Take A Trip To Spain And Back At Alqueria Tapas, Paellas y Bistecas

Interested to expand your tastebuds under the culinary influence of Spain? If this is what you crave for, then I would suggest that you take a visit at Alqueria Tapas, Paellas y Bistecas. Located at the chic SM Mega Fashion Hall, the space that was occupied formerly by Boqueria still has that elegant open kitchen, a glimpse of traditional Spanish bullfighter and dance costumes on the walls, a small cellar area for their selection of wines, and an area that resembles a Spanish market.   

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For those who may be asking what happened to Boqueria, the change of name to Alqueria Tapas, Paellas y Bistecas was agreed as a business decision because apparently the name Boqueria was already acquired by another group without their knowledge. More changes included getting Chef Chris Oronce to head Alqueria's vibrant kitchen; he who previously worked at the high profile Nobu Hotel and Mesa Grill at the Caesar's Palace.

Filipinos have always had a connection with Spanish cooking and cuisine, but certainly not everything has been handed over to us considering the availability of ingredients that are only abundant in Spain. Alqueria gives us an exquisite peek of some of their more popular tapas, starting with the Queso Fundido which is a smooth and creamy dip made with Manchego Cheese, peppers and spices and served with some slightly spicy chips that can still hold the dip's stringy goodness.

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The Gambas Al Ajillo is new on the menu, and is drenched with slow cooked garlic that, tomatoes and olive oil. The shrimp pieces are large and the bread is perfect for sopping up the wonderful sauce. This dish is packed with flavors that you wouldn't hesitate asking for a cop (or so) of rice, especially for those who just can't cut on their staple carbs.

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The same garlicky deliciousness is evident in Alqueria's Salpicao, which is considered as one of the most popular tapas in Spain (and is considered as ulam (viand) here in the Philippines). The tender chunks of tenderloin is enveloped by the natural flavors of olive oil and punchy garlic. If I had bought this and took it home, I might as well would dump the whole thing on a bed of freshly cooked linguine, some red pepper flakes and then people won't even know where to find me while I eat this.

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Aside from the selection of wines that go nicely with the dishes in Alqueria's menu, you can also try their in-house Signature Iced Teas and Shakes. The Cinnamon Iced Tea which I ordered is slightly sweet and fragrant (and you would know that cinnamon is actually good for you). Meanwhile, some of my companions during that time tried the Grape Fruit Shake and Mint Iced Tea.

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As for Alqueria's Paella and Fideua selection, nothing beats the Paella Valenciana, which is actually one of their bestsellers. Other bestsellers include the Paella Negra and Paella Queso Manchego. But this particular paella below is absolutely stuffed with mussels, clams, shrimps, sausages, chicken, peas and red peppers. Do not forget to spritz your paella with some lemon to add some zing to your colorful plate! 

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On the other hand, the Paella Del Carne is equally impressive although a bit heavy for my palate. This time, the same saffron-infused rice is cooked with chorizo, chicken pieces, smoked bacon and LOTS of pork spareribs. Gosh, it is literally a Meatlover's Dream version of Paella. Delicious!!

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If you'd have more time for dinner, then the 20 to 30 minutes of waiting will all be worth it when you order some of their Bistecas. You can choose between their Black Angus USDA Prime Grade Rib Eye Steak, Bone-in Prime Rib Steaks, Tenderloin, Skirt Steak, Pork Chops, and the extra special Lamb Chops straight from Ann Creek Farms in Australia

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Personally, I enjoy eating steak when it's cooked medium rare, regardless of which cut is available. But I did have a quick love affair with Alqueria's Lamb Chops which was served with some mint sauce and a side of both steamed veggies and salad. I was so focused with eating both the lamb chops and rib eye steaks that I was literally being observed by Mommies Rina and Yen and that they find me amusing while they watch me eat. Hahaha! And with that, my eating talents have been exposed!

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Alqueria also serves Churros con Chocolate where the chocolate sauce is made with Valor Chocolate from Madrid, which is considered premium and made from the beans coming from Ghana, Panama and Ecuador. Tip: make sure to tell the servers to cook them as soon as you start with dessert. A few minutes of waiting time wouldn't really hurt because it's best to eat them while they're still hot.

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The Pudin is a traditional chocolate pudding served ala mode, and it's also made with Valor Chocolate. It's not too sweet and you will love the play of hot and cold temperatures in your mouth. This is a dessert experience that you can only get at Alqueria.

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I also highly recommend the Manchego Cheese Cake, made with traditional cheese cake making techniques but mixed in with melted Manchego cheese. This is an absolute cheese cake bomb like no other. I would just love to come back one afternoon at Alqueria eating this and having coffee and I'd have the time of my life. This definitely deserves a two thumbs up!

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It's unlucky for me to not be working in the Ortigas area because Alqueria is currently offering these sumptuous lunch specials from Monday to Thursday from 10AM to 4PM with some of your office barkada! Try to avail these specials some time when you visit Alqueria at the Mega Fashion Hall soon!

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To check out other promos in Alqueria, please visit 
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*This post was created by the writer's own thoughts about Alqueria Tapas, Paellas y Bistecas. 


  1. I had a chance to dine at Alqueria too and the food is amazing! My favorite would be Pulpo a la Gallega and for desserts, Canonigo :)


    1. Hi Marj!! :) Not sure if they still offer the Pulpo ala Gallega but I would love to try the CaƱonigo now that you've mentioned it!