Sunday, January 31, 2010

CASA ARMAS Tapas Bar..." You can never go wrong with this Old-Time favorite !! "

I haven't been to Manila in years but I remember that the original location along Julio Nakpil served the best... and the last time I was there I saw the owner,  the late Jesus Armas, by the bar drinking with some friends. His branch in Malate opened 17 years ago. I remember Casa Armas used to serve good wines.....  Marques de Riscal. It carried Tempranillo ( red ) and Rueda ( white ). I tried it a long time ago when I was inviited to have lunch with my sister and an old family friend. I wonder if that brand still exists in the market today.

The best sellers at his Julio Nakpil location were the SNIPE ADOBO FLAKES ( Agachonas ), Lengua Estofada, Callos, Paella Valenciana, Salpicao,  Croquetas de pollo , Croquetas de Jamon, Churros con chocolate , Bacalao a la Viscaina ( tender and juicy codfish with the right amount of salt in it ) and the Boquerones ...... just listing down the menu I remembered when I used to dine there...made my mouth water........ I  miss CASA ARMAS....

Today, I have gone back to my favorite eating place... Casa Armas.... with my family....

In Casa Armas, there is a feeling of dining inside a "bodega " in Spain. The interior setting is polished with Spanish tiles, bricks, hard wood tables matched with old- world styled chairs as well as dim lighting fixtures.

Casa Armas is known for their tapas menu. You must also try their Tapas which are absolutely fantastic... My favorite tapas are... the ANGULAS ( baby eels sauteed in virgin olive oil ), gambas al ajillo (  sauteed shrimps in olive oil and garlic ), Chorizo Frito ( fried Spanish sausage ), their Manchego cheese platter, Jamon Serrano to name a few.

Here are the Tapas we ordered....

Boquerones ( Spanish anchovies sauteed in olive oil, minced parsley and lots of garlic )..

Angulas ( baby eel in virgin olive oil )... I found this dish a little too  spicy...

Croquetas de Jamon.... my grandson loved this one...

Agachonas ( Snipes adobo flakes )--- this was my favorite... it is still very good... 

Then we had Caesar Salad ....

While we were about to finish our salad ... the  waiters rolled out a small table and placed our next dish.... COCHINILLO al Horno... 

Sinful is probably the most fitting word I can use to describe Casa Armas's cuisine. Their cuchinillo al Horno ala Castellana ( suckling piglet ) involves using a plate to chop the piglet and is really quite a spectacle to behold. The skin of the piglet is  so crunchy while the meat is so soft, lined with a fat that almost drips .... this is SIN!!!  In order to try their Cuchinillo you have to order several hours in advance.

When it comes to food, the restaurant's specialty is is the PAELLA VALENCIANA and since I also cook this dish I think Casa Armas has the best tasting Paella so far.... You must not leave without sampling their PAELLA... They also have other choices like the Paella Negra and Paella Marinara.

Casa Armas's dishes are equally indulgent, since most of them are slow-cooked in oil and drippings. Another favorite is their Filletes de Lapu- lapu al Horno con Bechamel sauce. It is fillet grouper covered in the richest, creamiest sauce you can imagine. It is so good that you might like to pour the sauce over your rice or bread...did your mouth water with the description of the dish???

To end our meal.... we had Canonigo... which was so good.... you should try it!!!

Casa Armas has several branches now... In Podium, Jupiter Street in Bel-Air Village, Trinoma and in Makati at the third level of Greenbelt 3. I have gone to the Greenbelt 3 branch when it opened but the ambience was not like the one in Malate.

For people who love good food, Spanish cuisine is all about flavor and the joys of eating. It is a way of enjoying life by sharing moments and tastes with your family or friends. I have tried other Spanish restaurants but none of them has come close to Casa Armas. Believe me, if you are craving for Spanish food, there is no where else to go but Casa Armas... Try it for yourself!!


Greenbelt 3, 3rd floor
Ayala Center, Makati

tel. nos. (632) 757- 4961, 757- 4996

1 comment:

  1. best place to eat in manila by far