When the Dreyfuses invited us for a lunch at Alqueria, I thought we would only have churros and hot chocolate. It was such a surprise to arrive and see a spread of colorful dishes of paellas and prime steaks.
Alqueria is another concept under Sumosam Group of Restaurants founded by Marvin Agustin, Rico Laudico and Raymond Magdaluyo. The three started partnering with Charo Santos, Liz Uy, Mylene Dizon and Agot Isidro for the Alqueria.
A little Spanish language lessson for us, Alqueria is an old Spanish term that refers to a type of farmhouse that resembles to a small castle. If you try to "google" it and check the images, you would find pictures of milk and old houses in a farm. Alqueria served as a home to many rural Spanish families which was turned into a social gathering places.
The Alqueria that we have visited at the 3rd level of SM Megamall does not resemble to a farm house though. There are tiles of interesting pattern and racks of ingredients served like a display. I saw chocolates, wine and sauces.
We took a quick snapshots of the food. I was feeling a bit full from another event that we have attended BUT there's something about the paellas that made me take a few spoonfuls.
I am not much a fan of a paellas BUT the Carne Mechada really got me. Rice cooked with sofrito and simmered in saffron-infused stock and pomodoro topped with braised shortribs, grilled tomatoes and confit potatoes. Its flavor and texture are just perfect for my tastebuds. I personally hate too much saffron flavor in paella, but this mix is just perfectly blended with pomodorro that I can taste the tomatoes and flavor of braised ribs.
Carne Mechada Php 950 (medium)
While most of them voted for the Paella Valenciana which is equally good. I still go for the Carne Mechada. I am probably more of a beef person over seafood.
Paella Valenciana (Grande) (Small: Php560 / Medium: Php910 / Large: Php1,480)
The Lamb Chop was another topic of discussion. Have you seen it all bloody on the plate? We all requested for a medium-well cooking. What makes it extra special? It came from Ann Creek Farms, Australia. I enjoyed it with the rice from Carne Mechada.
Lamb Chops (Half Rack: Php1,310 / Full Rack: Php2,380)
I eat the Lamb Chop interchangeably with the Bistecas. It's 300g Black Angus USDA premium grade steak. If you are not much of a steak person, the whole plate is good for sharing with your friends. I love it tasty and juicy. The blanched vegetables on the side was another treat! Yes people, I do eat my vegetables now :)
Rib Eye Php 2,030
After feeling a bit full from the heavy lunch, we went back to the appetizers - Pulpo a la Gallega . The dish is an octopus gratin topped with mashed potatoes and manchego cheese. Rodel and I both love the Queso Fundido which reminds us of Cheese Pimiento. It is manchego cheese dip with pimientos and jalapenos served with spiced chips. The tangy taste makes it a perfect dip for nachos. And I dream of movie marathon nights.
The chef behind the menu at Alqueria has gained his experience and skills working for different restaurants in the US. From MGM Grand Sibuya in Las Vegas, Koi Restaurant at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas. He also got the chance to work with celebrity chef Bobby Flay at Mesa Grill Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas; and Nobu in New York. The name is Chef Chris Oronse who was once an instructor at Enderun College in Taguig before meeting with Sumosam Group.
Cubes of sautéed imported tenderloin marinated with garlic, Spanish paprika and olive oil.
Gambas Al Ajillo (Php375)
Fresh white river shrimps sauteed in olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika finished with white wine and butter.
Pulpo a la Gallega (Php288)
Octopus gratin topped with mashed potatoes and manchego cheese
Queso Fundido (Php210)
Manchego cheese dip with pimientos and jalapenos served with spiced chips.
For dessert, we had the Manchego Cheesecake You can say that Machego was the star of the late lunch. The cheesecake is made of melted machego cheese and cream cheese. A delightful dessert meant for sharing.
Manchego Cheesecake Php 220
And of course, the CHURROS!!!
Served with Valor chocolate dip
3pcs (Classic: Php138/Chocolate: Php158)
5pcs (Classic: Php158/Chocolate: Php198)
10pcs (Classic: Php228/Chocolate: Php298)
What makes the Churros from Alqueria special is the chocolate dip. It is made of Valor chocolates, which is imported from Spain. Guests can choose from thick or goey dip or a thinner chocolate syrup. Although the thick chocolate ganache sounds and tastes perfect, I prefer the think liquidy syrup because it seeps inside the churros that made it even more succulent.
Alqueria's Churros is not your ordinary churros. It is less oily compared to other churros I have tasted. There's perfect balance of crunch and softness feel in the mouth. The chocolate syrup is not very sweet too (I personally don't go gaga over chocolate and sweets) which I find perfect for my preference.
A quick review of Alqueria Restaurante:
Service: Very efficient and attentive staff. It could probably because there were only a few guests during our visit. I hope they can maintain such level of service.
Total Damage/Budget: Alqueria offers a different taste of Spanish food and I am satisfied with the paellas and churros, I wouldn't complain about the price range. I am thinking Php1,500 to Php2,000 is a safe budget for lunch/dinner for two.
Parking: Use SM Megamall's parking space.
Plastic Money: Yes, they accept VISA and Mastercard.
Washroom: Use the nearest washroom in SM Fashion Hall.
Dress Code: Come as you are!
Crowd: Families, couples, friends, Ortigas workers and churros lovers!
The Verdict: I will surely go back and bring my family and friends to try and explore the other items in the menu.
The Dela Cruz with the Dreyfuses, Villanueva, Flordeliz and Reyna
Thank you Yen for the pic!
Thank you for having us!
3/F Mega Fashion Hall
Edsa cor Julia Vargas, Mandaluyong City
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