When a restaurant opens up in the metro declaring rice as its hero, you know it bodes well for the carb-loving, 'till the last morsel' folk of Manila — which is pretty much every hungry Pinoy out there (team #extrarice). Paella place ArroZeria just opened at the beginning of this year, but already it has garnered fans for their exceptional interpretations of paella through the culinary guidance of Spanish Chef Chele Gonzalez (of Vask Modern Tapas and Gallery Vask). Along with fellow Basque native Chef Ivan Saiz and Chef Keith Fresnido, the culinary team of ArroZeria champions sustainability through their food, and pushes for use of quality local ingredients, like the local heirloom rice from the Cordillera used for their paella (the closest to the Spanish arroz bomba).
A few weeks ago, the restaurant rolled out an updated menu, now bringing more flavors of Spain to our tastebuds with their new selection of tapas, meats, dessert, and of course–the star of ArroZeria–rice!
Here are eight new dishes to try at ArroZeria on your next visit.
1. Salpicón de Pulpo (P370): this classic Spanish appetizer of chopped marinated octopus tossed in a capsicum and onion vinaigrette is chewy with bright colors and flavors that pop on the palate, especially when paired with crisp bread.
2. Albondigas con Champiñones (P375): Albondigas or meatballs are prepared in various ways, served in tomato sauce or as a filling soup, for example. A typical tapas item in Spain is Albondigas con Champiñones, and ArroZeria preares their meatballs with a blend of beef and pork with button mushroom sauce and rustic potatoes as its starchy partner.
3. Costillas Glaseadas (P600 for 2 pax): Meatlovers can feast alongside rice monsters here, since many hearty mains of meat and seafood await the carnivore aside from their famed paella. The new glazed pork ribs, for instance, is a meaty order to share. It's familiar (who doesn't love tender pork ribs?), with a lipsmacking tangy sauce, and served with garlic parsley mashed potatoes, a side of pickles, and roasted cauliflower.
4. Paella Rossejat (P790/12" 2-3 pax, P1,530/15" 4-5pax, P2,320/18" 6-8pax): This particular Catalan paella uses a technique of 'browning' the rice by frying it briefly, giving it great flavor from the stock and distinct texture. Meaty flavors abound every spoonful, with chunks of beef shank, pork knuckle, and chorizo topping this dish, along with chickpeas. [Note: preparation time for paella is 30-45 minutes]
5. Callos Fideuà (P500/12" 2-3 pax, P950/15" 4-5pax, P1450/18" 6-8pax): Fideuà is nothing new at ArroZeria — they've been cooking it since they opened, but this thin noodle version of paella is not quite common in the metro. In their new fideua dish, they marry the noodle paella with a Spanish favorite: callos! The hearty stew is transformed into a fideua rich in pork, tripe, and garbanzos. [Note: preparation time for fideuà is 15-20 minutes]
6. Chorizo y Gambas Arroz con Costra (P750/2-3 pax): Arroz con Costra translates to 'rice with crust,' and in this case, the flavorful rice is 'crusted' with beaten eggs right before it is finished cooking. This new arroz variant at ArroZeria is topped with Spanish chorizo and shrimp.
7. Calamansi Semifrio (P225): Among the new items being offered at ArroZeria's new menu are a couple of dulce (sweets) that cater to the dessert lovers that crave some citrus with their sweets. The new Calamansi Semifrío is one, the Spanish verison of the Italian semifreddo, a semi-frozen dessert that's a perfect palate cleaser: chunks of calamansi semifrio artfully plated with a swoop of mango sauce accompanied with mint jelly cubes, with crisp sheets of sweet toasty cookies which will remind you of lengua de gato.
8. Tocinillo del Cielo (P250): Another meal-ender with a citrusy-sweet finish. Similar to our leche flan, two discs of sweet and delicate egg yolk flan take centerstage on a pristine plate. Adding the tarty spin is raspberry foam, yogurt, lime, and Modena vinegar reduction.
ArroZeria is located on the 4th floor of the Century City Mall, Makati. For inquiries and table reservations, call (02) 894-1796 or e-mail email@example.com. Like ArroZeria in Facebook (/ArroZeriaMNL), and follow on Instagram and Twitter (@ArroZeriaMNL).