Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Alba's Estancia

“While we didn’t expand during the last five years, we have invested in the improvement of our commissary facilities, strengthened the back-end of our operations, expanded our deli production, introduced chorizo patties and frozen dishes and prepared financially to open this fifth branch,”   - Chef Miguel de Alba

Yes! Alba's just opened its  newest branch at Estancia Mall last February. And this 5th branch looks  like its biggest one yet...

photo credit to Alba's
Visualize 380 square meters of sprawling space with a bar  and deli at the entrance, main dining area and function rooms on the side.  Maximum seating capacity per Ms. Cachelle (owner) is 170.

The room is bright and airy with huge windows to let the light in . The result is a vibrant place akin to  dining at loving grandparent's huge resthouse.
Photo credit to Alba's
The vibe is cozy and homey and the food familiar, evocative of lovingly created dishes celebrated  on  happy occasions.

“It means to meet, assemble and get together... This branch is envisioned to be a bigger and more celebration-centric venue for families and friends in the nearby residences and corporate offices within the Capitol Commons township  ...

“Reunirse” means to gather, then Alba’s feast of flavors—steeped in tradition for over 65 years—is the perfect celebration of life in one meal...'   

Chef Miguel de Alba, 
Presidentof Alba International Incorporated and General Manager of Alba Restaurante Español. 

Upon entering  the main dining room of the restaurant, you will notice this  huge word in black on the left side where the buffet is. Now you know what it means literally and figuratively.

Now focus your attention on your right at the wall right beside the window.

Painted on the wall  for everone to see is the core of the restaurant's philosophy quoted by Don Anastacio de Alba himself,

At the buffet area, the mural of the castle of Segovia near Avila, the hometown of  Don Anastacio de Abla,  draws the eye.

Getting to know Don Anastacio de Alba

See that  handsome gentleman  with the thick brows in the huge sepia colored photograph that hugs one wall of Alba's? That is Don Anastacio de Alba
  • Originally from Avila Spain
  • set foot in the Philippines in Februuary 1952 to train the cooks of Casino Espanol
  • His first restaurant in the Philippines was Alba Cocina Espanola a small restaurant at UN Avenue formerly Isaac Peral then transferred to a bigger location near Luneta at Ma. Orosa formerly known  as Florida Street
  • Spain's Prince Juan Carlos and wife Sofia dined at Albas when they visited the Philippines per news accounts
  • After nine years, Don Anastacio de Alba opened Alba Restaurant and  Supper Club along Roxas Blvd formerly Dewey Blvd and Taberna Gitana in Quezon City
  • A few years later La Parilla and Patio Flamenco followed suit both in Roxas Blvd , Jardin de Alba in Greenhills, Alba patio de Makati now known as Alba Restaurante Espanol
  • Don Anastacio also opened a night spot called Las Cuevas  and La Mancha

“Papa came to the country to do one thing: to understand the Filipino palate and please it
by introducing traditional Spanish comfort food,”  - Chef Miguel (owner)

Last week , we enjoyed the following dishes among many at  Alba's Estancia...

We tried both the buffet and the ala carte.

A la Carte 

Bacalao ala Vizcaina (imported) P750

I often make  home-made Bacalao ala Vizcaina during Lenten Season. So each time I encounter this dish in a restaurant, I make it a point to give it a try so I can compare with my own home made version and possibly replicate it for good measure.  Good thing this is one among several dishes we tried last week at Alba's

It was really good.  It is an acquired taste though
Langostinos a la Parilla P570

Those grilled prawns were scrumptious. We took our time taking pictures  and yet when we finally sat down to enjoy them , they were still succulent.

Paella con Setas y Pesto P550

This comes a very close second to my most favorite Paella con su Tinta. I  really enjoyed the combination of mushrooms and pesto. The flavors were more defined in the soccarat which is what I always look for in paellas.

Paella Filipino P580
Talk about "makasalanan" huhu.  Think sisig, cochinillo , salted egg in paella. So good

Paella Negra  P650

Paella con su Tinta and Paella Negra. Is there a difference I wonder. All I know is they are my favorite paella regardless  of the black lips and black teeth haha

Salpicado de Solomillo P590

Those tenderloin chunks with olive oil, garlic and brown sauce were cooked perfectly. Meat was juicy , tender and flavorful

Chuleton de Avila P1200

Grilled Rib Eye (Us Black Angus)  were cooked a perfect medium rare and was a joy to eat and to take photos of  


The lunch buffet we enjoyed had a spread of  different types of tapa, salad and soup. The mains included cochinillo, lechon kawali,  lengua, callos to name a few.

Cochinillo - photo credits to Alba's

Tablea de Embotido
The desserts include the one and only Canonigo which per Chef Miguel was a unique creation of his father the late Don Anastacio de Alba. You will not be able to find it anywhere except here at Alba's

Chocolate Tower

Buffet for lunch daily  is P795 . Dinner on the other hand is  P850 with roast beef and 2 paella. Do call for reservation to make  sure you get a table on your desired date.

“Competition keeps us on our toes. We have always been clear about the direction of Alba and everything is founded on what my father has started. It’s about putting our heart into everything we do and the relationships we build with people. It’s about the sincerity of service. We want our guests to leave the restaurant happy. There is no other way,”  
- Chef Miguel

Photo by @johnbunag

Alba's is located at the 2nd level North Wing Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons Oranbo  Pasig City

Alba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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