Calderón Cocina Tapas y Bebidas, or shortly Calderon, is one of the newest addition to the ever growing list of new restaurants in Kapitolyo, Pasig City. This Spanish restaurant opened its first branch in Little Baguio, San Juan City back in December 2012 and in July 2014, Calderon finally opened its second branch along East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo's main dining strip.
MORE: Best Restaurants in Kapitolyo 2014
Calderon specializes in home-style Spanish dishes, including paellas and tapas. The restaurant's design includes elements from traditional and modern Spanish interior, offering a break from the usually boring and old-feeling interiors of most Spanish-themed restaurants in Metro Manila.
We first tried Calderon back in 2013 in its San Juan branch. Unfortunately, it was an impromptu dinner so we weren't able to bring a camera that time. This time, we planned a feature visit to Calderon Kapitolyo to personally meet the owners of the restaurant and to know more about Calderon. Here are some of the house specialties and best-sellers we sampled that day.
Callos (P320.00) is one of Calderon's best sellers. It's made of ox tripe slow cooked in tomato sauce, paprika, garlic and other spices, garbanzos (chickpeas) and chorizo are added, and served in a clay dish. The ox tripe was very tender, the sauce was very rich and meaty in flavor. The chickpeas however were not overcooked and gave a contrasting texture to the velvety ox tripe.
TRIVIA: Callos is a stew recipe originating from Madrid, and has many regional variations across Spain. The version that we Filipinos are familiar with, the one with garbanzos, is called Callos a la Catalana, a callos recipe from Catalonia.
|Lengua con Setas|
Lengua con Setas (P580.00) or ox tongue with mushrooms. This dish reminds me of my childhood when our family would have its annual family reunion during Christmas time, and this dish was always served. Very few Filipinos get attracted to eating this dish. I guess it's an acquired taste from childhood. Good thing my parents trained me to eat and find joy in eating lengua dishes while I was a child. I particularly liked Calderon's Lengua con Setas for the silky tenderness of the ox tongue slices cooked in a creamy-buttery-garlicky mushroom sauce.
|Paella con Setas, Manchego y Trufa Esencia|
Paella con Setas, Manchego y Trufa Esencia (P960.00 ~ Pequeño) is a vegetarian version of the paella. Most of its flavor comes from the different mushroom ingredients and truffle oil. It is served topped with red bell peppers and Manchego cheese. Edgar loved this one because he doesn't eat seafood. I also liked it but I prefer the next dish served to us. This serving is good for 2-4 persons to share.
Paella Valenciana (P780.00 ~ Pequeño) is Calderon's best-selling paella. This classic recipe includes prawns mussels and chorizo, as well as beans, bell peppers and peas on a bed of rice flavored with saffron and other spices. The rice was perfectly cooked, not too mushy and not too hard. This serving is also good for 2-4 persons to share.
During our visit, Calderon also had us sample some of the new dishes that they will include in their menu starting October 2014. These two dishes are Filipino comfort food with undeniable Spanish origins.
Caldereta Espanola is a hispanicized version of the Filipino Kaldereta. This stew of beef has a thick sauce and is served with potatoes, bell peppers and olives. The beef was very tender and the sauce was savory rich in bold, meaty flavor.
TRIVIA: Caldereta is a general term is Spanish cuisine referring to a stew dish wherein the meat (fish, chicken, beef or pork, etc) and vegetables are cooked in a reduced broth of oil, water and wine. Many regional variations exist in Spain. The Filipino Kaldereta is traditionally cooked with potatoes in a rich tomato sauce.
Cordero Adobado is Calderon's version of the Filipino dish Adobo that is usually cooked using pork or chicken. Calderon chose to use lamb (cordero is lamb in Spanish) for this dish. The lamb meat was very tender and flavorful, and didn't have the gamey (maanggo in Filipino) smell and taste.
TRIVIA: Adobo comes from the Spanish word adobar which means to marinade. In Filipino cuisine, Adobo is usually a dish wherein the meat is marinated in soy sauce and vinegar, plus some aromatics and spices. In Spanish cuisine, Adobado is a general term for a dish wherein the meat is marinated and cooked in different ways. There is no single recipe in Spain for the marinade used, but most Adobado recipes use wine as the base for the marinade.
Chef Rafa Ysip has prepared a special dessert for us called Crema Catalana, also a new addition to the menu. To make it easier to describe this dessert, it is the Spanish version of Crème brûlée. What's distinctive about the Crema Catalana is the hint of lime zest (dayap).
|Sangria (Red and White)|
Spanish dining is never complete without Sangria. Calderon had us try their red and white sangrias. Many consider Spanish cuisine very hearty and flavorful, and that is somehow true. This is the same reason why Spanish food is perfectly paired with sangria. The light alcohol in the drink washes down all the savory taste. That's what makes the experience. I particularly liked the white version. It has a cleaner taste, and its seems to have more alcohol content. I find the red version a bit sweet, but good nonetheless.
Thank you so much to Ms. Marmi Perez, Ms.Angela Melo and Mr. Monchet Carballo for having us at your new branch in Kapitolyo. Many thanks to Chef Rafa Ysip for making sure that the dishes served that day were perfect, and also for the lovely dessert.
Calderon Kapitolyo12 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Contact Number(s): (02) 533-4107; 0905-226-6982
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 11:30am to 10:30pm
Disclaimer: Dishes featured on this article were provided by the restaurant for photo shoot and food sampling purposes only. Opinion about the taste are ours and are based on our personal taste.