Known for its tapas and signature paellas, Spanish restaurant Tapella by Gaudi located at the ground floor of Greenbelt 5 recently unveiled vibrant new additions to their menu.
Tapella has been one of the watering holes in Makati for the past 5 years and the new dishes give the tapas-loving and sangria-drinking crowd new reasons to hang out and have a few drinks.
We visited the restaurant for a night of tapas-and-sangria food pairing. We started off with the Boquerones Caballa al Vinagre Pintxo (P100) – marinated sashimi-grade mackerel on top of smoked cold potato and black olives salad on crusted bread. It’s a classic dish from southern Spain with a modern interpretation and an Asian touch. This is paired with a glass of the Banzai Sangria (P195) made with sake infused with cucumber and ginger garnished with homemade candied ginger and fresh cucumber slices. This has a clean and refreshing taste and goes perfectly well with the salty taste from the mackerel and olives.
The Sandia con Tomate (P90) was next, a playful looking dish of watermelon cubes topped with tomato roe, herb vinaigrette and a pinch of Maldon salt. This dish is actually a creation of legendary avant-garde Chef Ferran Adria of el Bulli and Chef Jose Andres, a Spanish-American chef who trained under Adria early in his career.
Our next sangria was the Ronin Lychee Sangria (P295), a sweeter sangria and is a fusion of Spanish white wine, cold sake, and natural fruit flavors.
The Cuchara de Erizo de Mar or Uni Spoons (P825) were served next – sea urchin on top of tomato roe and salsa with olive oil seasoned with a little sea salt, dill and tarragon. It was my first time to eat uni and I was expecting the raw taste to be overwhelming but the tomato and the salsa’s acidity cut through it. It was a spoonful full of flavor and complementing textures.
Next was the Pintxo Trio (P250) – toasted bread with jamon serrano on top of smoked cream cheese, smoked salmon over chive cream cheese, and Moroccan mini burger over Moorish cream cheese.
These can be paired with a glass of Don Roberto (P225). Named after Tapella’s chef, Robert Spakowski, it’s made with a variety of fruits marinated in premium red wine and liquors for 24 hours then flambéed to produce a smooth and balanced taste. The strawberry pieces in the drink are a nice touch.
My favorite out of all the tapas is the Scallops dos Quesos (P700) – seared scallops in white sauce covered in melted cheese (one of which is Manchego) and served with a basket of bread. It’s a cheesy and creamy fiesta in a clay pot!
Scallops made another appearance, this time with some crisp potatoes and eggs. The Huevos Rotos Vieiras Salteadas y Camarones (P950) has sautéed scallops and shrimp over sunny side-up eggs and shoestring fries topped with crunchy garlic and spring onions.
Rounding up the tapas is the Almejas a la Marinera con Pastas a la Importancia (P295) –sautéed Manila clams in white wine with special breaded potatoes.
The two scallop dishes and the clams can be paired with The Rico J. (P250) – yes, that Rico J., who is one of Tapella’s regular customers – the most potent red sangria in the house.
It was a night of excellent tapas and sangrias, no doubt. That’s four types of woozy for four glasses of sangria, which I wouldn’t mind repeating with some paella.
Like Tapella’s Facebook page (/TapellaByGaudi) and follow their Instagram (@TapellaPH).