Aracama: More Than Your Regular Weekend Night Out
When In Manila, a twenty-something lady such as myself would have probably entered the booming sounds of Aracama on a Saturday night out with her girls, meeting some of her extra good-looking possé, high heels on, stained lips delivered to have a liter of cocktail on her FishBowls and dancing to the beat of the modern pop culture to soak up after a long week.
Though this might all sound awesome and true, Aracama has much more to offer than the youth pumping into every glass of Mojito served at the bar up front–a ghost reminiscent to its previous tenant, Embassy Club.
With the buzz of turn-of-the-century Filipino cuisine booming at every “it” place nowadays, where should you bring your balikbayans out to dinner? I’d personally go for the rugged outdoors of street food ihaw-ihaw near our place in Paranaque city, but if you’re a little bit more particular about comfort, taste and value for your buck, Aracama would be a smart choice. Plus, it is just a short taxi ride away from the airport.
Aracama’s beautiful modern Filipino interiors are warm, bright and cheerful. Natural-toned wood panels and louvers contrast the tall glass walls filtering in a steady sunny glow into the main hall. Private dining rooms for small and intimate gatherings complete the restaurant’s interiors.
To start the night off, I had myself a lovely Sangria Blanca. Perfect in preparation for my indulgence of Filipino food. For those who don’t know, Sangria comes from Spain and Portugal. It’s either red or white (blanca) wine mixed with fruits, some sweetener and a dash of Brandy. I prefer mine with more fruits and a little bit stronger on the brandy. You can tell the Aracama bartenders what you want; they’re sweethearts!
A lot of people are intimidated by the interiors of Aracama; but once you go onside, everything just feels so cozy. The laughter of the neighboring table as they listen to the exploration of Indonesia from their balikbayan, the sound of glasses clinking from each direction, and the “mmmmss” of the couple at the table next door who just came in for dessert (I’ll get to that in a bit)… the point is: Aracama feels like home.
As the sun sets, Aracama slowly transforms into a sophisticated venue with an open-air terrace overlooking the dynamic skyline of Bonifacio Global City. Velvet curtains and walls of green living gardens, large teak wood planks and soft lighting create a cool tropical atmosphere. Two full-service cocktail bars feature Aracama’s amazing signature drinks, lovingly mixed, shaken or stirred with the best local liquors, spirits and fresh seasonal fruits and herbs.
We had some more drinks, too, like their Home Brewed Citrus Iced Tea (Php 100.00). I’m a tea lover and I hate powdered teas! You know, the iced tes served to you in crummy fast food or buffet joints that make you feel a bit woozy after the third glass. Blah! You can taste the tea leaves from Aracama with a bit citrus from our local lime.
We had some appetizers. This Malunggay Mozzarella dip (Php 220.00) is reminiscent to our favorite spinach and artichoke cream dips, but better! It’s super nutritious with Moringa leaves and hot cheese served with crisp crostinis.
I am a huge garlic and salpicao fan. I super enjoyed this Salpicao de la Casa (Php 375.00). The meat is cooked for 24 hours, so it comes off so tender.
My filipino heart dwelled with joy over their main courses. I’m not really the biggest chicken fan, mainly because I find chicken bland, but this Manok sa Tanglad (Php 390.00) had really flavorful meat. Tanglad, something that was asked around the table over 3 times, is actually lemongrass. This was my favorite dish from our dinner.
Their Crispy Pata (Php 660.00), which surprisingly has the same price as the mediocre beer places we have in the malls, was very crisp and tender at the same time. Perfect for the pint of San Miguel Premium Cerveza Negra that we ordered.