Spanish cuisine is a culinary world in itself, with dishes authentic to each region, and where every city or town takes pride in its own homegrown specialties. Barcelona, for instance, being the capital city of Catalonia, boasts of a variety of savory local food, some recipes dating back in history. Whether you find yourself walking around the trendy Sant Antoni neighborhood, marveling at Gaudi’s landmark Park Guell, or browsing the Boqueria market, good food abounds in Barcelona.
In Manila, its cuisine can be savored at the new BCN By Las Flores. Dine and wine as Spaniards do BCN by Las Flores, another concept of the Bistro Group/Bistronomia (from the same group that operates Rambla, Las Flores, La Lola, Tomatito and Osteria Daniele), has a new home at the 2/L of Conrad S Maison, in Pasay City. This 100-plus-seater restaurant, where one can wine, dine and throw stylish celebrations, is a spin-off of the popular Las Flores Restaurant.
The interior transports guests to this colorful city with street map décor on the wall, wooden elements, and a paper mache pop art display reminiscent of a small store near Plaza Sant Jaume, famous for its iconic paper mache giants. The overall design reflects the architecture of the city.
From the outside, one can see the imposing wine cellar where an impressive collection from the vineyards of Spain and around the world, is stored. Guests can choose from over a hundred labels and enjoy their wines inside the cellar where a few tables are set up. Or they can dine and wine in the dining area or at either of the restaurant’s two bars.
At the helm of BCN by Las Flores is Spanish Maestro Chef Alfredo Rodriguez who hails from Barcelona. Being a native of the city, he knows the cuisine by heart. “Indulging in BCN’s food is eating what the locals eat. Food is done quite differently here, but all in the spirit of authentic Catalan cuisine,” Chef Alfredo says.
Begin with the appetizers, a portent of great food to come – Cold Cuts such as Chorizo Iberico, Salchichon, Manchego, Idiazabal, and Murcia Al Vino cheeses, or Pan de Tomate; Salmon or Tuna Tartar, Marinated White Anchovies, Beef Carpaccio, and even French Caviar are there for the more discerning palates. Hot starters, on the other hand, include Ham or Chorizo Croquetas, Fritura Mixta (or the fried seafood platter) with baby squid, shrimp, and barramundi; Torta Espanola (potato omelette); Pulpo a La Gallega (grilled octopus); Oreja A La Plancha (crispy pig’s ears); and Angus and Foie Minis (beef tenderloin inside a pandesal).
And that’s only the beginning. From the side streets of Barcelona via BCN’s route, discover their specialties: Arroces (charcoal-oven baked rice dishes). Indulge in the Arroz Con Bogavante and have a fill of whole Maine lobsters, or the Arroz Con Ibericos and delight in Iberian meats, mushroom and truffle aioli.
Paellas, traditionally a “poor man’s” dish are prepared with a special sophistication. Choose from Paella Setas (mushroom paella); Mar Y Montana (surf n’ turf with shrimps and chicken); Paella Negra and the show-stopper, the Paella Cochinillo. Seafood also takes center stage with Barramundi, Sea Bass, Turbot and Grouper (Lapu-Lapu) cooked in wine, garlic, vinegar, and piquillo peppers. The Mariscada or seafood platter, on the other hand, includes whole Maine lobsters, prawns, clams, mussels, and baby squid with aioli and kimchi mayo to reveal rich flavors from the sea.
Perusing the menu further, guests will see that meats play a big role in BCN by Las Flores. The Butifarra, tender white and flavorful Spanish sausages, are served with coca bread and tomato sauce. Other meat options include Hamburguesa Mediternea (Wagyu burgers), Costillar de Cordero (lamb rack), Cochinillo Segoviano (suckling pig roasted in a charcoal oven) and Costillar de Vaca (short ribs). If you are undecided as to what to choose yet want a bit of everything, an order of Parillada de Carnes (mixed meat platter with pork ribs, tenderloin, butifarra, morcilla and chicken) is bound to satisfy. BCN by Las Flores also boasts of its USDA Prime Rib Eye, T-Bone, and other dry aged and wet aged steaks.
Desserts like Churros and Crema Catalana provide a sweet ending to one’s meal. All in all, BCN is about subtle elegance and a sublime place to dine. Buen Provecho!
BCN by Las Flores is located at Level 2, S Maison, Marina Way, Pasay City (operating hours: Monday to Thursday from 11 am to 10 pm; Friday to Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm). To know more, email us at [email protected], follow on FB/IG @bcnbylasflores. For inquiries, call +639663311352/ +283653557