Familiar Favorites Leveled-Up at Rafael's Tapas Bar and Restaurant - The Filipino Rambler


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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Familiar Favorites Leveled-Up at Rafael's Tapas Bar and Restaurant

I found a great tapas bar recently. Rafael's Tapas Bar and Restaurant is the newest go-to place at Resorts World Manila if you're hankering for great home-cooked dishes. Feast on their offerings- theirs is an atomic bomb of savory dishes. Don't forget to ask for their wine list too. Down the hatch and drink it in one gulp!

Tapas originated in Spain and translate to small portion of any kind of Spanish cuisine. It can be hot or cold and across the globe, tapas have evolved into a more sophisticated cuisine.  


Entrepreneur Henjie Carmona launches Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant at Resorts World Manila to share his father Rafael’s passion for home-cooked dishes, his mother Petronila’s elegant homemaking, and his penchant for art collecting to the upscale hotel-casino complex’s food, wine, and fun loving clientele of high rollers, junkets, and the fancy set.

“I want to offer them a place to come home to not only for familiar but original home recipes that have been leveled up for their discriminating tastes,” he said, “but also to cozy up, chill, and unwind after spending hours playing and gaming.”

We started our Rafael's experience with their PINTXOS. The Baby Octopus Kinilaw and Gravlax weren't too salty and the flesh is still nice and moist. I'm not really a big fan of 'kinilaw' but theirs wasn't that bad for my taste buds. For me, the Ricotta Hummus is the safest appetizer for those who aren't that experimental in food. The Bicol Express chicken was my favorite! Whoever thought you can enrobe a fried chicken in thick spicy coconut milk? It was the perfect bite, I wouldn't mind partnering it with a hot cup of rice. 

For the Tapas, we started with Dinuguan. It was sprinkled with grated chocolate which made it more interesting. Indeed, it was a common dish done uncommonly well. The duck sisig was something new for my tongue. I had tasted a roasted duck several times, but not a duck sisig. To be honest, I had  no idea it was a duck when it landed on the table. But yeah, it wasn't bad at all! It wasn't that tender- something that kind of give your jaw a little exercise to chew it but it was savory and flavorful.

I was craving for some carbs and the Patatas Bravas was perfect! The artisanal preparation will leave you wanting more! Just by the look of it, it already seemed too hard to prepare- and the taste was a real crowd-pleaser. You must not miss!

The Rib Eye Salpicao was heavy on the tummy. Who would not like the tender cubes of steak in a buttery and garlicky sauce? Pair it with rice or with a cold glass of beer, you won't go disappointed.

For their signature tapas or appetizers, they have their ritzy rendition of chicken skin—Chicken that Crossed the Road (P380) served with chili malt vinegar, pickled carrot, and radish puree, which are extra crunchy along with their classy version of gambas—Miss Gump in Hot Flashes (P720) with black garlic and Chardonnay roasted chilis and lemon.
For dinner, they have First Love (P1150)—spicy soft shelled crab risotto with homemade chorizo and chicken thigh charged with lemon—which is as crispy as they are tasty and Blackened Angus Ribeye (P2900)—prime steak with corn and zucchini succotash and chimichurri sauce—which is the most expensive standalone item on the menu.
Capping every meal or visit, guests ought to make sure they try The Big Bang Theory (P390)—a delicately sweet triple nut, three-layered cake of butter and dark chocolate cake revelation, their version of “Choc Nut”, revealed Chef Jinggoy Fernando—for dessert to complete the Rafael’s experience.
I enjoy sipping tasty cocktails. An 'Appletini' and a Caipirinha are something that usually makes my taste buds racing but it's always great to try some new mix once in a while.
My favorite at Rafael's is the Rafael's Smash. It is something with a solid ripe fruit core and I truly enjoyed every sip. I also love their Dek'z on the Beach- a mix of rum, pineapple juice and guava juice. The triumvirate was a symphony in the mouth.

You can also try Meg's Delight and Sheila's Sexcapade. Both gave a lite bite at the back of the throat.

Rafael’s is that rare mall space where you not only find the most original tasting dishes but also the most fastidiously interior decorated restaurant where diners eat and drink surrounded by towering Toto Aguilon wire spires, commissioned paintings from artists Tanya Gaisano Lee and Angelo Tabije, John Lloyd Cruz photographs, red and black draped tables, golden trumpet chandeliers, and a golden washroom!
Groups of 10 to 15 can avail of the posh Petronila VIP mezzanine room for a consumable reserve price of P200K which comes with the mandatory Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV that can be hooked up to Resort World shows. 


Rafael's Tapas Bar and Restaurant

2nd Floor, Garden Wing, Resorts World Manila, Newport City, Pasay

From Taft Avenue
  • Take Epifanio de los Santos Ave/C-4 and S Luzon Expy/Osmeña Hwy/Pan-Philippine Hwy/AH26/R-3to Skyway Exit Ramp. Take the exit toward NAIA Airport from Metro Manila Skyway
  • Take Andrews Ave and Resort Dr to Newport Blvd
From Makati
  • Get on Metro Manila Skyway
  • Continue on Metro Manila Skyway to Pasay. Take the exit toward NAIA Airport from Metro Manila Skyway
  • Take Andrews Ave and Resort Dr to Newport Blvd
From Bacoor, Cavite via E3/R-1

  • Take Molino Rd, Onelia Jose and Zapote River Drto Daang Radyal Blg. 2/R-2 in Las Pinas
  • Take E3/R-1 and NAIA Expy to Andrews Ave in Pasay. Exit from NAIA Expressway
  • Continue on Andrews Ave.Take Resort Dr to Newport Blvd
For the full menu, reservations, and more information, please visit @rafaelsrwph on Instagram and Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant on Facebook.

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