Friday, October 3, 2008

Spanish Style

One rainy evening, we met up with Mark's Pa at Mandaluyong again for dinner. We took shelter at The Podium, and found ourselves browsing again through their restaurants. After having a round-about of the three (or four) floors, we finally settled on this restaurant of old located at the ground floor- Casa Armas. I heard that it is best known for their Paellas, and I was excited to try one.

I loved the old-style, white distressed walls, the red bricks, and the Spanish shields scattered all around.

We ordered the following goodies:

Gambas Atillo (P365)

I liked this one.
The sweet little cajueula brought loads of charm, but took up a lot of space.
I loved that it had loads of garlic on it. Yum.

Beef Salpicao ( P445)

I love beef and again, it was loaded with garlic so I loved it!
The beef was tender but gave us enough muscle to chew on.

Bacalao Vizcaina (P510)

A fish stew with loads of tomato sauce and red peppers. A lot like sardines.
I had envisioned a less saucy dish. This one was too saucy, lacked fish meat in ratio with the sauce, and well, basically lacked a little something. A little kick perhaps?

If you want to try this dish, you can find canned versions of this,
by different manufacturers in the imported or canned goods section of your local grocery.

Paella Negra (P975)

The main dish. Known for their paellas, we wanted to try something more special than the regular Valenciana. Hence, we ordered the Negra- a squid-ink based paella with seafood. It was filled with green beans, carrots, squid, mussels and some chicken.

I didn't really like it. I think it was a little undercooked, as I like my paella with a teeny bit of crust at the bottom, with the sauce thickened and plumping up the rice kernels. This one was a bit watery or wet, and was a little sourish. We find that adding a little of the Gambas garlic oil made it better.

Service was not so good that evening. I think they were under manned at that night. The cook was so bothered by the waiters, she wanted to serve the food to us herself! Kudos to her. :)

Now... for "wallet talk". The place is pricey, and they charge for service. But they weren't snooty at all.
Just undermanned.


susan said...

omgg. all that food looks so delicious. great pictures! :)

Shalum said...

thanks susan :)

mikky said...

I love Casa Armas... my first experience with their good food was at Nakpil Street in Malate a few years back.. and one must not miss in ordering a cochilillo, a whole roast suckling pig and their irresistible roast chicken with tons of garlic... but you have to order this a day before... I guess Hubby and I must re-visit Casa Armas soon... :)

Shalum said...

hi mikky :) really? i also heard of Senor Alba's cochinillo... hmmm... parang lechon de leche ba?

mikky said...

yup, but so tender, they use plate to cut the meat... yum... :)

crazydigger said...

casa armas is stan's family's #1 favorite restaurant!! when stan's dad was still alive, we'd order 2 paella valenciana for take out all the time! the cochinillo is really yummy and we also love their tahong with garlic and the calamares ala plancha! one resto i've wanted to try is alba's lunch buffet. their paella is different daw - medjo wet. hay! i miss food trippings!