
On July 31st, 1946, PAL became the first Asian airline to cross the Pacific Ocean, when a chartered Douglas DC 4 ferried forty American servicemen to Oakland California from Nielson Airport with stops in Guam, Wake Island, Johnston Atoll and Honolulu.
In 1948 the airport ceased operations when PAL relocated to its present site in Pasay City and the land was returned to Ayala and Cia. The runways were eventually converted to roads and many of the airport structures were sacrificed to give way to the development of the Makati business and commercial district. The airport passenger terminal and control tower were preserved, and are now know as the Nielson Tower. They remain the only pre World War II structures in Makati.
The Nielson Tower is now home to Blackbird, a dining and leisure destination, housing a bar and lounge in what was once the check in area, an oval grill room in the passenger terminal, a private room in the control tower, and an outdoor bar and dining space where the tarmac used to be. The site has been lavishly redeveloped while maintaining the integrity of the original Art Deco design.
OUR TAKE ON THE CLASSIC GIN BASED COCKTAIL CREATED ALMOST 100 YEARS AGO BY HUGO ENSSLIN, THE HEAD BARTENDER AT THE HOTEL WALLICK IN NEW YORK.
40 ML LONDON NO.1 GIN
20 ML FRESH LEMON JUICE
20 ML MONIN VIOLETTE SYRUP
DASH OF MARASCHINO LIQUEUR
DASH OF LAVENDER BITTERS
CHILL A LARGE MARTINI GLASS.
IN A SHAKER ADD ALL THE INGREDIENTS EXCEPT THE BITTERS. FILL THE SHAKER WITH CUBE ICE AND SHAKE WELL. STRAIN INTO THE CHILLED GLASS, ADD A MARASCHINO CHERRY AS GARNISH AND FINISH WITH A DASH OF BITTERS.
Scottish born chef and restaurateur has called the Philippines his home for 20 years. He is the driving force behind a series of critically acclaimed, award winning restaurants that have set a benchmark in the city for impeccable, relaxed dining with outstanding quality cusine.
Kerwin Go ( The Inked Chef ) first started cooking with Colin at his restaurants in Malate in 2003. Since then Kerwin has eaten his way around much of the world, and regularly visits Thailand to get inspiration for the menu at People’s Palace where he is the Head Chef. Kerwin overseas the kitchen at Blackbird where he has created many of the contemporary Asian dishes.
General Manager Jonathan Jimenez, oversees the operations of Blackbird and the other restaurants in the group. Jonathan has worked with Colin since 2005 when he joined the team as restaurant manager for the opening of People’s Palace Thai in Greenbelt 3. Prior to that Jonathan held a key management role with a popular steak house restaurant in the Philippines.
Restaurant manager Jordan began his career as a waiter in the Shangri-La Hotel before moving to People’s Palace Thai Makati as part of the opening team. Later as Restaurant Manager at Sala Bistro, Jordan developed his professional knowledge and exceptional service skill, which he now brings to Blackbird along with his warm Filipino hospitality.