Manila’s Signature Dishes 2010 : Barcino

What I love most about the weekend is that I get to dine out with both families. Saturdays are normally devoted to my side while Sunday lunch is spent with my in-laws. It is the time when we catch up on each other’s lives while not thinking about our weekday activities a.k.a. work. Last Sunday, the choice was up to me. Wanting to try Chef Jaume Vinallonga’s Paella Valenciana Set at Barcino, I invited my in-laws for lunch and I’m glad that they were all very excited to give it a try as well.

We arrived at the restaurant a little past 12 and we were assisted by restaurant manager JM who took care of our orders that day. The Paella Valenciana set consists of a llanera of Seafood Paella, a bowl of Ensalada Catalana and the yummy Crema Catalana. Of course, we were also served with a glass of Castillero del Diablo red wine.

For starters, Barcino served us with their complimentary bread basket with tomato spread. My mom-in-law commented how fresh and sweet the minced tomatoes were. Like me, she is not really a fan of tomatoes but this one she really liked. Sensing that we wanted more, they were very kind enough to refill our basket for another round.

The Ensalada Catalana was very refreshing. I love the touch of the light vinaigrette which was not very overpowering. The veggies were crisp and I love the addition of the boiled egg as I love my salad with cheese, eggs and all the delicious dairy products!

As soon as the llanera of Paella Valenciana was placed on our table, we immediately can smell the delicious aroma of well-cooked Arborio rice that’s topped with a good mix of seafood. This paella had huge prawns, squid, mussels and clams. I waited for my in-laws to get their fill as I eagerly waited for the bottom layer of burnt rice (tutong) that I love so much. I’ve tried a dozen or more paellas in town and this is one of the yummiest in my book. They made use of Arborio rice which is exactly the same kind used in any risotto dishes. They obviously did not scrimp on the ingredients and the best part was; they had a generous amount of tutong for me to enjoy.

For dessert, we shared on the Crema Catalana which is very similar to our well-loved Crème Brulee only this one has a strong lemon taste and the custard seems to be creamier than the usual crème brulee filling. It surely was a great way to end our delicious Sunday lunch.

Related post: Manila's Signature Dishes 2010

*photo credit: Paul Ang

Barcino is located at the Ground Floor of Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati City.

Unilever Foodsolutions (UFS), being the preferred foodservice business partners among restaurateurs, felt the need to acknowledge notable restaurants who are developing Manila as a culinary city. They have partnered with select restaurants within the metropolis in coming up with signature dishes. UFS has synergized with these restaurants, both through dish development and promotion campaign for these signature dishes, in achieving one common goal: coming up with a different culinary experiences that provide value for money and culinary memories for diners.

If you're a restaurateur (or an aspiring one) and in need of help in coming with your signature dish, call (02) 588-8855 or email at

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