While waiting for the others to arrive for lunch, I walked around the restaurant to take photos and to look what others have on their tables. Then I found Spanish chorizo hanging by the open kitchen and it made me hungry.
These vegetable baskets and deco tiles remind me of the Sunday market in Avila, Spain that I would go to with my host mother. I remember seeing jumbo asparagus and all the possible fresh vegetables in season. She would go early morning in time to prepare the Sunday lunch for the family before attending mass. It was held in the middle of the courtyard inside the Avila walls or las murallas de Avila. Funny how food, whether it’s the sight, smell, taste etc can take me back to specific memories.
I’m normally a water person but decided to try something different to drink. And so I tried the cinnamon iced tea and liked it.
I think there are 2 tapas that first come to mind for Filipinos to order in Spanish restaurants. That would be the beef salpicao and gambas and therefore, we had both. I would definitely recommend their beef salpicao (Php445). It was very tender and garlicky, just the way I like it. I would be satisfied with an order of this and some bread. I had more than my share of these thus held back on the paella and the rest. I found myself going back to the salpicao after trying the other dishes.
Gambas al ajillo (Php375)
Fresh white river shrimps sauteed in olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika finished with white wine and butter.
We were served 2 kinds of paellas, the first was the Fisherman’s Paella (Php885), which is pretty much like the Paella Valenciana that we’re all familiar with. It was cooked with saffron-infused stock, typically seafood stock and topped with shrimps, mussels, squid and fish of the day.
The second paella was overloaded meat paella called the Paella del Carne (Small: Php480 / Medium: Php715 / Large: P1,150) simmered rice in saffron-infused stock topped with chorizo, chicken, smoked bacon and pork spareribs.
We also had the Lengua Estofada (Php470), an off the menu item, Prime Ribs Solo (Php1,499) and the newest addition to the Alqueria menu, the Cochinillo Sisig (Php688), which served 2-3 people.
This heavy lunch didn’t stop us from ordering dessert. We had the Churros with Valor Chocolate dip 3pcs (Php138), the Crema Catalana and the Manchego Cheesecake. For me the best out of three was the Machego Cheesecake. You can chew into the grated bits of manchego in the cheesecake.
Alqueria Restaurante opened last January 2014, operated by the SumoSam group of restaurants founded by Marvin Agustin, Ricky Laudico and Raymund Magdaluyo. This particular restaurant is in partnership with Charo Santos, Liz Uy, Mylene Dizon and Agot Isidro.
3rd floor of Mega Fashion Hall, Building D, SM Megamall.