Barcino has been around for a few years now yet I still remember its launch years back where I was still new with food blogging. I guess it is hard to forget such a fantastic dining experience and being in the awesome company of top foodies and wine connoisseurs. Hence it was such a treat to have my first 2017 date with R at what I consider one of the best tapas restaurants in town.
We were warmly greeted by the front hostess upon entering its Forbes Town branch and were quickly ushered to our table near the bar.
We felt extra special when Barcino’s house chef, Chef Pau, approached our table and recommended a few dishes for us to try. After a short chitchat, we went with Jamon Bodega(PHP400), Tortilla de Patatas (PHP275), Pan Con Tomate (PHP85), Croquetas Bacalao(PHP295), Gambas Al Ajillo (PHP775, 150g), Cordero Alvino Tinto (PHP325) and Cheese Platter (PHP895). For drinks, I went with Sangria (PHP280) while R opted for Orange Shake(PHP140) and Watermelon Shake (PHP95).
First served were Pan Con Tomate, Jamon Serrano, Tortilla de Patatas and Croquetas Bacalao along with our beverages.
I was surprised that my glass of sangria was huge! For PHP280, it was bang for the buck as it lasted me the whole dinner.
It wasn’t that strong as well but you could definitely have a taste of wine.
R’s drinks were great too! Both were very refreshing and priced just right.
In fact, R liked it so much that he had two glasses of watermelon shake!
According to Chef Pau, it has been a Spanish habit to “salvage” a hardened piece of bread by drizzling it with olive oil and topping it with tomato chunks. Though Barcino does not serve old bread just to relive such, this popular way of enjoying bread is offered by serving crisp bread slices. True enough, when drizzled with olive oil and topped with tomato chunks, the bread became a lot more enjoyable. Its light flavor also made it a perfect appetizer.
We fell in love with the Jamon Bodega which had lovely texture. The thin slices of dry cured ham were salty and slightly chewy, perfectly complementing Pan Con Tomate.
Tortilla de Patatas is your usual Spanish omelette with potato chunks and onions.
But its fluffiness was on point! It made me dream of having this for breakfast.
Croquetas Bacalao, an off the menu dish, was pretty good too. The sharp contrast between the crisp batter and the soft stuffing of shredded codfish made it so irresistible that I braved eating a piping hot one in one mouthful! Also, unlike other deep fried dishes, this one was surprisingly not oily at all!
The Cordero Alvino Tinto was another favourite of mine that night. The perfectly cooked young lamb in red wine sauce was superb! It was so soft that I didn’t even have to chew it!
Though a tad salty, the crunchy thin potato strips offset it while adding texture to the dish. This made me wish I was gulping a glass of red wine as it sure would go well with one.
But the best dish award went to Gambas Al Ajillo which brought us to seafood heaven! The giant succulent prawns were beautifully topped with garlic bits while soaked in olive oil. Fireworks were set off as soon as we had one bite of it. I loved the snap I get per bite which assured me that I was munching on fresh prawns. Though priced at PHP775 for 150 grams, the steep price was well compensated by the superb taste matched with excellent ingredients!
Chef Pau recommended that we cap our meal with a Cheese Platter. Though I’ve never had cheese as my dessert, I trusted the expert and I was glad that I did.
We were told that we have to start at a certain point and circle from there as the slices of cheese were arranged from mild to strong in terms of flavor. (I ended up going the wrong way though and started from the strongest as I totally forgot where to start after taking photos of the platter.)
Though I’m used to enjoying cheese with crackers, bread sticks and raisins, I had no idea that it would go so well with dried mangoes as well. I just learned something new from Barcino!
Overall, it was a wonderful dining experience. I’ll definitely be back and pair my dishes with wine this time.
Barcino is located at Rizal Drive, Burgos Circle, Taguig City.