ALBA RESTAURANTE ESPAÑOL
Type of Cuisine: Spanish
Concept: Alba Restaurante Español has been serving authentic and traditional Spanish food in Metro Manila since 1952. Deemed as the longest-staying Spanish restaurant in the country, the restaurant maintains the tradition of serving classic Spanish food with a taste of the traditional environment and culture.
Background: Señor Anastacio de Alba opened the first Alba restaurant 60 years ago along Isaac Peral, now United Nations Avenue, in Manila. Back then, the restaurant was known as Alba Cocina Española. Returning to Spain after a failed investment in the 1970s, Señor Alba came back and put up Casa Colas, presently known as Alba Restaurante Español located in Polaris Street, Bel-Air, Makati. Along with its main branch, the restaurant chain expanded to two branches at Tomas Morato, Quezon City and Westgate Center, Alabang. The launch of their new branch at the Prism Plaza in the Mall of Asia Complex coincides with two landmarks in Alba’s history: Señor Alba’s 60th year in the Philippines and the launch of the The Alba Cookbook, where Señor Alba shares some of his famous recipes and cooking tips along with some anecdotes from his life.
Ambience: Alba’s interiors showcase Spanish influences with some modern accents for a more contemporary yet cozy feel, with a seating capacity for 180 people. There are charming Spanish lamps, decorative plates, and striking murals of scenes of Barcelona, while the stone wall is reminiscent of Avila. Modish drop lights illuminating the booths also give off a more upbeat vibe.
Must-tries on the menu:
Paella Valenciana de Alba (Valencian rice dish with chicken, pork, seafood, and vegetables, P490)
Paella Negra (black paella with stuffed squid and shrimps, P550)
Paella Verde (green vegetable paella, P450)
Paella Filipino (paella with sisig and cochinillo, P490)
Callos a la Madrileña (stewed ox-tripe in rich tomato sauce, P370)
Pato a la Naranja (roasted duck in Espagnole orange-flavored sauce, P480)
Additional information: A lunch buffet of the restaurant's specialties is available daily from 11:30am-2pm. The restaurant faces an open parking area, and there is a parking area at the 2nd floor of the building. Smoking is allowed in its al fresco area. For events, Alba Prism has function rooms that can seat 20, 50, or 70 pax. Guests can also book the whole restaurant, which can seat up to 100 guests. The outdoor area seats up to 30 people.
Address: 4th Level, Prism Plaza, TwoEcom Center Building, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, tel (2) 808-8210, (2) 808-2326, (2) 384-6344, alba.com.ph
Type of Cuisine: Spanish
Concept: Las Flores is a Spanish restaurant with a modern twist in the middle of Bonifacio Global City. The restaurant wants to introduce its customers to a different kind of Spanish cuisine, with Catalan and Mediterranean influences. Instead of the traditional fare most Filipinos are familiar with, Las Flores introduces food trends happening in modern-day Spain, not only in its menu, but also in the restaurant’s interiors.
Background: Las Flores opened on July 30, 2012. Former Barcino owners Uri Singla, Sergi Rostoll, and Dani Aliaga collaborated with the Andilana group of restaurants in Barcelona to put up Las Flores. They flew in chefs from Catalan to oversee the kitchen in Las Flores. When asked who comes up with the recipes for the restaurant’s menu, the three partners and the chefs proudly say they all have contributed their own recipes to it. “Las Flores” literally means “flowers” in Spanish. When one of the owners came up with the name, they all liked it because it gave them the idea of happiness, something colorful and alive.
Ambiance: True to its name, flowers are a prominent design in the restaurant’s interior: the framed drawings of all sorts of flowers hanging on the walls, the flower-like printed placemats, the flower print-outs pasted on the wine bottles displayed. The white walls and wooden floors make the restaurant seem more spacious than it really is, and the glass windows at the front of the restaurant also contribute to this effect. Majority of the restaurant’s furniture is in several shades of brown, which, along with the slightly dimmed yellow fluorescent lights hanging on two globe-shaped chandeliers and scattered around the place, give it a homey, relaxing atmosphere.
Must-tries on the menu:
Atún en Escabeche de Vino y Aceite de Olive (marinated tuna in white wine with a delicious escabeche sauce, P395)
Croquetas de Chorizo Caseras de la Abuela (homemade croquetas stuffed with Spanish chorizo, P195)
Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes in a spicy sauce, P345)
Scallops & Ham (jamon serrano and white onions sautéed in tomato paste with scallops, P650)
Angus and Foie Minis (angus beef with caramelized apple on ciabatta topped with foie gras and rock salt, P825)
Additional information: Las Flores’ restaurant hours are from 11am-1am on Sunday to Thursday, 11am-2am on Friday and Saturday. Valet parking is available nearby. Free Wifi is also available.
Address: G/f One McKinley Place, 25th St., Fort Bonifacio, Global City, tel (2) 552-2815, facebook.com/lasflores.ph