We’ve brought your bellies closer to Japan through fantastic, local restaurants. And now it’s time to put the spotlight on tapas, paella, sangria and other scrumptious Spanish specialties. While you wait for your visa and more importantly—moolah for a Eurotrip—appease your Spanish-loving-soul with these culinary gems.
8. El Cirkulo
GF Milkyway Building, 900 Arnaiz Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas, San Lorenzo, Makati City
(02) 810 8735, (02) 810 2763 | Website
Open Mon to Fri from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm then 5:30pm to 10:30pm | Sat from 5:30pm to 10:30pm
Budget for two – P2000
El Cirkulo has been one of the metro’s go-to restaurants for Spanish cuisine since 1995. And up to this day, renowned Chef J. Gamboa remains to draw in the crowd with their signature dishes—Slow Roasted US Beef Belly with horseradish cream sauce and Paella Montana with portabella mushrooms, roasted garlic, truffle oil and asparagus. El Cirkulo’s consistent, delicious Spanish fare has already gained devotees, who even order takeout dishes for special occasions at home.
GF Joya Tower, Joya Drive, Rockwell, Makati City
(02) 823 6468, 0926 690 9774 | Facebook
Open everyday from 11:30am to 3pm, then 6pm to 1am
Budget for two – P1800
If you’re after a modern take on Spanish food, Rambla is one of the best places for that. They specialize in Catalan Spanish fare fused with Mediterranean influences. As you wait for your order, marvel at chefs at work, prepping innovative food in the restaurant’s open kitchen. Start with an extraordinary appetizer: The Spherical Olives. This dish is a great introduction to Rambla’s modern gastronomy. Other must-tries are the Lamb Shoulder and the Churroreo.
Calderon is new in the Spanish food game. But, their interiors reminiscent of Spanish homes and wealth of delicious dishes have already made Calderon a big name. Their menu sticks closer to traditional Spanish cooking, but expect well-executed classics. No visit is complete without sampling their Pollo Iberico, which you have to order a day ahead. Pair that with sangria and your pick from their wide selection of tapas.
5. Terry’s Bistro
Here’s another well-established restaurant, known for luxurious Spanish dishes and wine. Sounds perfect for a date, right? Impress your potential-bae with a culinary shopping trip at Terry’s Selection, followed by a standout Spanish meal at Terry’s Bistro. Continue those plus points with orders that are sure to please—Iberico Bellota Platter, Cochinillo Confit Croquettes and Capricho Espanol. And for those with an adventurous palate, try the Angulas Al Ajillo.
Who needs a plane ticket and visa to Spain when you can have unlimited paella and cochinillo for as low was P765? Alba’s Spanish buffet is awesome, featuring a well-curated selection of Spanish specialties. The lunch buffet is priced at P765 while the dinner buffet is at P825. For the restaurant’s top notch ambiance and high quality dishes, those prices are definite steals. Make sure you leave (a lot) of room for stellar dessert—Alba’s Canonigo.
3. Las Flores
GF 1 Mckinley Place, 25th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
(02) 552 2815, 0916 619 3365 | Facebook
Open everyday from 11am to 1am
Budget for two – P2000
Before you hit BGC’s club scene, pre-game with scrumptious tapas and refreshing cocktails at hip, sophisticated Las Flores. But even if you’re not partying after, a meal at Las Flores will definitely make your night. The former owners of Barcino collaborated with the Andilana group of restaurants from Barcelona.
And the end result: Contemporary Spanish cuisine made with premium ingredients and served in a homey, welcoming space. The Paella Cochinillo and Gambas Al Ajillo are crowd-favorites.
4F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City | (02) 246 9069
Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Ave., BGC, Taguig City | (02) 246 9069 ext:977
Facebook | Budget for two – P1300
If you’re yearning to go to Spain mainly for Paella, the answer to that is just in Makati. ArroZeria’s authentic and varied options of the Spanish rice dish will satisfy all your whims. Enjoy your paella in five different ways—Caldoso (soupy), Risotto (creamy), Meloso (saucy), Fideua (made with thin noodles) and of course, classic Paella (al dente and thin).
ArroZeria also offers hearty viands that will complement your paella perfectly. Try the Costillas Glaseadas (glazed pork ribs) and the Chuleton (grilled Angus Ribeye).
A Spanish adventure is a gastronomical one at Vask.Look forward to spectacular Spanish food with an exciting Filipino twist. At 39th place, Vask is the only restaurant from the Philippines that made Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2016.
Expect premium and unusual ingredients that are either simply prepared to let freshness shine, or transformed into innovative dishes through modern techniques. Get the ultimate Vask experience by trying their tasting menus.
Any other Spanish restaurants as good as tickets and visas to Spain? Sound off below!