Rambla Gets Bigger And More Beautiful At Its New Space In Salcedo Village—And Yes, The Food’s Still Good!
The Bistronomia restaurant group—led by the dynamic trio of Barcelona natives Sergi Rostoll, Dani Aliaga, and Uri Singla, who I fondly call the “Catalan Mafia”—just opened another Rambla in a newly-constructed building in Salcedo Village, Makati. And fans of the first Rambla will be more than happy to enjoy its modern Spanish fare in more impressive surroundings.
What makes Rambla stand out?
Go back six years when the first Rambla had just opened its doors on the ground floor of the Joya Building in Rockwell Center. This Barcelona-style open kitchen and cocktail bar concept was named after La Rambla, one of Barcelona’s most famous streets. Rambla soon set itself apart from the other Spanish restaurants in the city. It didn’t serve typical Spanish dishes most Filipinos are familiar with, but instead focused on the Mediterranean influences of Catalan cuisine, as well as on the application of modern cooking techniques to the dishes. So instead of classic Spanish tapas, you could enjoy fun appetizers like the signature Spherical Olives and Air Baguettes, among others.
Rambla was also the first to focus on gin and tonics long before the G&T craze hit Manila, serving them in large wine glasses with long stems, just the way it’s done in Spain. It also pioneered a more fun and interactive way to order the drink, with a fully-stocked gin cart filled with all the garnitures that make it easy to customize your G&T.
Aside from these dining innovations, one big reason for Rambla’s success as Rockwell’s favorite hangout and after-office destination is the Bistronomia group’s personalized style of service. You always see at least one owner overseeing the restaurant’s service at least once a week, if not daily.
What to expect at the new branch?
At Rambla’s second branch, diners can enjoy all that Rambla in Rockwell is known for, but they can also appreciate the much bigger and more beautiful space. The space exudes a carefree, joie de vivre kind of vibe that may make you want to linger way past your meal. In my opinion, it’s the best looking one among the current Bistronomia restaurant concepts like Las Flores, BCN by Rambla, and Tomatito.
The enormous new restaurant looks even bigger thanks to its high ceiling, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows on two sides to allow just the right amount of natural light inside. In lieu of an open kitchen though, the central focus in the new branch is the well-stocked, L-shaped cocktail bar that shares some of the limelight with a charcuterie station at one end, which displays multiple legs of jamón iberico hanging prominently. Just like in Rockwell, there is also a mezzanine dining area, albeit much bigger, that customers can reserve for private functions.
At the helm of this new branch is veteran Spanish chef Alfredo Rodriguez who brings more than 18 years of cooking experience in Spain, before he ventured into Asia, first in Hong Kong, then Manila. He is well-grounded in the classics, which gives the Rambla Salcedo menu a fresh new perspective.
chef Alfredo Rodriguez
Currently on the menu are most of the well-loved Rambla dishes, including my personal favorites like the to-die-for Empanadas with Foie and Pineapple Jam; Gambas Roll, which is like a mini-shrimp roll on brioche with green apple and celery for crunch, finished with a spicy cream; and perfect for Lent, Escalivada or grilled vegetables with anchovy on air baguette.
Empanada with Foie and Pineapple Jam
Complementing the old Rambla favorites are best-selling dishes from the other Bistronomia restaurants. From BCN are my favorite dishes like Smoked Grilled Octopus with Paprika and Potato Confit, Seared Foie on Toast with Onion Jam, and for dessert, the most decadent Torrija de Pan Brioche con Helado de Tiramisu. This Spanish version of French toast tastes loads better, thanks to the brioche served with a side of tiramisu ice cream, then finished with a generous smear of dulce de leche. New dishes exclusive to the Salcedo branch will be unveiled soon.
Smoked Grilled Octopus
Seared Foie on Toast
Torrija de Pan Brioche con Helado de Tiramisu
Those looking for more catering options may want to take note that Rambla now also offers catering. And those sick of Spanish food (if that is remotely possible) can wait for yet another new Bistronomia concept opening this April 2019 in Bonifacio Global City: an Italian restaurant called Osteria Daniele.
Rambla Salcedo, 129 Unit G12, Tordesillas corner Bautista Streets, Salcedo Village, Makati City, (0966) 331-1351, [email protected], [email protected], FB: RamblaPH, IG: @RamblaPH, open 11 am to 2 am. For Rambla Catering, call (02) 800-3213 or email [email protected]
Photos by Jar Concengco
Follow the author on Instagram and Twitter @cyrenedelarosa