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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tapella by Gaudi at Greenbelt 5: A Valentine Dinner Review

It wasn't really a surprise when my boyfriend brought me to Tapella, a Spanish restaurant, in Greenbelt 5 for our Valentine dinner.  Few days before Valentine's day, we were scouting for nice and affordable restaurants in Greenbelt where we would have our Valentine's dinner.  Tapella was one of the choices.  My boyfriend had other choices too, not only in Greenbelt but also in other malls.  Well, Tapella won and he chose to have our first Valentine's date and dinner there.

We availed Tapella's Valentine set dinner with soup, salad, main course, dessert and wine.  There are two types of Valentine dinner; one is with pork spareribs and the other one with grilled shrimp. We chose the latter.

My boyfriend reserved a seat at the Al Fresco area. We then requested to be seated further, at the gardens.  The waiters were accommodating to give in to our request.  Table setting was very simple with just large paper that covers the table which serves as our "table cloth"  and adorned with a piece of rose as centerpiece. 

We arrived past 8pm, earlier than our scheduled 8:30pm reservation.  There were a lot of people eating at that restaurant at that time.  But I'm not sure if most availed their Valentine dinner package.  With these number of people, the service was slow.  Our first meal course was served at almost 9pm already. 

First stop, the soup.  Purrusalda is a Basque tomato and leak soup according to the menu.  I liked the potato soup alhough it's just really plain potato taste, a bit creamy and buttery. Well, i love potatoes that's why I enjoyed it.

Tartar de Tomate
The tomato salad was full of diced tomatoes and a very few lettuce. It also have one slice of white cheese and one piece shrimp as garnishing on top. I didn't taste any dressing, maybe the juice from the tomato serves as its dressing.  The menu says it has walnuts but I don't think I have tasted one.  The serving size is quite little when it is suppose to be good for two. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this salad. Again, for the love of tomatoes.

After the soups and salads, we waited again for about 15 minutes for our main course to arrive.  It wasn't really irritating since my boyfriend and I both enjoyed their soup and salad.  Besides, the restaurant manager or maybe the owner was very apologetic and hands on to the customers.  He explained that there were a lot of orders due to a lot of customers dining in.  As a sign of his apology, he gave us another round of sparkling white wine.

Paella Manchego
One of the main dish was of course their paella. It is served in a small wok topped with grated cheese.  Their paella lacks ingredients the way I know a paella should have.  It only has 2 pieces of shrimps, about 3 chunks of chicken and bits of asparagus.  I wasn't even able to taste the chicken.  My boyfriend just told me it had one.  Well, I'm just not sure if this is just a variety of their paella.  But the rice was cooked nicely, though not so flavorful, I love how it blended well with the cheese.  Even though the serving of paella is quite small, it was enough for 2 and it got us full.  And again, since I love paella, I enjoyed this dish.  Halfway to our paella, the grilled shrimp arrived.

Longostinos a la Plancha
Interesting name for this grilled shrimp.  The menu says it comes with alioli dip but was served to us without it.  There were only 5 pieces of medium sized shrimp with crunchy vegetable sidings.  I love how the vegetables were cooked as it is buttery and crispy.  The grilled shrimp taste good too.  It no longer needs any condiments the way most Filipinos will do when eating shrimps.  So it's ok if the dip was not served but I wonder how it tasted. 

We're not yet done with our shrimp when our desserts arrive.  That was the only fastest serving we had that evening.

Tartar de Lava
I was hoping for a colder dessert like ice cream or fruits since I really got my stomach full from what we ate.  But they served a chocolate cake.  I thought it was just an ordinary cake.  Well, it does but I love the chocolate fudge spread around the cake.  It was still a little hot and of course it was sweet.  For those with sweet tooth, you will love this cake.  The sweetness of the cake really tones down our full belly.  The heart-shaped icing melts easily and with just right amount of sweetness.  It does not overpower the chocolate fudge.  The cake itself was just ordinary as if you were eating cake from Red Ribbon.  But still I enjoyed the cake.

For this Valentine dinner package, it costs Php 1,950 good for 2.  But my boyfriend paid around Php 2,200 inclusive of service charge.  I can say, it is quite expensive but not bad at all.  Our food may just be simple and tastes nothing spectacular but we still enjoyed it.  The restaurant is under the casual dining category but we experienced a somewhat fine dining ambiance minus the service as it was slow.  Well, we understand that since it was not an ordinary day.  Another plus points for me is that how the manager or owner treats it customers.  His visibility and courteousness is an attraction and will make you feel that you are a special customer.  I wonder if he frequents the restaurant or just for this day, Valentine's day.   

I would love to come back and try the other dishes in their menu.  Based on the menu, the prices are not that expensive.  Just reasonable, I guess, considering they're located in Greenbelt 5.  I'm just not sure though if they have other branches. 

Their Valentine dinner package is extended up to this day only.  So you still have your last chance to enjoy it.  You may visit their website for more details.

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