First Friday of the month: Restaurant / Dining
In my barkada, we celebrate birthdays with the group treating the celebrant. That was our practice since we graduated from college coz it's always a challenge to think of a gift, so we just treat the celebrant. We usually choose a restaurant that we haven't been to as a group, and in recent years, countless dining places sprouted that we can't keep up anymore. In SM Mega Fashion Hall alone, there are still so many we have not dined in yet, but we can now tick off Alqueria from our list. We chose this homey Spanish restaurant to treat our latest celebrant.
We mostly enjoy dining at Japanese, Thai, Italian, French, and Spanish restos. In Spanish dining places, we often order tapas. This way, we can have an assortment of savory items to try and share. Plus, there's sangria to match perfectly with our meal. =) That's what we did during our dinner at Alqueria several nights ago. It was my third time there (twice when it was formerly named Boqueria) and to their credit, they've maintained the good quality of their food and warm service.
It's a mamas and tapas night and my personal favorites are...
Pulpo a la Gallega -- octopus with potato gratin and topped with manchego cheese. I did not expect that this will be so good! I am fond of squid, so this plate of chopped, well-seasoned and tender octopus was a winner for me. I think I ate more than my share of this dish, heehee! =) A must-try!
There's the always present Gambas al Ajillo and Salpicao. I love garlic in most of my dishes and these two are bursting with garlic flavor that complements the juicy shrimps and the beef tenderloin, both cooked in olive oil of course.
Please excuse all my grainy food shots, didn't have my digicam with me that night. Anyway, we also ordered Chicharones, Chorizo Frito and Calamares Fritos. They served the gambas, salpicao, and chorizo with toasted bread -- sarap pang-sawsaw sa garlic oil, yummeh!
It was the month of September and Alqueria has an on-going promo at that time -- free Queso Fundido with P2K worth of orders. So, they served us this plate of gooey cheesy goodness with spiced chips too! You have to watch our for their monthly promos, sulit talaga.
What better way to wash down these delicious tapas than with ice-cold Sangria. Alqueria's blend is sweet, fruity, and with just the right amount of kick. Some may want a stronger alcohol mix, but this one was perfect for me. The sweet apple and orange chunks made this beverage more refreshing. Medyo nabitin ang mga nanay, hehe...
I was actually invited to dine at Alqueria last August with my blogger friends, but I missed it. To get a taste of their main dishes, they surprised my group with this beautiful Paella Marinera and crispy Pata Cochinillo, on the house! Muchas gracias, Alqueria! =)
The paella was generously filled with succulent shellfish, and the rice was flavorful, hindi nakaka-umay. It came our a bit mushy though, but I still cleaned by plate. It made our dinner complete.
I can't refuse any type of lechon. Syempre, kahit busog na, I still dug in and devoured my share of this well-seasoned, crunchy Pata Cochinillo, with corn on the side. Very tasty even without the sauce. They also offer a whole cochinillo pala, a perfect centerpiece for any family gatherings or celebrations.
Our all-girls dinner get-togethers are always peppered with exciting stories, revelations, and reminiscing, shared over fine food and drinks. Aside from discovering new dishes with my best girls, it's really all about the company and enjoying our nights out in a cozy restaurant, just like Alqueria. It's a pretty homey place for family and friends to hang and dine.
Follow Alqueria Restaurante on Facebook and @alqueriaph on Instagram to get updates on new dishes and special monthly promos!
ALQUERIA tapas, paellas y bistecas
3rd Level, Mega Fashion Hall
Building D, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City
For reservations, contact +63916-5062659
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