Spanish restaurant blossoms with classic and new dishes
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - November 15, 2019 - 9:11pm

MANILA, Philippines — For seven years now, a Spanish restaurant named after flowers continued to blossom with its traditional Spanish dishes with a modern twist.

Now with branches with at Bonifacio Global city and The Podium Mall in Ortigas, Las Flores or “The Flowers” in Spanish attracts a diverse mix of expats, young professionals and families with its well-thought food offerings.

Last Tuesday, its Spain-raised executive head chef, Ignacio Alcala Marti, introduced old and new dishes at a degustaction night with members of the press.

Pictured is Bocadito con Anchoas or anchovies, manchego cream, green chili, olive oil, sitting ato pan air prepared by Chef Ignacio.
Las Flores/Released

Chef Ignacio grew up in the tiny village of Calaceite in Aragon, Spain helping out his grandmother’s restaurant called Fonda Alcala that has a century-old history. This is where he found his inspiration and also honed his culinary skills.

He then traveled to Asia to immerse himself in the region’s culture and cuisine.

In 2017, Chef Ignacio journeyed to the Philippines for leisure and was later on tapped to head Las Flores’ kitchen. He has since shared traditional Spanish cuisine in Manila.

“Our well-loved menu includes a variety of   tapas, sopas soups), verduras (vegetables), pastas and arroces (rice dishes), specifically our best-selling paellas. We also have fish, meat, chicken and an array of postres (desserts)  that are meant to please.  I have further improved the menu, added our Chef Specials which I change every two months,” the 35-year-old chef said.

For Chef Ignacio recommends either of the three ways to enjoy lunch or dinner at the restaurant.

“First is to go for our classics which have been here since we opened; second, try the new dishes if you want something modern and third, mix and match both and you will have the best meals every time,” the chef said.

At degustacion night, Chef Ignacio headed table service and showcased these classics and innovative dishes.

He began the seven-course meal with a teaser of appetizers such as the new Bocadito con Anchoas or the anchovies, manchego cream, green chili, olive oil, sitting ato pan air baguette and the classics: Conos de Tartar de Salmon or the salmon tartar cones with truffle oil, wasabi mayo; Angus & Foie Minis or the beef tenderloin, foie, and caramelized apple in a pan de sal and the Fritura Pulpo  or the fried octopus with eggplant and honey.

Conos de Tartar de Salmon
Conos de Tartar de Salmon or salmon tartar cones with truffle oil, wasabi mayo prepared by Chef Ignacio.
Las Flores/Released
Angus & Foie Minis
Angus & Foie Minis or the beef tenderloin, foie and caramelized apple in a pan de sal prepared by Chef Ignacio.
Las Flores/Released

 

Chef Ignacio also surprised the guests with fish dish called Sea Bass a la Plancha or the grilled sea bass in vermut sauce, piparras, slathered with white onion, almonds and black olive powder.

Sea Bass a la Plancha
Chef Ignacio's Sea Bass a la Plancha or the grilled sea bass in vermut sauce, piparras, slathered with white onion, almonds and black olive powder.
Las Flores/Released

 

A star of the degustacion night was Chef Ignacio’s Costillar de Cordero a new entree of  lamb rack with crusted herbs and mashed potato puree.

To cap off the night of feast, the head chef spoiled the guests with a Spanish-style new dessert Tarta Fina de Manzana or green apple in puff pastry blended with rosemary  ice cream and English custard.

The seven-course meal would soon be offered in Las Flores for a minimum of two diners.

Aside from these, Chef Ignacio gave a list of his personal recommended food that are a mix of the old and the new including the Lapu-Lapu al Horno or the baked Lapu-lapu with vegetables), Bravas 2.0 or the fried potatoes and salsa brava, and other old-time favorites such as the Gambas Al Ajillo, Croquettas, Callos, and of, the Conchinillo, a Spanish version of our local Filipino lechon.

He also recommended Canelones or pasta pockets filled with pork, beef, and chicken in white bechamel sauce, a dish closest to his heart because it was inspired by the 60-year-old recipe of his grandmother.

Las Flores announced that it would also start serving breakfast at its BGC branch starting on November 15 and at The Podium on November 22. The restaurant would offer the following breakfast meals: Callos, Croque Monsieur, Salmon and Avo Toast, Iberico Platter, Omelettes and more.

“Las Flores is a genuine reflection of what a good Spanish restaurant should be. The dishes are of good quality, and are plated elegantly. It’s honest-to-goodness Spanish food with consistent taste and flavor. That’s why our guests trust us,” Chef Ignacio said.

IGNACIO ALCALA MARTI LAS FLORES SPANISH RESTAURANT
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