A chef of a new resto in Bonifacio Global City whips up a perfect paella. Another place entices residents and others to its Italian dishes in the confines of a tall condo building in Rockwell.
Beso, Cucina Vinotela
(Modern Spanish Kitchen),
East Super Block, 30th cor. 7th Ave., Bonifacio Global City.
The resto is in a building on the right side of the Super Block, with steps/ramp leading to the row of restaurants. The chef, Carlo Miguel, is an expert in authentic Spanish cuisine, but adds his own touch.
Dining Area— Very Iberian, with dark brown interiors, black and red hanging lamps, a wine rack against one wall, a mural showing a bullfight, and tables of sturdy wood with matching chairs. Al fresco dining is offered when guests spill out or when the diner wants to feel the natural breeze.
Service—One is greeted with the Español welcome “Buenas” and is immediately shown to his/her table. A three-fold paper menu printed in black and brownish orange is handed, as a young waiter/waitress waits for the orders.
Staff—If one is lucky and the chef is doing his rounds, he can suggest what to order. Otherwise, the staff are ready to assist. They are in black trousers or slim skirts and red shirts with a yellow armband on one arm, the Spanish royal colors.
Suggested menu—Believe it or not, Spanish cuisine has been influenced by various cuisines—Roman (from where the Cocido originated) and Moorish (Gazpacho and the use of saffron) among them. These have made the deliciously blended Spanish food different from the rest of Europe.
Now to order. Do not miss the Tapas, Grilled Sardines with Rock Salt, Lemon and Parsley, the Croquetas of Pork with Ailoli, the Jamon, chicken and Manchego, plus Manchego cheese in light olive oil. Or go for the Jamon Serrano and Chorizo Iberico. Wash this down with either a juice or one of the exclusive wines.
Go on to the Paella—done using what the chef calls Bomba rice, rich in texture and taste, a bit moist (but not soggy), which is ideal; comes with Pork, Chorizo, Seafood and Bacon. That’s heavy enough, but indulge and take the Crispy Skin Pork Belly with Mojo Verde, with the meat so soft we thought it was fish. And yes, the most tender falling-off-the-bone Lamb Shank Braised in Tomatoes, Peppers, Chorizos and Chickpeas with Rice Pilaff (which you can skip due to the Paella).
For dessert, there’s Bread and Butter Pudding with caramelized orange, almond with Vanilla sauce, or the Chocolate Leche Flan with Pedro Ximenez Sherry or the traditional Spanish Rice Pudding with Vanilla and Almonds. Super!
Service and government charges are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored.
Unit E-101, G/F One Rockwell East Tower, Rockwell Center, Makati City. Tel. 8693530.
This is a spin-off from the original Apartment 1B in Salcedo Village, Makati. It is a quiet place but can get full with condo residents, their guests and others who have been clients of its mother outlet.
Dining area—Spacious and bright. Interiors are of heavy wood in chocolate brown. We were excited about the lovely plastic chairs alternating with the traditional ones. There is ample space for movement. Colors are conservative and the main wall has six video monitors, showing mostly sports events, to entertain/divert the guests from being impatient while waiting for their orders.
Service—Initially, we were greeted by some quizzical looks, perhaps because we were not among the regulars. But food was quick to come.
Staff—Upon warming up to us, they turned into polite and efficient attendants.
Suggested Menu—The portions are big enough for sharing; a group of three can enjoy more than one dish. The drinks are tall. All dishes are served with either rice or mashed potatoes, except the Pasta with bread. The Grilled Salmon with Asparagus was too “meaty” but tasted good. The Meat Loaf rates an A, done with premium beef, and the Pasta Vongole is generously mixed with clams.
There are desserts to die for. During the afternoon break the place also serves small dishes.
Service and government charges are collected. Senior cards are honored.