one of the things we love to do while in spain is to go on a tapas crawl. the best place to do that is on cava baja and cava alta. start in one bar order a caña, which often times comes with a free tapa. then move to the next and so on. well, yesterday we tried something a bit more, shall we say, "exclusive" (read: expensive!). a restaurant in madrid recently earned a one michelin star, so our host, a manileña-turned-madrileña, was eager to try it, so we went. it's called ramon frexia.
what a chic place!
and the staff are all good-looking with fancy suits and expensive haircuts...
our reservation was at 1:30pm—quite early for spain standards as lunch here begins at 2pm—so the restaurant was still empty. we decided to order the basic degustation menu called 1+1=3 : snack+entrante+segundo+postre+vino. we were first served a sesame-infused cracker-type thingy.
the starter: the waiter explained—in english!—what each tiny piece was, but we're not sure if we remember accurately. photo below, clockwise from the top (we were told to eat it in this order): potato pearl, a croquetty thing, fishy flakes with fish roe, crunchy green pepper with herbs, gingerbread cake with fruit and gold-leaf topping, and pickled strawberry. it was alternating between salty, sweet, and sour; and textures—soft, mushy, crunchy.
this was our salad: different types of asparagus delicately arranged, served with a fish tartare. this was delicious (but as you can see, bitin ;-)
our main course was two pieces of lightly breaded veal tenderloin served with four varieties of potatoes. we were three people in our table and each of us got a different "doneness" to the meat, so nag-trade-trade kami.
then we got a "pre-dessert," sort of an appetizer for the "finale." maybe it was to cleanse our palate for what was to come. photo below, clockwise from top: sugar-coated blueberry on a toothpick-size breadstick, apple cake, pumpkin panna cotta, rose marshmallow, white chocolate cup sprinkled with spicy pop rocks, raspberry square, and a gold-dipped plum:
finally, chocolate desserts! at medyo aksaya sila sa napkin. each time we stood up to go to the restroom, they would change our napkin! they even had a different napkin for dessert. by the time we left, the resto was full and among the customers was a local famous actress and a minister.
ramon freixa, calle claudio coello 67, tel (+34) 91 781 82 62, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ramonfreixamadrid.com
meanwhile in manila, if you want to eat spanish food and drink spanish wine, you can indulge at oakwood premier joy-nostalg's "viva españa" spanish food and wine festival running from april 16-30:
Oakroom celebrates Spanish gastronomic traditions in “Viva Espana”, a Spanish Wine and Food Festival running April 16-30, 2010 at Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila (Ortigas).
Executive Chef Jerome Cartailler offers an array of “fiesta” fare complemented by wines from Spain’s leading wine dynasty, Torres, a name synonymous with wine-making for more than three centuries.
Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila’s General Manager Brian Connelly says, “We are thrilled to partner with Torres in their period of growth and expansion in Manila. The brand is one of the most successful independent family of winemakers who have combined traditional and modern wine-making processes to come up with award-winning products from one generation to the next. As Oakroom evolves in its wine and beverage selection, it takes pride in finding distinguished partners such as Torres whose product excellence increases our guests’ appreciation of wines and dining as an art.”
Oakroom’s “Viva Espana” features Torres wines from Penedes, Catalonia, one of the most advanced and dynamic wine regions of the world owing to the differing altitude, land and microclimates offered by the area. As Spanish culture symbolizes enjoyment of life, Torres equates its wines with various occasions for celebration:
A celebration of love; from the Parellada grape, the best traditional white variety found in the highest vineyards
San Valentin Garnacha
A smooth red wine for those “chill out” days with very close friends as you watch the sun set on the horizon
A white wine with all the best features of a party: happiness and a little hint of piquant mischief
Rich, intense, velvety, sumptuous, from Torres's great single vineyard plots especially apt for making the highest quality wines
The aroma of the forest with its fruit and colours made liquid, are the essence of this house classic
Gran Vina Sol
For the perfect company, the perfect wine--chardonnay with a sensation of silk on the palate, complex and elegant, with final touches of vanilla
Chef Jerome pairs the wines with tapas (jamon serrano, chorizos espanoles, gambas al ajillo), seabass a la brasa, chuletillas de cordero, paella valenciana, plus delectable desserts.
Oakroom’s “Viva Espana” Spanish wine and food festival is co-presented by Future Trade International Inc., distributor of Torres wines in the Philippines.
For details and reservations, please call the Oakroom direct line at 719 1160.Oakroom is on the 6th level of Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila, located at 17 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig.