After being colonized for over 300 years, I thought I already tasted the best of Spanish dishes. More and more restaurants are offering authentic Spanish dishes proving that It’s more than the usual menudo, asado, pochero, afritada or the canned Spanish sardines. If there’s one restaurant that’s worth revisiting, it’s Alqueria Tapas, Paellas y Bistecas.
Alqueria was a new concept by the SumoSam Group of Restaurants founded by Marvin Agustin, Ricky Laudico and Raymund Magdaluyo. The SumoSam Group includes Mr. Kurosawa, Marciano’s, SumoSam, Banzai, John and Yoko and many others. This time, they partnered with their celebrity friends Charo Santos, Liz Uy, Mylene Dizon and Agot Isidro for Alqueria.
Alqueria an ideal place to hang out with friends or family have some paella and churros, then finish with a glass or wine or two. After all, Alquerias are known to be a social gathering place in Spain. The menu has a lot to offer and because the dishes are Spanish, it makes it harder to choose, let me help you decide which ones to order with their latest additions.
First let’s start with the Quesadillas, there are six of them and you can’t go wrong with any of them. I have tried five of them, what’s not in the photos is the Cheese Quesadilla. The quesadilla is topped with chimichurri sauce and crema with goat cheese. Chorizo, Pollo al Ajillo, Vegetable, Mechada and Carnitas.
For lunch Alqueria came up with Lunch Specials served with Sopa de Ajo (garlic soup), Chorizo rice and Iced Tea which is available from 10AM to 2PM. Each special is only for Php358.
Chicharones Solo – Crispy pork, who does not like crispy pork?
Pollo Al Ajillo Solo – slices of chicken thigh part fried then sauteed in lots of garlic in olive oil, finished with white wine.
Mechada Solo – braised short ribs.
Chorizo Solo – a serving of their home-made chorizo made with coarsely chopped pork seasoned with herbs and spices.
Carnitas Solo – or “little meat” are made by braising or simmering pork tender.
What you should not miss is their Paellas. They have eight classic paellas and seven new world paellas. The classic paellas include Paella Valenciana, Paella Marinera, Paella Negra, Paella del Carne, Paella Vegetariana, Paella Queso Manchego, Seafood Fideua and Gambas con Chorizo Fideua. What I had we had that day and also the day I revisited Alqueria is the Paella Valencia, it’s so good, I had to go back for it. It’s saffron-infused stock topped with clams, mussels, shrimps, chicken, and chorizo if my taste buds recall it.
Happy Hour is every day at 2pm-7pm only and you can have a serving of Alqueria Overload (a serving or their finest tapas) with unlimited Sangria, Wine and Beers – all these for only P358. Their sangrias are good, it doesn’t taste like it has wine or brandy in it just be careful not to take too much because you’ll never know when it kicks in, it’s still sangria.
Now for desserts, let’s start with Churros, fried dough pastry that has lately become popular. What special about their churros is that you can have it with Valor chocolate dip. I’m a fan of Churros and Alqueria’s version made me sing the Wowowee song in my head – Tan-ta-ran Chu-chu-ros-churros, Tan-ta-ran Chu-chu-ros-churros, Tan-ta-ran Chu-chu-ros-churros – repeat 10x til fade.
Crema Catalana – A classic Spanish dessert made of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. It dissolves in you mouth leaving the flavor for your palette to enjoy.
Manchego Cheesecake is made from melted manchego cheese and cream cheese. Thick, smooth and creamy, just how it should be. If you’re thinking of what dessert to order, this should be it.
One more thing I must mention is that Alqueria isn’t just about serving great, authentic Spanish dishes, it also providing the best customer experience possible. I want to commend the staff, especially the lady who assisted us when I went there last Saturday (Nov 14), at around 7PM. She was very polite, accommodating, and helpful. She was with us (not literally) from the time we entered Alqueria until the time we burped and said goodbye. I forgot her name, but she has blond hair and has a Vernie Varga look. I think she was the one on my first photo walking towards the tables.
Alqueria Tapas, Paellas y Bistecas is located at the 3rd floor of Mega Fashion Hall, Building D, SM Megamall. Please text or call +639165062659 for reservations and inquiries.