This is definitely one of the new restaurant concepts that I was very excited about – the menu is rice centric with paella at the heart and they have one of the best ones I tried let me tell you. Rice is a big part of daily diet, it’s something that I can’t live without, in fact I tried this crash diet before and I was deprived of rice and I literally had a breakdown. We had a feast for a dinner last night at Arrozeria in Century City Mall and I was blown away with how good the food was, it went above and beyond my expectations and I absolutely loved everything that we tried.
When dining at ArroZeria don’t miss on this Capaccio de Tatun from their tapas menu. Thin slices of yellowfin tuna topped with calamansi espuma, crispy jamon, and tomato hearts. It’s something that’s so simple but so damn good. The hint of acidity of the calamansi foam with the sharp flavor of the crisped up jamon and those delicate pieces of tuna, REALLY GOOD!
The dinner actually started with something simple; an amuse bouche of chicken liver mousse with garlic bread crumbs and some sangria, on the picture is their Agua de Valencia (sparkling sangria) and La Guapa (rose sangria)
TABLA DE PATES – campagne, cochinillo and mushrooms, chicken pistachio and fish terrine.
Happiness is this big platter of pate and terrines, personal favorite is the cochinillo and mushrooms as the flavor was just fantastic! For something that’s more familiar the chicken and pistachio and that one with a galantina like texture was very good too.
GAMBAS CON GABARINDA NEGRA – squid ink battered shrimps with mojo picon
Another must-try from their tapas menu are these gambas in squid ink batter, plump shrimps with a thin batter and into your mouth with that very flavorful dip, these shrimp treats were gone in seconds, very good.
PESCAITO FRITO – fried fresh fish with sherry vinegar mayonnaise
This one’s so simple but really good, dilis fried to a beautiful crisp seasoned well and served with that delicious mayo. This is quite addicting I had to pass it onto the other side of the table because I might eat everything, considering I’m not a fan of the fish, it says a lot of how simple and good it was.
CROQUETAS TRIO – fish and seafood, porcini mushrooms, and stuffed bechamel croquettes
These croquettes are a real treat, nice crispy outer bits and are delightfully creamy when you bite into it. My favorite was the one with porcini mushrooms, its umami flavor with that creamy mouth-feel was just really good. No need for dipping sauce as they were good as is.
And then we moved on to the more filling dishes of the night, the star and heart of the menu, the rice dishes. They serve paella with different consistencies here, al dente and thin or soft and wet. Part of the menu says that in Spain, paella is usually enjoyed al dente and served in a thin layer while Asian versions tend to be soft and wet while still keeping the traditional flavors.
PAELLA VALENCIANA – chicken, rosemary, green and white beans
Their Paella Valenciana is one of the best that I’ve tried in recent memory. Everything about it was just so good. The consistency and the flavor of the rice base, those perfectly cooked chicken pieces, and the flavors on the background just makes for this nice harmony of things. One nice thing was the beans, I never had beans with paella before, it definitely gives the dish a more interesting texture.
CERDI ADOBADO Y BOLETUS – marinated pork with porcini mushrooms
This one is something more familiar, or at least with most of the paellas that I’ve tried. The rice and base had this nice mellow tomato goodness going on and with the pork and mushrooms it was really good.
FOIE GRAS Y BOLETUS – risotto of foie gras and porcini mushrooms
This for me was the star of the night, I was literally floored at first bite. This risotto of simple ingredients, porcini mushrooms in the base and those beautiful gems of foie gras on top is so damn good! Everything about it was spot on, the amazing flavors and the texture was just fantastic. We were all praises and raves on how good it was. THIS IS A MUST-TRY at ArroZeria.
Another must-try is their Fideua Negra (Thin Noodles) I’m so very sorry I was in a state of food comma back then and I forgot to take a picture but it was really good – black ink squid thin noodles and topped with strips of octopus.
CALDOSO DE CANGREJO – crab and snow peas
For seafood lovers this one will be a sure hit, fresh and bold flavors from the seafood base it’s of a delightful soupy consistency. I really just tried the rice because I was afraid that my allergy would act up but the flavor just from the rice was fantastic, what more if I had it with pieces of the crab as well.
TOMAHAWK – angus grass fed with a side of potatoes, mushrooms, mustard, blue cheese and spinach cream sauce
And yes please don’t judge us as we just had to get something from their Carnes y Pescados menu, some hearty dishes to compliment the arroces (rice) that we got. This tomahawk is really a thing of beauty and can definitely feed a lot of people. By this point I was already in a state of food comma from all the rice dishes that we tried but seeing this gorgeous piece of steak somehow activated a hidden / secret partition in my belly and I just had to get some.
Again how can you not give in to that gorgeous piece of steak? 😉 🙂 The sides had all the awesome and nice caramelization, it had this smoky background flavor from it, maybe because of the grill? And it’s absolutely cooked to perfection. Every piece of the steak was happiness and the potatoes was very good too! And just as I thought my dining experience at ArroZeria couldn’t get any higher, they served a platter of this…
OH YES folks! TOASTED STEAK FAT FTW! This was just too much, too much of a good thing. The fatty bits was toasted beautifully a nice crunch on the outer bits but you still get that fatty, decadent mouthfeel as you bite into it. And the flavor intensified as well. SO GOOD!
For the sweet ending (YES we still had desserts after so much food! LOL) we started again with a sweet tooth treat with rice as base.
ARROZ CON LECHE – caramelized rice pudding
Rice pudding that’s light a topping with that nice crust of caramelization, and that background flavor of spice from the rice is quite good, if you want something simple to end your meal here, you should try this.
TORRIJA DE COCO CARAMELIZADA – caramelized coconut brioche and pineapple sorbet
The flavor combination on this one reminded me of a really good piña colada Light and fluffy brioche with a sweet caramelized coconut topping and a scoop of a pineapple sorbet that gives it more of a refreshing kick.
CREMOSO DE CHOCOLATE – chocolate creamaux, streusel, tuille, ginger confit, and raspberry jam
Something for the chocolate lovers *raises hand*. Texture of all things good and chocolaty I really like the chocolate cream part and that crumbly streusel and the tuille, a faint hint of tartness from the raspberry jam and a surprising bit of spice from the ginger bits. Good!
CUAJADA AL MOMENTO – instant goat milk curd, honey, toasted walnuts and pineapple campote
Now this one’s a fun dessert, patience is key here as you have to let that milk-like substance to set for two to three minutes. And then you top it with those toasted hazelnuts, pineapple campote, and honey. Now this is the first time I tried a goat milk curd but to me it really tasted like taho just with other toppings, in a good way.
Again I was very impressed with the food at ArroZeria in Century City Mall. I had expectations but the restaurants went above and beyond them and I was really blown away. Congratulations again Jean Fernando, Chef Chele Gonzales and the rest of the team for another solid concept. Will be back for more of that Foie Gras and Porcini Risotto!
Fourth Floor, Century City Mall
Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion