I’ve been to the relatively new Mega Fashion Hall food scene of SM Megamall quite a number of times already. And Alqueria is one of those restaurants that will capture your fancy from its name alone, which means ‘farmhouse‘.
It was called Boqueria, actually, when I first dined at the place. And a few weeks ago, I found myself back in the quaint Spanish restaurant with a different set of friends for a night of chitchat while having a taste of Spain.
A Taste of Spain
For starters, collectively called “tapas“, we had a small skillet each of Salpicao, Gambas Al Ajillo, and Queso Fundido, for sharing.
A bite each might be small for big appetites but the explosion of flavors made up for it.
The cubes of sautéed tenderloin marinated with garlic, Spanish paprika, and olive oil, will make the Salpicao (P445) a memorable dish for you in Alqueria.
Secondly, the fresh white river shrimps of Gambas Al Ajillo (P375) will be admired by shrimp lovers. Imagine it sauteed in olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika finished with white wine and butter. Almost perfect, and my favorite among the three!
The Queso Fundido (P210) brings you back to the simple goodness of tapas as a comfort food. Pair that with a skillet of creamy Manchego Cheese dip with spiced chips, pimientos, and jalapeno and you’ve got it smooth with a side kick.
And Now for the Mains
The entry of the Paella Valenciana signalled the start of a festive mood in our dinner. Everyone’s eyes at the table widened with the big, colorful fare!
The simmered rice in saffron-infused stock was mixed in good harmony of clams, mussels, shrimp and chicken meat. The small one is priced at P560 while the medium and large costs P910 and P1,480, respectively.
As if one paella is not enough, next came the Paella del Carne (Small: P480 / Medium: P715 / Large: P1,150). With a similar rice base to that of the Valenciana, this one was topped with chorizo, chicken, smoked bacon and pork spareribs. I liked the former, however.
And the next ones are for the guys – Prime Ribs and Lamb Chops!
The Prime Rib may seem expensive at P2,250 but it actually weighs about 420g and good for sharing with a group. Alqueria also uses black angus USDA choice grade steak, so you’re paying for quality food. Alqueria‘s Lamb Chops are from Ann Creek Farms in Australia. Price: Half Rack: P1,310 / Full Rack: P2,380.
Both were served medium-rare, fork-tender, and came with a serving of salad, special dip and traditional potatoes.
Are we leaving Alqueria without trying their churros? Of course not!
The Alqueria Churros is served with Valor chocolate dip. The Classic serving price ranges from P138 to P228 for 3 to 10 pieces, while the Chocolate ranges from P158 to P298, also for 3 to 10 pieces.
In addition, we also had the velvety Manchego Cheesecake (P230) and Pudin (P160), a Chocolate pudding ala mode made from valor dark chocolates as well.