Let me tell you about this recent gastronomic experience I had during one of my recent food trips in the south. It’s quite a distance from where I am, but it was worth all the miles. I had too much smiles while I had Alba at Westgate.
If you are on the lookout for authentic and reliable Spanish cuisine in the metro, this brand is it. This semi-fine dining restaurant has other outlets in Tomas Morato, Poblacion and Mall of Asia.
Alba has a very cozy atmosphere, giving off this old-fashioned vibe to it as if you are having a cookout in your grandparents’ place. For those who plan to go out on a date, this place would provide you the ideal setting for a romantic dinner with your special someone.
I would have to say that Alba’s offerings have flown me and my tastebuds right off the bat to Spain. Set before my eyes were dishes that made my tongue explore the beauty of España. Alba’s chef whipped up some of their bestsellers that were made from the finest ingredients.
Prior to having any appetizers or entrees, the waitstaff will serve you with a basket of soft rolls with butter. Then, for starters, I had their Jamon con Mangga y Arugula (Php 400). This homemade Spanish cured salty ham with sweet mango and bittersweet arugula was a refreshing treat to my palate. I liked the irresistible combination of multiple taste and textures.
Another thing that piqued my fancy was their Brandada de Bacalao (Php 350). This serving of codfish croquettes with roasted pepper sauce is actually an ingenious creation by Alba. It’s something I haven’t had elsewhere. It’s fishy element was fresh and it complemented with a bit of spicy kick.
Then there was the Gambas al Ajillo (Php 370). This classic seafood dish is made up of luscious shrimps, sauteed in olive oil, garlic, and fresh raw green chili. It had a pleasant yet bold garlicky taste to it. This was my favorite here, best paired with Paella.
You also have to take note of their Chorizo Fritos (Php 350). This homemade sausage is one of Spain’s staple tapas, which is usually paired with bread, or a serving of fried eggs to lighten its striking seasoning.
Alba’s bestsellers, which is their Paella Valenciana (Php 580) finally came. It was cooked the traditional way, just how paella should be, and Alba took a step further with overflowing toppings. It had pieces of tender meats of chicken, chorizo, shrimps, fish, and fresh colorful veggies. This paella was moist and very aromatic. The Paella Valenciana was extra moist and it gave off a rich aroma of flavors. Below the pan also gVe you the forgiving burnt crunch.
We were also served the usual Paella Negra (Php 650). This one was crafted with squid and its ink, and shrimps which could have use more of to bring out its full potential flavors.
If you are a meat lover, you must have Alba’s signature Solomillo ala Pobre (Php 620). This value for money grilled tenderloin steak is cooked naturally in olive oil and loads of garlic. This hearty dish came with a serving of good, old mashed potato and side vegetables.
Another classic creation was their Callos ala Madrileña (Php 420). This small bowl was packed with Spanish love of ox tripes and garbanzos, swimming in rich, thick tomato sauce.
This quick food trip to Spain wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t get to have a taste of their roasted pig, or Cochinillo Asado (Php 750). You can tell from its taste that it was marinated and seasoned well, as it tasted perfectly on its own, even without putting any sauce or gravy to it.
Best thing to cap off all these meals was their meringue cake with vanilla custard sauce or Canonigo (Php 150). It was too sweet, and soft, and it was the kind of dessert that melts in your mouth, just like an ice cream would. Oh they also served Tiramisu in cute little cubes. Must have dessert as well.
So who is up to go South for some Spanish goodness? I am again and again.
Thank you catchingcarla.com for some of the photos.