Is Txoko Asador a secret  society of foodies?
The Bar Pintxos group: Carlo Calma Lorenzana, Miguel Vecin, Tinchu Gonzales, Bobby Tenchavez and Randy Libre introduce a new Spanish asador concept.
Is Txoko Asador a secret society of foodies?
FOOD FOR THOUGHT - Millie and Karla Reyes (The Philippine Star) - March 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MILLIE:  Hear ye! Hear ye! There’s a new restaurant that just opened its doors called Txoko, an asador offering unique and contemporary Spanish dishes located on the ground floor of Erlag Building on Esteban Street, Legazpi Village, in exciting Makati.

We were invited to a sneak preview over the weekend by Carlo Calma Lorenzana and partners Miguel Vecin, Tinchu Gonzales, Bobby Tenchavez and Randy Libre.

We were introduced to the chef, Alex del Hoyo Gomez, who hails from Burgos, Spain. Chef Alex owned a tapas bar in Madrid before he moved to Asia to work in Bangkok and Vietnam and is now in Manila to show off his culinary creations at Txoko.

KARLA:  Txoko, according to Wikipedia, is an exclusive social gathering of gastronomical enthusiasts, who come together to cook or conduct kitchen experiments, and mostly socialize — basically, a secret society of foodies and/or chefs who get together and eat. The more traditional institutions are only open to males.

For cold starters, we had the boquerones, arranged on black regana bread with piparra peppers and dried olives. Txoko also has their version of beef tartar called tartar de solomillo. They use Mulwarra beef for the tartar and add charcoal oil into the mixture.

My favorite cold starter was the pan con tomate, jamon Serrano-wrapped bread pillows filled with fresh tomato foam. One is encouraged to put the entire thing in your mouth for a flavorful explosion.

For salads, we had the salmon y citricos salad consisting of mesclun salad, house-marinated salmon, pomelo and a balsamic orange dressing. We also got to try the gulas, pancetta and arugula salad in a garlic dressing.

For hot appetizers, we had black baos stuffed with squid stew and goat cheese mayo on the side. I also enjoyed the croquetas asadas, grilled chicken croquettes with mojo rojo on the side. It has a spicy finish that went very well with my glass of white wine, Protos Verdejo 2016. Being a crab monster, I was also drawn to the canelones de Txangurro, or crab cannelloni enveloped in seafood bechamel.

MILLIE:  There were a few arroces on the menu along with the paella marinara, but we were served the arroz de butifarra y manitas, which had sausage and pork trotters cooked in thyme-flavored rice and thyme aioli. We also had a bit of the arroz negro con sepia y vieiras, a dish consisting of black rice with cuttlefish and stewed scallops with uni aioli.

The surprise of the night was two items not on the menu: the quarter cochinillo, which was quite tasty, and the lamb! We were curious to also try the cochifrito, fried pork belly with stewed apples, so we ordered to indulge. By then, our tablemates were wondering why we seemed to be getting special attention.

KARLA:  Chef Alex also included on the menu his grandma’s generations-old secret recipe for callos with ox tripe, chorizo and poached egg. While everyone ogled the cochinillo and lamb, I was working my way through the callos.

Towards the end of our dinner, mom saw rabo de toro on the menu. And to our surprise, raviolis were served to us. The falso rabo de toro meant fake rabo de toro and consisted of shredded oxtail, smoked pancetta, onion pearls and mustard stuffed inside raviolis.

For dessert, we had the arroz con leche, coconut panna cotta with passion fruit, and my favorite for the evening because I love cheese, the smoked idiazabal cheesecake.

MILLIE:  It was a fun evening, full of boisterous laughter and free-flowing wine, as we indulged in chef Alex’s fine concoctions, in celebration  of Txoko’s debut and chef Alex’s birthday!

* * * 

Txoko Asador is located on the ground floor of the Erlag building, Esteban Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City.  For reservations and inquiries, contact (0956) 047-3224.

 

 

ALEX DEL HOYO GOMEZ JAMON SERRANO
Philstar
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