One step in, and you see an open kitchen greeting you. This seems to be the trends nowadays when it comes to hip restaurants. ALQUERIA is no exception.
Located in SM MEGAFASHION HALL, ALQUERIA is a force to be reckon with. You enter and you are transported to a different place. It's like a tapas bar or a spanish resto ready to serve freshly made dishes.
On the other side, you get to see all the wines, beers, and even fresh veggies used by the kitchen. And yes, they have more seats at the back. Perfect to watch the cars along EDSA crawling because of the traffic.
After having a little chat, my group of friends and I tried out the dishes they had to offer.
Freshly made bread. Don't just dig in yet as it would be better to use the bread for the other orders.
Like this GAMBAS AL AJILLO (375Php). You soak up all the oil, the shrimps are cooked in. Aside from the olive oil, they have some garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika in the mix. Did I mention that they added some white wine and butter too?
The COCA (315Php) was an all right dish for me. The toppings were excellent. Caramelized onions, olives, tomato confit and anchovies. I only had a problem with the bread used. It was a little bit too hard for me. Maybe they could use a different one that is flakier.
My favorite starter though would be this PAN CON QUESOS (265Php). Granted that it may look too small for a sandwich, this baby right here is made with MANCHEGO and MEDIUM CHEDDAR CHEESE. Freakingly good!!!! One order is to one guy as you won't let another person have any.
When the main courses came, we didn't pay attention much to the LENGUA ESTOFADA (470Php). It looked like any other meat dish but one bite and I was wrong. The OX TONGUE was simmered to make it tender. Mushroom and potatoes were an added treat as there was also a hint of red wine in the mix.
One can't live on meat alone, so we had a couple of rice based dishes. Namely Paellas.
The PAELLA NEGRA (545/825/1480Php) is an eye candy. Given that it is black, all the toppings make it colorful and a joy to look at. It's basically rice simmered in stock with squid ink topped with other seafood ingredients.
But the classic is the best. PAELLA CON MECHADA (950Php). Made and cooked with sofrito and simmered in saffron-infused stock and pomodoro, shortribs and some grilled tomatoes and confit potatoes are placed on top. It is flavorful and is the carb to order.
Since we were HANGRY, we also had steak. The steaks at ALQUERIA are imported and wet aged.
The popular steak dish would be the SKIRT (1,310Php). 500 Grams of Wagyu by Margaret Farms.
Cooked to your preference, you have the huge fries and salsa to accompany it. I suggest you get the entire thing in one bite. I like the flavor profiles but it wasn't as tender as the next steak we had.
The RIB EYE PRIME (2,030Php)
No lunch or dinner is ever complete without the dessert. That is the main point of the meal right? Getting to dessert.
ALQUERIA really loves us so they sent out 3 desserts. The CONONIGO (218Php). This is basically a baked meringue with caramel and candied bananas. It was like foam. I liked the soft texture. The sauce, on the other hand, was a bit too sweet for me so I would ask them to put it on the side the next time out.
THE CHURROS (69Php) was also a treat. What made it different from other places is the chocolate they use. The taste is pretty similar to old school Filipino type chocolate. The Tablea. Really Good. Don't forget also, that they have a 50% off promo for this until tomorrow August 2, 2015
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ALQUERIA in SM Megafashion Hall, is one place I would want to go when good food and perfect ambiance is needed. Either for a power lunch meeting or a dinner out with the friends, they could definitely deliver. Prices are admittedly a little high but the quality of the food and the service makes up for it.
3rd Floor SM MEGAFASHION MALL
Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila.
Disclaimer: Wrote this based on my experience. Was invited to try out this place