In my last post, I mentioned that my family celebrated our pre-Father’s Day dinner at Aracama. I’ve gotten several inquiries about it since then so I decided to devote this entire entry to discussing our dining experience.
Aracama is the latest addition to the growing number of chic restaurants that have been sprouting up in Bonifacio Global City. Not only do I love that the exteriors are already very eye-catching (which is why I even noticed it was there in the first place!), but it is also a stone’s throw away from where I live. That its kitchen is run by one of Manila’s celebrated chefs, Fernando Aracama, is another plus :).
Photo Credit: Our Awesome Planet
When I was making dinner reservations, I was informed that the main dining area would be on the second floor. Initially, this was not a problem for me as I was looking forward to seeing how the interiors of the restaurant were done. I told the reservations agent that I didn’t mind. Also, I had already caught a glimpse of the downstairs dining area, and while it has clean, modern and minimalist lines, it was a bit too austere for my taste.
When we arrived at Aracama, however, getting to the second floor was not as easy as I thought—especially with a young child. First of all, it’s a pretty high climb. By the time I reached the first landing, I was huffing and puffing already! I know, I know—it’s my fault and not the restaurant’s that I’m extremely out of shape. Haha! But if I had to think about their patrons who are seniors, children, or who have some disability, these stairs would not be very friendly to them either. Thank goodness we decided to keep our stroller at home! Otherwise, it would have been a bit of a workout to lug upstairs as well.
One last note on the stairs…they are not enclosed or child proof either. So if you have children who are a bit malikot and enjoy exploring, better make sure they avoid the stair area altogether, or are properly watched over.
Stairs aside, when we finally reached the second floor, I was definitely pleased with what I saw! I couldn’t help immediately whipping out my camera, to capture the beautifully designed and executed interiors.
Pretty right? I love how they made it look like someone’s living room-slash-dining area. Very unpretentious and not intimidating at all! The space had the right balance of sophistication meets homey, especially with the addition of “sala sets” which also functioned as their waiting areas.
I also love how the place gave off such a natural, clean vibe. Probably because the color palette was very neutral—lots of browns, whites and beiges were used for the walls, furniture and accessories. There was also a lot of plants used in the interiors which I thought was quite nice :).
On to the food…
Aracama offers Filipino food, but with ilonggo and negrense influences. For starters, we decided on the Pancit Molo, because it’s something that the little one loves to eat. The broth was actually quite flavorful, and perfectly warm—my belly was satisfied! The wontons, however, were a bit too densely compact for me. I would have preferred and am used to something a bit softer or mushier in terms of mouth feel :).
We also tried another one of their appetizers called Salpicao de la Casa. The meat was wonderfully soft, while the sauce is something you’d love to drizzle all over your rice and eat as is (yup, ulam na!). Which was why I was actually a bit puzzled that this dish was served with crostinis. Oh well. We ended up not even bothering with the crostinis, although the little one loved munching on them :).
For our mains, we had Crispy Pata (they ran out of Kare-Kare, which is what we really wanted to try), Pinakbet, and KKK or Kalkag Kalo Kalo—a rice dish with dried baby shrimps, garlic, and green onions.
In hindsight, I think we should have tried dishes that we were more unfamiliar with because while everything tasted very good, the cooking was also also quite typical. The only thing that was different or unusual was the way the Pinakbet was served—deconstructed style.
But ofcourse, that’s not to say that we didn’t enjoy our meal :). I would definitely love to come back and try Aracama’s other offerings. In fact, that night, they were still serving their soft opening menu, so most of their dishes were not even listed yet. Another reason to come back!
Unfortunately, by the time we were ready for dessert, A was getting tired and sleepy already (read: cranky). While I would have loved to sample their mouth-watering postres (I had my eye on the chocnut ice cream and the dulce gatas with banuelos) it was just not meant for that evening :(.
Aracama is definitely a welcome and wonderful addition to the Fort’s strip of restaurants. I love that they serve Filipino food—my default cusine when I’m in the mood for something familiar and comforting. And with it being located so close to home, I can foresee that this kitchen will already be an extension of mine! Hahaha! 🙂