New Menu Items at Calderon Cocina Tapas Y Bebidas in San Juan
A little more than two years ago, Paul and I first visited Calderon -- back then, a new Spanish restaurant located just a few blocks away from our home. From the minute we set foot inside up until we finally tried the food and enjoyed it, I knew that Calderon was here to stay. Our first visit was quickly followed by a second, a third and countless more as we would bring friends and family to try our new discovery out. Even after moving to the Lion City, we would make it a point to go back to Calderon once in a while whenever we're in town. Take for example, my Mommy's birthday party where our entire family took up the second floor of the restaurant and we feasted on Calderon's signature dishes including Mommy's favourite paella, of course. Needless to say, Calderon has immediately became our family's favorite.
During my recent visit home, my family and I went back to Calderon for a nice Sunday get-together. Even Kongkong was so excited when we told him that we're dining at "that restaurant in San Juan that serves yummy paella" for lunch that day. His excitement has gave him the leg energy to climb up the steep staircase of the restaurant as I totally forgot to request for a table at the ground floor. Tsk tsk.. oopsie!
As if one paella wasn't enough, we also had the Arroz Chorizo (Php. 640 / for 4 pax) which is one of Calderon's newest offering. I have to say that I like this very much. It's not a paella but it's served on a llanera still. This one was delicious! I never thought I'd enjoy chorizo rice this much as I wasn't that crazy about chorizo to start with but each bite was just so tasty! Mommy had to remind me that we got more carb dishes coming but I couldn't help but polish off the llanera as I hate to see delicious food go to waste. Look how generous they were with that amount of chorizo added in.
First was the El Cubano (Php. 360). Pan and I were both so excited to try this as we've been dying to try real Cuban sandwich after watching the movie, Chef. Inside you get flaky chunks of beef with veggies. It was a bit too tough and dry for my liking.
The second sandwich called Bocadillo de Chorizo y Huevo (Php. 280) was much better. After all who can say no to chorizo + egg? It's the perfect breakfast sandwich that I'd love to indulge on! The bread has a nice crusty texture but it was soft and good to bite into without giving you bread cuts. The egg had a runny consistency so be ready to create a beautiful, gastronomic mess when you bite into this.
We were already feeling extremely stuffed but we just had to try the Bocadillo de Jamon, Manchego y Pimiento (Php. 280). This was Mommy's pick as it reminds of her of a very gourmet, taste ham & cheese sandwich.
|photo by Mommy!|
Anyway, we found out that Calderon recently launched a new line of menu items so in addition to our family favorites, we also tried those! Check out the dishes we ordered that day :
For starters, we got two of our favourites. Gambas is one of them as we love the perfectly stir-fried prawns with minced garlic and olive oil. It was soooo delicious that I would recommend for you to also order some bread to mop up the remaining sauce. A-I loved this so much and she just kept on raving about it after every bite.
Both Papa and Kongkong are meat-lovers and this tapas was conveniently placed right between them where they enjoyed the tender meat cut into bite-sized portions for easier consumption. I prefer the Gambas more but then again, I've always loved seafood more than meat, anyway.
Mommy loves soup and she enjoyed this warm bowl of creamy tomato broth. I had to skip this one as I can't take pure tomato soup, no thanks to my hyper-acidic tummy. One bowl is good for two to share but if you got 7 other dishes coming, then get the entire family to enjoy a sip or two. Mommy loved the tangy flavor of the soup which she said was very refreshing.
We were initially hesitant to try this as not everyone were familiar with angulas (eel) presented this way. The correct way to enjoy this is to break the runny eggs on top and carefully mix it evenly with the diced potatoes and eel. After having my first serving, I just had to get more. This was a pleasant yummy surprise and I can't wait to go back for more. For those who are not crazy about angulas though, you can have this with chorizo or jamon serrano but I highly recommend for you to be adventurous for this one.
Back when my sister was taking Spanish for her foreign language class, she was tasked to create this dish called Tortillas at home. Of course, we thought that tortillas are those famous mexican flat breads that we use for a burrito or that crunchy yummy chip we use to dip into a bowl of salsa. In Spanish cuisine though, tortillas is like an omelet with potato. Pan had to perfect the said dish so just imagine how many tortillas we had at home then.
Calderon's version was very simple but it was definitely delicious and authentic. Cebollas means onions (sibuyas) so it's basically a thick omelet made with diced potato and onions. A simple dish that's packed with so much flavor.
Then we carbo-load..
Prior to visiting Calderon, I made a placed my order for our favorite Paella Valenciana (Php. 920) which is loaded with shrimps, mussels and veggies. I just realized that they used to add in some chorizo in it but I can't remember biting into any this time. It's fine though, it was still as yummy as I remembered it to be complete with that much loved socarrat (tutong) at the bottom of the pan.
|photo by Mommy!|
Up next, we shared several orders of their Bocadillos (Sandwiches).
After 10 delicious dishes, we were all so stuffed! Talk about over ordering but we can't help it. We're in our favorite Spanish place, after all. I'll definitely be back this Holiday season for Paul to try the Arroz Chorizo, the Huevos Rotos and the Bocadillos too!
Calderon Cocina Tapas Y Bebidas is located at 403 F. Calderon, Little Baguio, San Juan. For reservations, call them at 238-2264 / +63 926 - 7279465. They also have a branch in Kapitolyo for all you Pasig folks!