CAZUELA: a clay pot that serves as a vessel for combining ingredients to make sumptuous dishes. It is this cooking container that serves as the inspiration for the newly opened Cazuela restaurant in Sapphire Block, Ortigas.
Chefs Mon Urbano and Day Salonga used this idea to present a menu influenced by Spanish culinary traditions. “We want our diners to experience the flavors of the different countries colonized by Spain. We aim to go beyond traditional Spanish fare and to showcase dishes created because of the Spanish galleon trade,” says Chef Day.
DEFINING SPANISH COLONIAL
“Spanish Colonial Cuisine is the result of using local ingredients from various countries to produce Spanish flavors,” explains Chef Mon. To further understand the meaning behind this term, a spread of Cazuela’s most popular items was served to an intimate group of media guests during a recent lunch.
Ox Tail Estofado—tender bites of stewed Angus ox tail with a red wine sauce—and Lamb Skewers showed the marriage of Spanish and Latin America.
The savory stew of Veal Caldereta and Baby Squid al Ajillo redolent with roasted garlic, are definitely influenced by Filipino taste.
Cazuela’s best-sellers include the Tuna Ceviche, Gambas al Ajillo, Callos, and their Paellas.
Leave room to indulge in a slice of Kesong Puti Cheesecake, topped with meringue bits and drizzled with salted egg dulce de leche sauce. Pastry Chef Gel Salonga’s Brazo de Fernando otherwise known as Gypsy Cake, was part of Inquirer Lifestyle’s Best Desserts 2015. The light yet decadent version of the Brazo de Mercedes combines chocolate-infused meringue layers with custard, dusted with cocoa powder and finished off with sherry wine for a slight bite at the end.
Veering away from the traditional makes Cazuela stand out from the other Spanish restaurants in the metro. It also allows for a more flexible and extensive menu to satisfy the wide range of diner preferences. From office workers, friends and family, everyone will feel welcome with the diverse menu options available.
Special deals abound such as Cazuela’s P799 Wine-All-You-Can promo, which runs every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00pm to 12:00 midnight.
From 10:00pm onwards, guests can order after-party chow of Angusilog (made from certified Angus beef tapa), Brown Rice Arroz Caldo, Homemade Garlic Chorizo, and Tapang Waterbuffalo (Carabao).
A TOUCH OF SPAIN
Cazuela sets the right tone, with its vibrant interiors. Bright paintings adorn the walls and patches of colorful Machuca tiles add detailed touches – as creative enhancements of the floor-to-ceiling wine shelves and as embellishments on the cement-based finish of the flooring.
The wrought iron chandeliers with wine bottle lamps add a little whimsy to the venue while the black leather couches and soft orange curtains emphasize its coziness. “This was a collaboration of the owners with Interior Designers Vince Subeldia and Louie Khan,” shares Chef Mon.
Cazuela is managed and operated by Cazuela JV Corporation, which includes Atty. Gener Sansaet, Marissa Ebdane, and John and Ces Manalo. All the recipes were conceptualized and developed by executive chefs Mon and Day, with the assistance of Sous Chefs Andre Espiritu and Cristina So.
open from 11:00 am to 12:00 midnight, Mondays to Wednesdays
open from 11:00 am to 2:00 am, Thursdays to Saturdays
G/F The Sapphire Bloc, Sapphire Road
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Tel. (02) 590-5460 or (0995) 551-0424
Facebook Account: Cazuela Manila
Instagram Account: @cazuelamanila