Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Las Flores: The Spanish Restaurant with a Catalan Twist

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Hola!  Are yored of the usual stuff?

How about trying something different for your drinks and have it served in very unusual mugs, jars and other extraordinary containers served with your authentic Spanish cuisine - with a touch of Catalan influence.

You might have already learned way back in grade school that a great deal of our culture in the Philippines has Spanish  influences. The Philippine culture, including the food that we eat and most especially how we cook it, owes a great deal from our Spanish neighbors. 

However, it was actually a surprise for me to see that most of the meals served at the Las Flores Spanish Restaurant were creatively served to us. Most of the dishes were served on different plates and all the specialty drinks had their unique glasses or jars. The food and drink tasting revealed that all food and drinks, including the dessert, served to our group were appealing to our taste. 

Kudos to the interior designer of the Las Flores Spanish Restaurant for an exquisite design.

The Las Flores Spanish Restaurant occupied a huge McKinley address that has several  ceiling lamps as both decor and utility plus intricate decorations and trinkets.

There are plenty of tables, chairs or just hang-out at the bar and grab a few drinks.

The Sangria Blanca is white wine mixed with fruits plus a bit of sausage on a stick.

The Moscow Mule is a buck or mule cocktail made with vodka, ginger beer and lime is a drink you will learn to love.

The Red Sangria,  Beer Jared Margarita, and Las Flores White Lady are a few more choices for drinks.

Our lady friends enjoying the different types of drinking and getting a little red from the liquor.

Uri Singla, part-owner of Las Flores Uri  along with Dani Aliaga and Sergi Rostoll, brought in Chefs Gerar Villarobia of Barcelona and Dani Vazquez of Galicia.

They say that the Catalan cuisine is considered a part of western Mediterranean cuisine. It relies heavily on ingredients popular along the Mediterranean coast, including fresh vegetables, wheat products, all sorts of pork preparations, all sorts of cheese, poultry, lamb, and many types of fish like sardine, anchovy, tuna, and cod.

Hola! My friends and I (all smiles) really enjoyed the food at the Las Flores Spanish Restaurant. One of them even said he fell in love with the place.

You've got to try the Tabla Mixta or Quezos – which I think is the cheeze platter.

The traditional Catalan cuisine is quite diverse, ranging from pork-intensive dishes cooked in the inland part of the region to fish-based recipes along the coast. The cuisine includes many preparations that mix sweet and savoury and stews with sauces based upon botifarra (pork sausage) and the characteristic picada (ground almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, etc. sometimes with garlic, herbs, biscuits).

We also have to give special mention to the Atun En Escabeche De Vino Y Aceite De Oliva Virgen. It is marinated tuna in white wine with a delicious escabeche sauce.

I would stay away from the Octopus a la “Gallega“? This was the only dish that was too salty for my taste.

There were also Scallops and Ham served like it was a drink or a dessert.

The Chorizo de Espana is home made croquetas stuffed with Spanish Chorizo that were truly filling.

I also enjoyed munching on the Tazmanian Smoked Salmon with truffle oil, and the Patatas Bravas are fried potatoes with a spicy sauce.

The Angus and Foie Minis immediately disappeared as we all  partake of the delicacy.

I won’t argue at all if a lot of my colleagues will declare the Scallops Ceviche as one of their favorites.

Botifarra Catalan is Catalan sausage with caramelized onions. Don’t cheat! Try the sausage best with the onions !

Chocolatisimo is chocolate cake with melted chocolate inside and served with ice cream.

I guess this is the Apple Cake or the Manzana al Horno con Helado – another temptation for people on a diet.

The Pastel De Queso con Frambuesa is actually cheesecake with mixed berries and it was my favorite among the desserts.

Mel I Mato is a Catalan cheese and honey dessert recipe features a blend of soft cheese, honey and toasted walnuts.

Due to the several choices of food available at many restaurants in and out of the Metro, I may be accurate in saying that a  greater percentage of the first customers will only come back if they were satisfied with their initial visit – or if it was their only choice compared to a tasteless cafeteria food. 

However, some still stayed on for a few more times just to give the resto a fair chance. If the restaurant would continuously modernize the menu, keep it up-to-date with the recent demands, and innovate how they are served to the patrons, there would definitely be a lot of reasons why people will come back every now and then to try out an improved or new dish that was recently added to the Las Flores Spanish Restaurant menu. 

That is why the restaurant fascinated me for a having a very unique way to present their dishes. Every dish, drink and dessert that came out of the kitchen were served in very unique plates and containers. It would be interesting to watch out for the next dish coming out of the Las Flores kitchen.

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