Canelones, Solomillo, other Catalan specialties–then brick-oven-baked panizza | Lifestyle.INQ

Canelones, Solomillo, other Catalan specialties–then brick-oven-baked panizza

The name of the restaurant is Las Flores but, disappointingly, there are no fresh flowers. They are found embroidered on attendants’ blouses and framed on the walls.

 

Las Flores

 

G/F One McKinley Place, 25th St., Bonifacio Global City; tel. no. 5522815

 

“Donde Estan Las Flores?” (Where are the flowers?), this diner asked. “No hay ninguna aqui” (“there is nothing here”).

 

Because of its name, we thought we would walk into a garden setting, with fresh blooms. But the place is as conventional in design as some of the newly opened restaurants in the city.

 

Dining area—Done in shades of brown, from light to café au lait. It is deep with tables and chairs distanced enough to separate diners from each other. The chairs are low-backed in coffee brown upholstery. Some covers, however, are made of jute with the brand Flores. Bottles of wines are arranged right side up on a wall at one end of the dining area, while on the other side are frames of various flowers, perhaps the concession to its name. Hanging from the ceiling are lamps imported from Spain.

 

Service—A tall and youngish Español, Albert, knelt in front of us and had a hard time translating/explaining in English the Spanish terms in the menu. Our little Spanish allowed us to know what was on the menu, aside from translations in  plastic cards that were handed immediately as we took our seats. On hindsight, we think long hair in disarray is hardly ideal for restaurant staff, or even part-owners.

 

Staff—We found more flowers embroidered on the blouses of the lady attendants. The staff looked chic and neat in grayish blue tops worn with conservatively short skirts. They were also gracious, alert and with smiles on their faces.

 

Suggested orders—Focus on the Catalan specialties, the cuisine of Catalonia is said to be the best in Spain for its blend of influences from neighboring countries. Can you believe Canelones originated in Spain? Order a Flowery drink of Calamansi and Cherry Blossoms or a Hibiscus mix of orange bitters, bourbon and vanilla. The Sangria, too, of course, but that would cost you P400 a glass.

 

The Soup of the Day at that lunch was broth with the essence of shrimps. Very flavorful.

 

Go for Botifarra Catalan, a few slices of sausages on baked potatoes, caramelized onions and shiitake mushrooms. For meat eaters, there’s Solomillo, Australian Angus steak. Skip the traditional Paella and try the Rissoto de Verduras, rice with vegetables and crispy leeks. Small portion, but satisfying and unique.

 

You must not miss the Crema Catalana con Piña. Coffee? Yes—bold and good. Your bill will be much higher than you’d expect.

 

Service and government taxes are included in the bill. Senior cards are honored.

 

Rating **

 

Uncle Cheffy

 

Unit 7B, Roof Deck, C1 Cluster, 1 Molito Lifestyle Bldg., Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Call Francis, tel. no. 0927-7135284.

 

This is yet another pizza-and-more restaurant offering what is called brick-oven global cuisine, with dining options geared to sharing and family gatherings. The technique is preparing food the traditional slow-cooked way while injecting global flavors.

 

Dining area—Located at the corner of a new building in the complex, it has a large open space on the roof deck for al fresco dining and big get-togethers. Minimalistic in interiors, the resto has two levels—the smaller area on the ground floor and the banquet-size upper floor opening to the deck.

 

Service—Spontaneous, the kitchen efficient.

 

Staff—Courteous, quick to respond.

 

Suggested orders—A must is the Brick-Oven-Baked Panizza, which is paper-thin, crispy, with different toppings blended with different cheeses. Take the Molino Salad of root veggies and fruits with fish fillet in creamy dressing.

 

The New England Pot Roast (beef) is perfectly done, melting in the mouth with rich gravy. Try the Roasted Chicken Maurino, too, or go for the platters of Meat or Fish Barbecues, and/or Surf-and-Turf combinations.

 

Sweet Potato Crème Brûlée is a perfect ending with coffee. Wine is served.

 

Service charge and government taxes are included in the bill. Senior cards are honored.

 

Rating **