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ALQUERIA Tapas, Paellas Y Bistecas in SM Megamall, The Rebirth

Sunday, August 02, 2015
Alqueria in SM Megamall is a Spanish restaurant formerly known as Boqueria. When friends and some of Manila Food Bloggers I follow started talking about Alqueria online, I was under the impression that it is a new concept to hit the lines of restaurants at Mega Fashion Hall. Turns out, it is a renamed version Boqueria with a little bit of revamped thrown in for a good measure.

Specializing in Spanish cuisine including the well-loved churros con chocolate, Alqueria is established by one of today's successful restaurateurs Marvin Agustin. Joining him in this venture are fellow great names in entertainment industry namely Agot Isidro, Mylene Dizon, celebrity stylist Liz Uy, and ABS-CBN president Charo Santos-Concio. 

ALQUERIA SM MEGAMALL

The creative minds behind Alqueria may be star studded but what shines the most in this league is the band of great tasting Spanish dishes poised to satisfy Alqueria's diners - whether Spanish cuisine-lovers or otherwise.

Alqueria's ambiance is a dead giveaway of what cuisine that they serve. Modern and well kept, the seats are comfortable, the designs are well curated - but the interesting part of the location lies in the middle where an open kitchen is located.

Open Kitchen, The Center of Alqueria Restaurante Y Chocolateria
The menu undoubtedly boasts of dishes with Spanish influences - some are down right hardcore while the others possess a modern punch to it perfect for those who craves for adventure and whose palate does not carries the tag of a snotty purist. 

Alqueria SM Megamall Menu
Recent visit with some of our KTG Friends introduced us to variety of dishes that Alqueria serves. First one on the table was the complimentary bread coupled with butter and some salsa for dipping. I honestly didn't paid much attention to this at the onset of our luncheon meet up thinking that it's just one of those bread any restaurants gives away freely. But when it comes handy during the time I was sopping up the remains of the gambas, I realized how I love these crusty bread.

Bread, Butter, and Salsa at Alqueria Restaurant
A beautiful prelude to the Spanish feast, Alqueria's Gambas Al Ajillo (Php375) is for the record one of the best gambas I have tried by far. The plump shrimps in its juiciness glory were delight to the bite. The tomato-based sauce of course was something noteworthy as well. After all, I wouldn't finish the complimentary bread had it not been for the goodness of the sauce I happily indulged in.

Gambas Al Ajillo, one of the best appetizers at Alqueria Restaurant
Reminiscent of a flat bread or a pizza with a really really thin crust, Alqueria's Coca (Php315) could have been one of my favorites among the dishes served to us but the bread unfortunately fall short of my expectation. It was too hard for my liking and I am not a fan of hard breads to begin with. Good thing however is that the toppings which comprised of anchovies, caramelized onions, tomato confit among many others were so good I didn't mind scrapping it off the bread and eating it on its own.

Coca, Spanish Pizza at Alqueria
I have nothing but good words about Alqueria's Pan Con Queso (Php265). Seriously, how can you blame me if this sandwich is basically my well-loved grilled cheese sandwich made all the more palatable with some peppers thrown in for an added kick? It can be enjoyed as it is but when eaten with the salsa as well as the salad on the side, it can be a whole new world of deliciousness.

Pan Con Queso, one of my favorites at Alqueria SM Megamall
Judging by its menu, Alqueria has a soft spot for meat lovers like I am. You would probably expect some cochinillo in this blog write up since it is a staple in every Spanish restaurant. But despite its absence, I must say we got pretty much the same happiness a cochinillo would have induced. 

Case in point, the Alqueria's Skirt Steak (Php1,310). A slab of 500 grams Wagyu Beef sourced from Margaret Farm, sliced in a decent thickness, this steak is meant to be eaten with the side dishes it comes with. Thick cut fries, tomato and onion salsa, pesto sauce, and roasted garlic - eat everything together and there could only be happiness. You can take my word for it.

Skirt Steak ala Alqueria Restaurant
If the skirt steak brought me happiness, Alqueria's Prime Rib Eye (Php2,030) on the other hand brought an enduring happiness, enthusiasm, and longing for another visit at Alqueria while still savoring every morsel of the meat. I have had several rib eye in the past and this one goes up on top of my favorite list.

The perfectly grilled steak was just downright flavorful and tender and amazing and just perfect. It was so good I am still salivating at the thought of it while I am writing this.

Alqueria Restaurant's Rib Eye Prime
Now for the Paella - a dish which Alqueria is proud of. Rightfully so, since they do it in such a way it will make diners come back for more. First one I have tried was the Paella Con Mechada (Php950). The safron-infused rice was of course noteworthy, but what really rocked my world was the short rib meat on top which can be liken to a beef stew dish. So tender and flavorful it's earth shatteringly good.

Paella Con Mechada, One of the Best Paella at Alqueria
The next one was the Paella Negra (Php545/small, Php825/medium, Php1480/large). While I am no longer a big fan of anything with squid ink these days, I just have to make an exception for this one. It posses the seafood flavor which I love without overbearingly so. The toppings which comprise of different seafood was not just aesthetically impressive as it adds flavor to the dish as well.

Paella Negra at Alqueria
I am not usually a big fan of lengua but during our luncheon, I have to admit that I may have finished more than my fair share of Alqueria's Lengua Estofada (Php470). It had me at its flavorful tenderness. The simplicity of its look in contrast to the other dishes shouldn't be mistaken for its flavor because you might miss the chance to have the best lengua dish you will ever eat.

The Amzing Lengua at Alqueria SM Megamall

Alqueria also takes pride in serving an awesome churros with chocolate dipping sauce. I have tried their churros way before I have dined at Alqueria because one of my friends took advantage of their promo one time and grab several servings of it. It was good, probably one of the best out there.

Churros Con Chocolate
There are several Spanish restaurants in Manila and taking into consideration those which I have already tried, Alqueria is definitely something that one should not miss. The passion for good food is very apparent to the dishes - something we do not get that often with all the commercialized food available everywhere.

I can see myself going back at Alqueria in no time because there are several dishes that captured my heart and there are some others which I am interested to try. So if you happen to be searching for a Spanish restaurant, I suggest you try Alqueria - food is good, prices are reasonable, and the service is sincere.

Alqueria
3/F Mega Fashion Hall
SM Megamall
Mandaluyong City
Metro Manila
Facebook: ALQUERIA tapas, paellas y bistecas
Twitter: @AlqueriaPH
Instagram: @AlqueriaPH



2 comments on "ALQUERIA Tapas, Paellas Y Bistecas in SM Megamall, The Rebirth "
  1. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
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