I heard about Aracama somehow, probably by osmosis, either through reading food-related blogs or browsing foodies’ instagrams. But it’s not somewhere I imagined I would have an opportunity to dine at because clubs and live bands are not what we usually prefer. We like quiet dinners where we can talk, and talk, or savor each other’s quiet company.
Aracama Filipino Cuisine is located where Embassy used to be, and in my mind, that part of The Fort Strip still has that reputation, which is why we hardly ever venture into The Fort Strip in recent years. Hahaha, it’s not because I’m a prude about it – it’s just that my disco & clubbing days are far behind me, and loud, pulsating music and trance lights tend to annoy me now
But I have been hearing a lot about Aracama recently in the news, on social media, on foodie blogs… It’s getting a name for itself in terms of serving high quality, professional-level, authentic Filipino cuisine. So when I was invited to a dinner at Aracama, I jumped on the chance to finally try their food
Aracama has two levels – the ground floor has a really nice looking, dinner-with-parents-kind-of-vibe restaurant, while the second floor has the bar / lounge which makes me think of a resort chill lounge. The interiors look very sophisticated with a good fusion of some traditional Filipino elements like solihiya chairs.
The second floor turns into a bar / club / lounge at around 10pm. On weekday nights (Monday – Thursday), Aracama has partnered with Radio Republic to have live bands play on the second floor. That area outside (with the blue light) is where the band plays.
I apologize for the blurry pictures. It was a bit darker (for ambience) so it was difficult to get a good, clear shot without using flash.
Malunggay Mozzarella Dip (P240)
Okay, I want to give credit to the chef for thinking of using malunggay as a dip. I’ve only ever eaten malunggay in tinola, so seeing it used as a dip is like a food barrier has been broken for me – like, why didn’t I think of that? That’s genius! With all the moringga-infused products flooding the market, someone was bound to think of it at some point It’s not bad at all, and I think people who don’t usually like to eat vegetables may not mind having this as an appetizer because the “green leafy” taste is not that strong. It’s just like any good, regular dip, but made better with mozzarella!
Pancit Molo Soup (P350)
I really liked this soup. It was sweet, which was unexpected for molo soup, but more delicious because of it. The soup has a clean, well-rounded flavor and is not bland at all. It has that depth of flavor like in a good tom yum goong, except this one is not spicy. This is a very good clear soup. In fact, I can say it is probably the best pancit molo soup I’ve tasted.
Sinugba Na Baka (P520)
This was my favorite dish of the night aside from the Pancit Molo Soup. It’s grilled, tender, boneless beef ribs, where the flavor of its sweet soy sauce, peanut butter, and spices barbecue sauce is infused into every strand of meat. Every bite of this beef is a burst of flavor!
Manok sa Tanglad (P390)
This was also pretty good. The boneless chicken is flavored with a lemongrass marinade, then grilled, but is still very juicy. There’s a sweet, sour cucumber cilantro dip on the side which is a wonderful sauce for the grilled chicken!
Bangus Belly a la Pobre (P380)
Gising Gising (P220)
KKK Rice (P170)
For dessert, we had Dulce Gatas and Bunuelos (P280)
The Dulce Gatas is a dulce de leche, served still in the can. Dulce de leche is made by slowly simmering a can of sweetened condensed milk for hours until it becomes sort of like a caramel. If you like caramel-type sweets, you are going to love dulce de leche.
The bunuelos are fried pastry puffs. It was slightly salty (you won’t really notice that it’s salty) and pairs well with the sweet dulce de leche. The bunuelos are soft inside – similar to good churros, but shaped into a ball instead.
The Sinugba na Baka and the Pancit Molo Soup were really delicious.
The prices are consistent with higher-end restaurants, but I found the servings to be on the smaller side. The food is a very good representation of Filipino cuisine – it’s a nice place to take foreign guests if you want to impress them with Filipino food served with class (not the lutong bahay type), and I think your guests might also enjoy the bar, chill lounge and the music.
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The Barat Queen
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