Article by Christian Chagas / Photos by Phyl Pangilinan / Graphics by Paolo Quebral
Great. Paella. Experience.
Upon entering North Hive Food Park, our team headed towards Papa Paella stationed by the right side of the food park, flashing its alluring, pink light with their name displayed on top of their stall. Underneath is the menu of the paella dishes they offer, including the sides they serve.
Papa Paella is a sacred spot in North Hive Food Park, Don Faustino. They don’t just serve kanin; they serve paella dishes. True to the second word making up the place’s name, they give ordinary rice a very flavorful upgrade.
A Paella is a Valencian dish that is loved not just by Spaniards, but also by many people worldwide. One type of paella is the mixed paella: a free-style combination of meat from land animals, seafood, vegetables, and the like. In Papa Paella, they offer 6 variants of mixed paellas and a bunch of hearty side dishes. How do they taste? Read on.
Red and Black Shrimp Paella
Our team had three favorite paellas and this was one of them. The shrimp paella has a lot great textures as you take bites of it. The rice has squid ink, which gives it a nice and balanced saltiness, while the shrimp has enough spiciness that further elevates the dish.
Roasted Lechon Negra
One of the reasons why we think Papa Paella is daring is because of its unique menu choices. They incorporate Filipino cuisine in the Spanish dish with the Roasted Lechon Negra, our first trip into the Spanish-Filipino wonderland. This dish is perfect for those who want a balance of crispiness and texture. The lechon is very ‘true-to-its-core Filipino heartiness’ on a plate.
Spicy Beef Jambalaya
Another unique menu item from Papa Paella, this Middle-Eastern dish incorporates Spanish influences. In Papa Paella’s Spicy Beef Jambalaya, the beef is marinated, giving a great punch of flavor that balances with the chili paella rice. Not only that, it is also mixed with garlic mayo sauce.
Bangus Lumpia Negra
We absolutely loved this one. The bangus is wrapped in a crispy lumpia shell served with paella negra. A total seafood grandfest in the mouth with this one, this one is a must-try!
Lemon Chicken Marinara
Another favorite of ours was Papa Paella’s take on the Italian marinara. Their lone chicken dish is topped with a sweet and tangy marinara sauce (there is a nice amount of lemon squeezed into it) and it is also placed on top of a bed of paella rice.
Fried Beef Adobo
Last but not least, the Fried Beef Adobo is a massive standout as it fulfils a perfect marriage of Filipino and Spanish influences. The deep-fried adobo is mixed with a sweet and savory sauce that goes immensely well with the paella valenciana served with it.
Whether you are eating alone, with someone, or with the whole family; Papa Paella’s servings are sure to fit anyone’s generous appetite. SMALL (good for 1) is priced at Php150; MEDIUM (good for 2) is priced at Php259; and LARGE (good for 4) is priced at Php439.
Apart from their rice dishes, we also got to taste their sides. (1) Chickcharrón – which is absolutely crispy (as you bite into a piece, you’ll literally hear the crispiness of each chicharrón). Another side was the (2) Papas Fritas (Potato Wedges) – the Php99 dish comes in 6 variants: BBQ, Cheese, Sour Cream, Buttered Corn, Japanese Sweet Corn (an absolute knockout!), and Garlic Butter.
What makes Papa Paella stand out is that their unique takes on paella cater towards different types of tastebuds. Craving for Filipino food? Indian? Spanish? Italian? You won’t have a problem with the variety at this paella restaurant as they are likely to make you feel stuffed. Plus, who doesn’t love rice?
As of now, they offer a 15% student discount from Monday to Friday from 4pm to 7pm for purchases priced at Php120 and above. This can be your barkada’s new tambayan after a tiring day of classes. With your barkada, your family, or even just yourself; you’re sure to get stuffed at Papa Paella.
North Hive Food Park, Don Faustino St., Holy Spirit Drive, Quezon City