Monday, May 27, 2013

Zarzuela: No Dancing, Just Eating

To most of us, when we heard of the term Zarzuela, the first thing that comes to our mind is the stage play brought to us by Spaniards way back when. But today, as EDSA Shangri-La Mall opens its new wing, they are giving Zarzuela a new meaning, something that will take us back to our first love - Filipino food - while treating to us a classy service and ambiance enough to say it's more fun in the Philippines!

A few days back, I was invited by a friend to join her on a lunch in this new place called Zarzuela. It is located at the 6th level of the newly opened wing of Shangri-La Mall in EDSA. And since I haven't been to this so-called posh wing, which is the East Wing, I said yes with my palette ready to do some adventure!

Reminding of that one restaurant scene from the TV show Sex and the City, Zarzuela imbibes this modern, minimalist look that has this sexy and purist appeal that glistens under the morning sun. It you're going to ask me, I think this is a nice place to start your day. With its simple yet beautiful fixture, Zarzuela takes a modern approach to its name making more elegant and chic at the same time.

And despite of it being in a soft opening that time, my overall experience here was good and worth it. The place is more of a fine-dining restaurant, so expect some pricey dishes, but on the other hand, the serving size are mostly good enough for two person, so yeah, its quite fair enough.

For starter, one of the the enjoyable and delectable treats that I had that day was this dish called Fountain of Youth. I wanna disagree with its name since by the looks of it I already know that I'm gonna die any minute, but the moment I took a bite of it, I already forgot my argument and just continue having these! Haha!

Fountain of Youth - Php199.00

It was here in Zarzuela that I was able to try Efuven again. One of the noodle dish that my late grandma loves to cook before, efuven  here in Zarzuela comes in with smoked sardine. It was seriously comforting, something that I enjoyed about this dish.

Smoked Sardine Efuven - Php259.00

For some comforting vegetable dish, we had their Pinangat. Pork belly strips wrapped in tender gabi leaves, then cooked in rich coconut cream, this dish, if I'm not mistaken, is originally from Bicol region where most of the dishes were cooked in coconut milk. I honestly not a fan of gabi, but when I tasted the sauce, well, its okay.

Pinangat - Php229.00

If those dishes made me at ease and so at home, the seafood selection of Zarzuela will is no exception. Actually, this might be your reason to comeback here more often.

Crab and Shrimp Relleno - Php499.00

Pusit Tisay - Php549.00

The Crab and Shrimp Relleno, though, may look too simple, is the best of its kind that I have ever tasted. The Calamansi Hollandaise that came with it gave this dish extra kick that my palette really loved. As for the Pusit Tisay, this non-traditional adobong pusit made eating rice guiltless because of its savory sauce and fresh-tasting squids that describe how bounty our seas are.

The last and truly the best - and I mean, really, a must-try here in Zarzuela, is their perfectly cooked Beef Tapa. If you love bacon, like everyone does, you will definitely like this one and I'm sure you will crave for another serving of it! It was hailed the most favorite among my peers that day, so I guarantee you that this dish is worth a try here in Zarzuela. 

Beef Tapa - Php289.00

We ended our fun dining experience here in Zarzuela with this Savor Maruya, and since the sun is all up that day, the ice cream of top made this more prefect - perfect in a way that in just a zip, it was done! Hahaha!

Savor Maruya - Php129.00

The play on Filipino flavors here in Zarzuela was played really well. The invigorating ambiance goes really well with the classy looking but comforting dishes that truly speaks of our culture and heritage - something we should be proud of, as a Filipino.

Congratulations and thank you, Zarzuela! I honestly can't wait to go back to try you other dishes! And have that tapa again! Hahaha!

Zarzuela : A Play of Filipino Flavors is located at the Level 6, East Wing of the Shangri-La Plaza in Shaw Boulevard corner EDSA, Mandaluyong City. The place is open on mall hours, and by the time we went there, it wasn't that busy yet. But to be sure, I suggest that give them a call at +639199613476 to make a reservation.

Happy eating, everyone!

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