March 2024

A Taste of Spain in the Heart of Manila

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  • The interweaving of Filipino and Spanish cuisine is an intricate marriage of history, flavor, and culture, a delightful fusion born from 333 years of Spanish influence in the Philippines. This blend has given rise to a unique culinary tradition that marries the bold flavors of Filipino cooking with the rustic and hearty essence of Spanish fare. Think of the Filipino adobo, with its Spanish name but distinctly Filipino taste, or the piece de resistance of every fiesta: lechon, a decadent delight with strong connections to Spanish cuisine. Riding on this wave of cultural and culinary fusion, Philippine Primer’s latest issue is an exciting foray into the best Spanish restaurants in Metro Manila.

    Terry’s Selection’s Gambas Al Ajillo / IMAGE from Terry’s Selection

    This time, we’re celebrating Spain’s rich culinary offerings right in the Metro as we feature top-notch establishments in Makati, BGC, Pasay, and many more cities! Whether you’re in search of an affordable resto or a luxurious dining experience, this comprehensive guide will unveil everything these restaurants have to offer.

    Salmon y Salmon / IMAGE from Las Flores

    In the bustling business districts of Makati and BGC, Cirkulo, Manduca Taberna, La Guaja, and Las Flores await starving diners. They represent the epitome of Spanish culinary excellence in the heart of Metro Manila’s most dynamic neighborhoods.

    Cochinillo / IMAGE from Cirkulo Restaurant

    Venturing to the South, the culinary journey continues with Terry’s Selection and Un Cuenca Restaurant in Alabang, complemented by Pasay City’s Casa Buenas and Ilo’s Home in Parañaque.

    Bisteca / IMAGE from Un Cuenca Restaurant

    In the Northern part of the Metro, Quezon City houses the likes of Ponce and Pio’s Kitchen. The former is celebrated for its authentic Spanish dishes, while the latter offers a unique, home-style approach to Spanish cooking.

    Spanish Delights

    Spanish cuisine can be an exciting adventure, even for those who are not familiar with the staples. Here are eight must-try dishes that promise an authentic and delightful dining experience.

    Paella: A signature dish from the Valencia region, Paella is a medley of saffron-flavored rice cooked in a wide, flat pan, often mixed with a variety of ingredients such as meat and vegatables. There are numerous versions like the intriguing black squid ink paella, or the beloved seafood paella.

    IMAGE from Alba Restaurante Español

    Gambas al Ajillo (Shrimp in Olive Oil): This simple yet delicious dish features shrimp sauteed in garlic and olive oil. A hint of chili peppers is sometimes added for a fiery kick. Typically accompanied by bread, it’s perfect for soaking up the flavorful oil.

    IMAGE from Terry’s Selection

    Croquetas: A staple Spanish tapas, croquetas are a delightful blend of ham and other fillings, encased in creamy bechamel sauce, then breaded and deep-fried. The contrast between the crispy exterior and the soft, creamy interior makes them irresistibly tasty.

    IMAGE from La Guaja

    Jamon Iberico (Iberian ham): This is a variety of Spanish cured ham made from the legs of the Iberian pig that have been salted, dried, and aged. Renowned for its rich flavor, sweet fat, and melt-in-your-mouth texture, it’s traditionally served as tapas (appetizer).

    IMAGE from Txanton

    Lengua Sevillana (Sevillian-style beef tongue): A delectable beef dish hailing from Seville. The beef tongue is tenderly stewed in a rich tomato-based sauce that’s unique and savory.

    IMAGE from Alba Restaurante Español

    Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician Octopus): This traditional dish from Galicia showcases the simple yet exquisite flavor of octopus. Boiled and thinly sliced, it’s seasoned with olive oil, salt, and paprika to highlight the natural taste of the octopus.

    IMAGE from Bueno Tapas & Wine Restaurant 

    Angulas (Baby eels): A luxurious delicacy consisting of baby eels sauteed in olive oil and garlic. This is often reserved for special occasions that reflects its high quality and unique flavor.

    IMAGE from Cirkulo Restaurant

    Basque Cheesecake: Originating from the northern regions of Spain, this dessert is known for its caramelized exterior and a smooth cream cheese filling. A perfect end to any Spanish meal!

    IMAGE from El Born

    Now that you’ve read through the basics, join us on this exciting food adventure as we explore Metro Manila to discover and savor the best of Spanish cuisine. This journey promises a delightful array of flavors that celebrate the Spanish flavors in their full glory. Buen provecho!

    The Best Spanish Restaurants in the Metro

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