It has been three years since Cartel first opened its doors in Salcedo Village, and since then, it has also been one of the Makati person's go-to place for good coffee, deli, bread, and everything in between without having to leave the busy city.
A word which means "a list or a line-up of sorts" in Spanish, Cartel lives up to its name by partnering up with third-wave brands – Yardstick for coffee and Bonton for bread – and bringing them together in one place for people to experience and enjoy a variety of different things.
Just recently, Cartel opened its second branch in Legazpi Village with a goal of being a one-stop place for people who are looking for a place they can visit for a good breakfast or for late-night drinks after a long work day. You can even get your stack of different kinds of cheese and cold cuts to pair here so you won't have to drive far to get what you need for wine night!
From tapas and cold cuts platters to pasta and paella, here are some of the dishes we loved and you should definitely try when you visit Cartel Deli:
Being a Spanish restaurant, what you should definitely not miss are their signature tapas. Start it off with Cartel's Gilda, which comes in 4 sticks of boquerones, salted anchovies, olives, and guindilla peppers so a bite into it can give you a good mix of the saltiness of the fish and the slight sourness of the pickled pepper. If you're aiming for something more classic, try the Spicy Chorizo Bites, which has just the right amount of spice and smoky flavor.
Their tartare is also a good dish to try if you're someone who loves something that's both delicious and refreshing. The Spicy Tuna Tartare has tuna, avocado, pomelo, and wakame, while the Torched Salmon Tartare has salmon, fried quail egg, potato nest, and wasabi mayonnaise.
You can also have a taste of Fire-Grilled Octopus, with octopus served on a bed on a bed of mashed potatoes, with olive oil, bread crumbs, and pimenton – a Spanish kind of smoked paprika.
Another famous Spanish dish you can find here at Cartel is their Callos a la Madrilena, and their version of it has spiced beef tripe and chorizo which is best to enjoy with one of their drinks, and with rice even!
For the ones who are looking for something that's a bit heftier, make sure to order the Roasted Chicken which comes with a big cut of chicken that's good for 2, and is cooked Mediterranean-style, served with paprika, herbs, and white wine sauce.
Craving for pasta? While Cartel has the crowd-favorites – lasagna and carbonara – it's the Shrimp Parpadelle that you should try. Served with three huge shrimps, this pasta dish is cooked with garlic coriander and capsicum. If you're more of rice than a pasta person, though, you can never go wrong with one of Cartel's paella. Their Black Squid Ink and Aioli's serving is huge and is good enough to fill up 2 to 3 people.
With coffee from Yardstick, Cartel is sure to deliver drinks that will give you the caffeine to jolt you awake in the morning. They recommend the Flat White if you're into drinking hot coffee, and Salcedo Swing – cold brew with almond syrup – if you're one who prefers iced drinks.
Cartel also offers different kinds of drinks perfect for those looking for a place to hang out with friends after a long workday. From wines to cocktails to whisky, you can surely find a drink that would go perfectly well with your choice of dishes.
To make it even better, Cartel offers all their alcoholic drinks at 20% during their Happy Hour, which happens daily from 3PM to 7PM, so you can enjoy all the drinks you want to have without shelling out so much.
Cartel Deli is located at Unit GF-A and GF-B of 117 Gamboa St., Kalaw-Ledesma Tower in Legazpi Village, Makati City. For more information, you may check out their official website, Facebook, and Instagram pages.