Wondering where to get a hearty Spanish fare while enjoying a glass of wine north of the metro? Let us introduce you to Ponce!
Ponce is a newly-opened resto in Tomas Morato that serves Spanish cuisine prepared in a modern way, and calibrated for the Filipino palates’ appreciation. Besides the good food is their flowing sangria or wine, completely making the place an ideal spot to cap off a long day's work.
Once you enter Ponce, you will be greeted by the interior’s wooden elements and verdant accents, giving off an al fresco vibe taking inspiration on how meals are often enjoyed in Spain. The neon lights asking “Sangria? Wine Not?” before you stumble upon their speakeasy bar beckons you to spend the evening chilling with a glass on your hand. During weekends, the vibe gets even better with jazz music filling the air.
During their media launch, Ponce’s Head Culinarian Chef Angelo Santicruz, or just Chef Santi as he would say, served the guests some of the restaurant’s most enticing dishes that you wouldn't want to miss when you visit the place. Check them out below:
Start up your appetite with the Croquetta Pulpo (P240), which are croquettes oozing with a milky, buttery béchamel sauce filling with minced pulpo or octopus mix-ins. Imagine takoyaki, but all the flavors are packed inside a croquette ready to melt in your mouth in every bite!
What makes a hamburger Spanish? Add Spanish cheddar and Manchego cheese into the mix! The Hamburguesas y Tres Quesos (P275) is composed of three mini burgers made with Wagyu beef patties and drizzled with some Pesto cheese sauce to complete its tres quesos or triple-cheese fix.
The Gambas al Ajillo (P450) is a popular Spanish dish that is made of fresh shrimp, garlic, and olive oil. At Ponce, they highly recommend dipping the bread into the olive oil to let its fresh umami flavor seep in and merge with the bread’s sweet buttery taste.
After prepping up your tastebuds with squid, beef, and prawns, this next tapas is bringing in the meat and mushrooms! The Albondigas and Salsa de Crema de Champiñones (P350) is a savory platter of shiitake-mushroom-infused meatballs, slathered with a milky mushroom sauce, and topped with a cluster of crunchy mushrooms. What may sound like a redundant use of ingredient actually results to a rich fix of flavors and texture.
Of course, a Spanish cuisine lineup isn’t complete without the famed paella for the main course. Here at Ponce, you can indulge in different variations of the dish. Dive into the Paella Negra con Langostinos (P850) which is a black ink paella with squid and shrimp mix-ins, with a drop of garlic aioli for a balanced flavor. The Paella Mars y Montaña (P890), on the other hand, is a “land and sea paella,” taking its flavor from both meat and seafood, topped with bits of prawns, clams, and meatballs.
Their other paella offerings include the meaty Paella de Carnes (P850), which is made with beef meatballs, Spanish chorizo, chicken, and green beans; and the vegetarian Paella Verduras (P610), packed with shiitake mushrooms, young corn, carrots, french beans, cherry tomatoes, and topped with truffle oil.
And the attracion principal of Ponce: the De Cochinillo Asado del Chef (P8,350/whole; P4,175/half), is a roasted suckling pig with skin so crispy you can slice it without a cuchillo. Chef Santi even demonstrated how their lechon de leche recipe can be cut up with just the edge of a common plate. Of course, the pig’s meat does not disappoint either, being so tender it goes in very good contrast with the crispy Cochinillo skin.
Still can’t get enough of Ponce's mouth-watering fare? Here are some more dishes that they offer!
Good food and wine will not do alone without good stories, in which Ponce has its own share.
“The inspiration for Ponce came about, first of all, from my parents.” explains Ponce’s owner, Dick Balajadia. “Ponce is the middle name of my dad who loves to entertain people; who loves food; and who loves to celebrate. So here in Ponce that’s what we tried to do. So everytime you come here at Ponce, you’ll be able to celebrate people, celebrate food, and celebrate life.
Now it's your turn to celebrate with Ponce! They are open everyday from 11AM to 10PM, and until 2AM every Friday and Saturday.