I have three favorite group buying sites that I frequent on a weekly basis. For me, they all have the best formula :
All three sites offer the chance for me to either try a new restaurant or go back to an old favorite packaged with an amazing discount that helps me save and keep my wallet on a healthy state. How else can I say no?
Recently, I bought two coupons from Deal Grocer that will enable Paul and I to partake in the daily buffet of Alba Restaurante Español -- a favorite Spanish restaurant of ours which we used to frequent with our families to celebrate certain milestones such as Paul's college graduation a few years ago.
Admittedly, it has been a while since we've been back and when I bought the coupon, I wasn't even planning to make reservations as I thought the restaurant won't be full anyway. I'm glad my OC-self pushed me to call a few hours before dinner last Saturday because despite arriving at exactly 7PM we were surprised to see that the restaurant was already filled with diners which normally isn't the case with most restaurants. I guess Alba hasn't lost its charm.
I noticed though that the restaurant seemed to have undergone a renovation as the dining area became smaller and there were no more full dividers unlike before. The buffet table occupied one huge area near the counter and Paul and I were seated quite near it.
To be honest, I find the ambiance a bit to dark, old and quite run-down. There were no more pretty centerpieces on the table and all you'll get are the basic utensils which totally removes the formal dining feel. Growing up, I saw Alba as a great dating place where it used to have warm lights, pretty interiors and romantic Spanish songs played all night long. Here, I imagine having a good chat with my date while sharing their delicious paella. Somehow, the dark and old ambiance of the restaurant doesn't make Alba a desirable dating place anymore.
Ironically, Paul and I went there on a date. It has been a while since we've been out that's just the two of us thus we were both excited to eat at Alba and enjoy their famous paella that evening.
The selections on the buffet table was pretty limited but one reason why people would still go back for it is probably because they give out their best-selling dishes and that's what matters. This is truly an example when quality definitely beats quantity.
We started with the appetizer table where Paul tried the fresh greens while I enjoyed the three types of pates. My personal favorite was the Quezo Pate (cheese pate) which was literally a bowl filled with melted cheese. It was delicious and comforting at the same time.
If there's one dish that I make sure to to order whenever I'm at Alba is definitely their Paella. I love their Paella Valenciana where it has practically everything! A good mix of meat, seafood and veggies. I also love the Paella Marinara if I'm not in the mood to have meat and of course the black Paella Negra that has the best tutong (burnt bottom layer) among all three.
That day, Alba had the Paella Valenciana which was a big hit with the diners. I actually had to wait for a while to be able to have a new batch of paella but believe me, it was worth the wait as every grain of rice was truly flavorful and the shrimp was plump and juicy. I filled my plate with Paella Valenciana and after finishing it all, I was a happy diner.
Moving on to the rest of the buffet table, here's another popular dish -- the Cochinillo Asado. The Spanish version of our favorite lechon (roasted pig) only instead of roasting over fire, they cook this in the oven. Still, we love the crunchy oily skin and the thick fragrant meat inside.
We had such a feast and despite the old and dark feel, I'm glad that Alba has made sure that the food is still at its top quality. No wonder, people would still go back to Alba again and again.
Dessert consists of a fruit platter, a plate of Lychee Gelatin, their homemade Canonigo and some Cheesecake Brownies. Paul and I enjoyed the Lychee Gelatin the most.
Our deal was pretty sweet too! We had the Alba dinner buffet worth Php. 765 for only Php. 425!! What a steal! :) I'm glad I bought the coupons as we were pretty satisfied with the food.
Check out Alba Restaurante Español along Tomas Morato cor Sct. Limbaga in Quezon City. Call them at 925-1912, 928-1729, 411-7052.