MANILA -- The Bistro Group gets ready to rumba as Bistronomia head chef Alfredo Rodriguez Sangrador fires up the charcoal to cook up exquisite specialties from Spain and its Mediterranean neighbors.
The new restaurant Rumba is the first restaurant that kicks off The Shops at Ayala Triangle Garden dining experience. Located at the Ayala Triangle Tower 2, Rumba certainly raises the bar for the restaurants that will soon open in the periphery.
Rumba maximizes the use of its slender space by lining up its bar and its open kitchen right by the entrance and having a nice cozy alcove on the other end -- all this decorated with a medley of warm colors and textures that give the restaurant a cozy dining air.
It may be best to think of Rumba as a Spanish restaurant that dabbles in Mediterranean dishes. Sangrador’s menu has his trademark Spanish favorites, such as his cochinilio and charcoal rice, at its core.
The charcoal rice, in particular, is a highlight of the Rumba menu. Sangrador does not cook this on a paellera on an open flame; rather his Arroces Al Carbon is cooked in a cast iron pan inside a charcoal oven sealing in the flavors and getting more of that much desired soccarat.
While the entrees’ names are still in Spanish, one can just appreciate the side trips to France, Greece, and Italy that take guests on a food trip around the Mediterranean Sea. An added attraction are the entrees that are unique to Rumba that cannot be found in any other Bistronomia (or Bistro Group restaurant, for that matter) menu.
For example, the Brogavante Arroces Al Carbon with Canadian Sea Lobster has a pasta version with linguine instead of Bomba rice.
Spanish tapas such as croquetas and pulpo are still in the menu, but do try out the French, and Greek appetizers.
Try out the salt crusted marble potatoes with pesto and a picante sauce, a Greek mezze that’s an alternative to the usual french fries. Cold foie gras paired with apricot jam is a classic combination or the baked camembert served in cast iron skillet to make it ooze and melt with pesto are indulgent ways to start a meal.
For a taste of Italy and France, the Risotto De Azafran, made of saffron and lemon risotto with foie gras with a sprinkle of salt crystals. Better to slice up the foie into small pieces, make sure to have some of the salt on it, with some of the risotto for a rich and zesty bite.
Sangrador’s Confit de Pato rivals a steak main course -- perfectly cooked duck confit with crispy skin on top of truffle and mushroom risotto to tame the duck’s richness.
Have a drink with dessert from the bar. Bistronomia’s restaurants are known for sister restaurant Las Flores' La Nostra Sangria made with red wine and that can be found here too. Or have a refreshing Sangria Blanco.
Rumba has a couple of promotions to get diners to come and try them out. The first are the prime lunch sets available all day priced at P695 each. These are the Pescado (grilled salmon with vegetables, hummus with nachos), Pollo (Mediterranean green salad with chicken gyros), and Pasta (vongole and grilled vegetables).
Besides that, the bar has a Buy 1 Take 1 offer on Tanqueray Gin & Tonic all day and a 30% discount on beers, wines, and cocktails including their special tiki drinks from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day.
Rumba is located at the Shops at Ayala Triangle Garden and is open from Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Please check out @rumba_ph on their socials for their complete menu and reservations.