Rambla at Rockwell has always been a strong favorite, when in the mood for Spanish cuisine. I’ve always appreciated how Rambla has taken that extra step to offer tapas that stray from the usual and conventional. They’re adventurous with flavors and food combinations, and now that the quarantine restrictions are easing up, and Rockwell’s Power Plant has its Makati Safety Seal certification, I convinced my sons to dine out. While we’ve obviously made do with phone-in ordering and deliveries during this pandemic, there’s still something to be said for getting your food served straight from the kitchen.

Chef Alfredo Rodriguez was happy to recommend some of the new dishes on the menu, and along with old favorites, they made this lunch one to bask in, and really enjoy.

Salmon avocado salad

Our first course was the salmon avocado salad, and this got high marks from my two sons for the hint of anchovy that’s found in the dressing. The plump salmon, the nuts that added crunch, the crisp assortment of greens, all made this an easy favorite and great starter.

Tuna cones
Ham with cepes mushroom air baguette

The tuna cones with wasabi mayo are a must-have when at Rambla. The wasabi gets up your nostrils in a good way, and the fresh raw tuna morsels are divine. The ham with cepes mushroom air baguette are crunchy creations, with the creamy mushroom filling exploding in your mouth. It’s the definition of an amuse-bouche—entertaining, and a wonderful surprise.

Foie pineapple empanadas
Wagyu bombas

The foie pineapple empanadas are on the sweet side, thanks to the pineapple. Flaky and rich, this is an empanada of a different order. As for the wagyu bombas, they’re deceptively filling little “devils,” thanks to the potatoes in them. And if you need something traditional thrown in, order Rambla’s gambas ajillo, as they’ve added mushrooms in the simmering kettle.

Pulpo a la plancha
Paella cochinillo

The pulpo a la plancha has a singular sauce and was easily another favorite. While the paella cochinillo is served in a shallow paella plate, so there’s not all that much rice, but it’s all “tutong” through and through.

Manchego cheesecake with quince jelly and rosemary ice cream
Churros with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream

For dessert, Chef Alfredo offered us the choices of Manchego cheesecake with quince jelly and rosemary ice cream, and churros with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. The churros may seem old hat to us now; but I really loved the cheesecake as it’s different, and the rosemary ice cream is unbelievably aromatic—a very distinct homemade flavor I’ll be back for. It was ice cream, and I loved how my youngest son said it made him think of lamb chops—and he said this in a positive way.

There’s much to savor at Rambla, as Chef Alfredo displays his kitchen wizardry, and puts his tapas on “top of the world.” It’s a heady mix of the familiar, given little tweaks and twists, to keep you surprised and appreciative.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/07/05/on-the-topas-the-world/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=on-the-topas-the-world)