GMA Artist and Chef, Ken Alfonso has just recently opened his own restaurant. Everyone seems to be diving into the food business, right? I, along with other select bloggers, were invited over for a special mini food conference here.
Bueno Tapas & Wine Restaurant is the name of the brick & mortar establishment tucked comfortably in The Grove by Rockwell. It features the vibrancy of the food culture in Spain as evident in the interiors of the place. It has the playfulness of colors and patterns that I would say is inspired by the contemporary culture of Barcelona yet tamed by the classic feel of Madrid.
Chef Ken has always had the drive to fulfill his dream to to serve food that he cooked as well. After around a few months working hard in Spain, immersing himself in Spanish food culture and society, Bueno became a reality.
This joint is actually his second venture into food after Garlic and Peppermill, a straight-to-your-door meal delivery service.
Bueno is undeniably reminiscent of our favorite Barcino. Even Chef Ken himself admitted that he and his friends absolutely love taking a nightcap or what not over there. That’s also where he drew inspiration – friends coming over for good wine collection and delicious tapas.
So, on to the food. We already finished the crostini chips and the margarine that greeted us upon sitting. Chef Ken takes pride in the way his dishes are plated and taste. True enough, the food looks inviting at face value. We were served Classic and Squid Ink Croquetas, which I absolutely adored. Interestingly, these croquetas had a nice, buttery taste to it upon chewing. The mini dollop of aioli it sits on gives it a mildly sharp finish for a complete experience. We downed it with some Raspberry Iced Tea – frozen blended.
Next was a steaming ceramic bowl of Callos. This one is rather flavorful and stewed so well that the meat would have this delightful stick-to-the-teeth quality. It’s really savory and would just go perfectly with any form of carb.
Chef Ken is very hands on on Bueno. He justified this claim by inviting us inside the kitchen to watch him demonstrate his Paella de Marisco y Pollo and Arroz Negro. I also definitely gathered a few tips and tricks in case I’m gonna make my own at home. Both of these tasted authentic, with rich flavors popping out of your mouth. They are good by itself!
We finished the food segment with Torta de Santiago and Torta San Marcos. The former is a dense, sweet cake with stewed orange slices on top. The latter had an airy chiffon-like base with a torched custard top. A light way to top off the course.
Bueno Tapas & Wine Restaurant would definitely be a place for a weekend or a weeknight wine buzz with delicious Spanish tapas and some sweet stop.