Mommy's Special Day at Calderon Cocina Tapas y Bebidas

Before anything, let me greet you and your family, 恭喜發財!!!

I can't believe that January is over and we have officially entered the L♥ve Month. I've been away for more than a week and I apologize for not being able to update my blog during the said period. But..but I got a really good reason. I was back in Manila to spend time with my families and friends as we celebrated a couple of birthdays, a fun wedding and the much awaited entrance of the Year of the Wooden Horse. Forecasts say that this will be a good year for both Paul and I so... we're keeping our fingers (and toes) crossed as we do hope luck, happiness and a certain stork are on their way to our doorstep SOON! I do hope 2014 will be a prosperous and lucky year for all of you too!

I'm back and I got a lot of stories to share. Let's begin, shall we?

One reason why I went home was to celebrate the birthday of my dearest Mommy. Of course, how can I ever miss out on not celebrating the special day of that one woman who means the whole wide world to me? I literally would cross the ocean just to be with her.

mommy bday 1
Since Mommy celebrated a milestone this year, Pan and I decided to throw her a simple yet fun-filled party with her entire side of the family. With our creative juices combined, we agreed to host it at her favorite restaurant -- Calderon Cocina Tapas y Bebidas in San Juan. You see, Mommy tried their paella not so long ago and let's just say, it was love at first bite. She couldn't stop raving about it and I think she must have told all her friends and our family about it too. It just made perfect sense to let the rest of the clan try this much-raved-about paella, right?

calderon 1
The restaurant was quite small but we fit perfectly at the second floor. I'm so glad that they were okay with my request to have a buffet table on one side to free up the space on the dining tables. Here's what we have prepared that evening:

calderon 4
Paella Valenciana Grande
Everyone loved the sticky-fragrant rice and most especially the thin layer of soccarat at the bottom of the pan. I went crazy over the huge prawns which I happily drizzled with some garlic aoili sauce. This is the biggest size which is good for 10-15 pax however, in our case it was way enough for more than 20 pax.

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Paella con Setas, Manchego y Trufa Esencia
Let me translate this in layman's term: Mushroom Paella with Manchego Cheese and Truffle Essence.
Translated to my language, HEAVEN.
It has everything that I want in a paella and I just can't get over how fragrant this was. I love love love the generous serving of mushrooms and how the cheese gives it this unique sharp, bold flavor.

calderon 3
Pasta Chorizo and Calamares
Of course, pasta for long life! Our guests loved the al dente noodles with the meaty chorizo. This was one of the party favorites that evening. The calamares was well-received by the younger ones who enjoyed this even while everyone's almost done with dinner.

calderon 2
Pollo Iberico
Calderon's signature dish which we rarely get to have as this requires a 1 day lead time. I tell you though, it's worth the extra effort as you'll fall in love with the tender chicken meat and the delicious, melt-in-your-mouth roasted garlic and potatoes too.

We also had some Lengua con Setas which I love love love! The birthday celebrant enjoyed the Pescado en Salsa Verde which I was quite certain she would. Mommy loves fish and this one had a serving of tangy, refreshing salsa verde which brought more life to the pan-seared white fish.

It was such a fun and relaxing night spent with everyone who loves my Mom dearly. Aside from the food and the ambiance, I have to say, I was truly impressed with the great service rendered by the staff of Calderon led by their manager Buddy. He was there to attend to our every need (down to where to park some of our guests' cars) the entire evening. While Pan and I were the main hosts for the evening, we both felt truly relaxed and we even enjoyed the food too as we had Buddy and his team on standby. We're also so happy to see the birthday celebrant truly enjoying the party too.

For small and intimate get-togethers, I highly recommend hosting it at Calderon Cocina Tapas y Bebidas. They also have a TV screen at the second floor, so why not bring your Magic Sing mic for a wild night of singing and sangria drinking! *wink*

Calderon is located at 403 F. Calderon street, Little Baguio, San Juan. Call them at 238-2264.

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