Hello, Alegria Cozinha Moderna & Sangria Bar.
Located at the fourth floor of Uniqlo store along 7th Avenue, Alegria offers a lovely and relaxing space perfect for night caps after work or a tiring day doing errands. It also has an al fresco area that gives a nice view of surrounding area.
Positioning itself as the first sangria bar in town, expect more than two variants of this refreshing drink here.
For now, Alegria offers nine kinds with Red, White, Sherry and Rose wines as bases. But watch out for more in the coming months. Since this was my first visit, I went with Amora (PHP300), one of the current bestsellers.
I loved the beautiful blend of red wine, gin, blackberry and lavender. Each sip had that sweet fruity taste which was balanced by liquor. It's definitely one beverage perfect to pair with some tapas.
And speaking of tapas, I tried some (not so) small bites such as Coxinha (PHP200), El Mexicano, Alma Koreana and Mi Japones (PHP160 per piece | PHP450, 3 pieces) and Falso Moqueca (PHP390).
First served was Coxinha which I hastily judged to be ordinary. This battered pulled chicken with wasabi aioli was delicious! What I thought would be nugget-like was flavorful.
Even without the wasabi aioli, the bite-size crunchy dish gives a burst of sweet and savory taste that will surely whet your appetite for more.
The open tacos were presented as if it came straight out of a magazine. The photogenic maize tortillas were definitely fun to shoot but even more enjoyable to eat.
El Mexicano is a mix of Puerto Rican pork loin, salsa creole, smoked esquites, red onion pickle, cilantro, jalapeño, avocado (when in season) and queso cotija. A bite of this was like a party of flavors inside your mouth. Each one was defined yet did not overpower the other flavors. Each ingredient complemented one another creating a beautifully balanced dish. If I were to describe this dish in one word, refreshing.
I first thought that the squid ink battered prawn was blood sausage and I was glad that it wasn't. This one had a nice tangy flavor thanks to the napcha kimchi. The ssamjang aioli gave it a bit more Korean umami kick. The kesong puti was a brilliant touch too!
If you prefer something beefy, Mi Japones is the one for you. You will surely not go wrong with the misano steak, wasabi aioli, nori, mango salsa, sesame, smoked esquites and red cabbage combination. The harmonious blend of sweet and salty flavors made this an instant favorite. The steak bits were succulent and was amazing with the mango salsa. I'll surely get more of this soon.
Falso Moqueca was served last and it had that familar aroma. One spoonful of the broth made me think of curry. The cod fish on coconut and shrimp bouillabaisse with cilantro and tumeric topped with tapioca squid cracker was nothing short of a gastonomic experience. It was love at first bite. I'm not exactly a fan of curry yet despite having a similar taste profile, I went head over heels in love with this dish. I also love that they serve it with raw corn tortilla as the thick broth could be a bit overwhelming on the taste buds.
Alegria is definitely a gem waiting to be discovered by many. Every single dish I tried was lipsmackingly good and I can't wait to be back to try the other sangrias!