Review: A Gastronomic Feast of Spanish Comfort Food at Beso Cucina Vinoteka (The Fort, BGC, Taguig)

Review: Beso Cucina Vinoteka by Chef Carlo Miguel

There aren’t a lot of restaurants in Manila serving Spanish cuisine, despite this being a flavor very close to home. With 300 years of Spanish colonization’s influence deeply rooted in our culture and our taste buds, many of the popular local dishes are actually of Spanish origin. So when we learned that Chef Carlo Miguel has opened a new Spanish restaurant (a new addition to his already long list of popular restaurants), we just had to go and indulge in the Spanish Comfort Food Beso Cucina Vinoteka promises to provide.

Inside Beso Cucina Vinoteka

Upon entering, I was immediately fascinated with the mural that depicts a bullfight, a very traditional activity that originated and is still currently being practiced in many Hispanic countries. We were also treated to some Spanish music which our ears feasted on while we wait for the highlight of our visit: the feast for the taste.

There were so many dishes that graced our palates that day, so I can’t really detail every minute details about the food. However, let me show you the mouthwatering Spanish cuisine we were treated to that day.

beso spanish restaurant

Cured Meats Platter (Php 410)

Crispy Mussels with Jamon, Garlic, and Bacon Foam (Php 290)

Left: Gambas sauteed in Chorizo, Garlic White Wine and Parsley (Php 480)
Right: Clams with Bacon, Garlic, Sherry and Parsley (Php 290)

These Gambas were to die for! The prawns were so huge, and it was flavorful with every bite.

Mushroom Croquetas with Truffled Aioli (Php 270)

The Mushroom Croquetas were a crowd favorite. I am partial to this dish because I love mushrooms. And since it was bite-sized, it was so easy to pop right into your mouth and enjoy the creamy filling.

Bacon, Blue Cheese and Onion Jam Flat Bread (Php 285)

Flat Breads are like Spain’s version of pizza, with more attention to the quality of the bread, over the amount of toppings on it. I’ve never tasted anything as flavorful as this, despite the little amount of toppings compared to the smorgasbord that is the Italian or American pizza. They were able to make it so flavorful with just enough of everything. I also enjoyed eating this with my hands! Pizza is my ultimate comfort food, so it is needless to say that this easily makes it to the list of my favorites in Beso.

Fried Peri-Peri Chicken Sliders, with Aioli and Shredded Romaine (Php 275)

Another group favorite was the Peri-Peri Chicken Sliders. At the core of it was the spicy and exotic-tasting Peri-peri chicken. It was so good that the sliders were out of sight in a matter of minutes! Again, I loved how I felt free to enjoy these with my hands.

Salad of Crisp Oyster Mushroom, Feta Marinated Onions and Tomato (Php 235)

Crispy Pork Chicharones with Chili Lime Aioli (Php 395)

These fresh Crispy Pork Chicharones will make you forget all the other chicharon you’ve ever tasted. It’s chicharon to its truest sense.

Wasn’t all those quite a handful already? Mind you, that was just the Tapas, or appetizers. Hang on because we’re about to get to the best parts yet: The Main dishes and the overflowing Paella goodness.

 

Left: Squid Ink Paella; Right: Beso Paella (Php 635 for 2-3 pax, Php 1365 for 6-8 pax)

Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a heavy rice eater. But throw in rice in a mix of all the seafood, bacon, and chorizo, and you have a rice I can’t refuse. Beso serves five different Paella variants, including the Beso Paella, Squid Ink Paella, Vegetarian Paella, All Meat Paella, and the Steak and Egg Paella. Most of the bloggers I was with preferred the Squid Ink Paella, or the Black Paella over the Beso Paella. Personally, I loved the tomato-based Beso Paella better. But I think that I would love the All Meat Paella, and the Steak and Egg Paella when I get to try those two! It’s a good thing Beso offers Paella in an eat-til-you-drop fashion, for only Php 350. Goodbye diet, hello Steak and Egg Paella!

Beso Paella: Pork, Chorizo, Bacon, Prawns, Squid, Mussels, and Clams

Squid Ink Paella: Chorizo, Bacon, Squid and Prawns

Compared to other paellas I’ve tried before (such as Dulcinea’s and Fish & Co’s), Beso’s Paella isn’t dry. It’s rice is served with generous amount of sauce to make it more flavorful. I liked that a lot, as well as the fact that Beso has a Paella variant for everyone, whether you’re vegetarian, allergic to seafood, or just really love an overwhelming amount of all things meat on your rice.

Crispy Skin Pork Belly with Mojo Verde and Rice Pilaf (Php 435)

Lamb Shanks Braised in Tomato, Peppers, Chorizo and Chickpeas with Rice Pilaf (Php 695)

The Lamb Shanks was superb! While Chef Carlo says that many diners are not fond of lambs, he also mentioned that most of his customers gave feedback on how sumptuous his Lamb Shanks dish was. If you’re not a fan of lamb dishes, then you might want to give this a try before you completely cross of lamb on your list.

With all these well thought-of dishes from Beso alone, I can’t imagine how stressful it must be for Chef Carlo to be conceptualizing and continuously improving numerous dishes for his other restaurants. Despite the amount of work that goes into creating and innovating, Chef Carlo was still able to come up with six special dishes, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

 

Grilled Salmon Fillet with Zucchini Spaghetti

Braised Beef Brisket with Pedro Ximenez reduction, Pumpkin puree,Escalivada, and confit of Cherry Tomatoes

Whew! That was quite a feast! But what’s a feast without desserts? Beso’s desserts are just the type of sweets you shouldn’t miss out on:

From L-R (Top): Chocolate Leche Flan (Php 295)
Vanilla Semi Frio with Strawberry, Almonds, and Chocolate Soil (Valentine’s Special)
Bottom: Dulce de Leche Natilias (Php 245), Crema Catalana (Php 195)

The Crema Catalana is more popularly known as Creme Brulee. The Chocolate Leche Flan was an interesting twist to the Pinoy dessert, with 72% Dark Belgian Chocolate thrown into the mix, but lacked the creamy consistency of a regular leche flan. The Dulce de Leche Natilias was attacked enthusiastically by the group, and everyone just wanted more of it. And the Vanilla Semi-Frio? We’re hoping that Chef Carlo would keep it as a regular on the menu and not just for Valentine’s.

Calamansi Sangria

La Vida Sangria

Beso’s customers are lured not only by the Spanish tapas, but also by their Beso’s sangria. We loved the refreshing and zesty Calamansi Sangria, which felt like an early sip of summer flavors in a glass. The La Vida Sangria is perfect for when the sun has set and you’re enjoying your plate of paella. You can be assured that Beso serves great tasting sangria because the same owners of Beso also brought us Distillery.

Chef Carlo Miguel of Beso Cucina Vinoteka

What I loved most about Beso is that they’re always changing up the menu and always improving on their dishes. Chef Carlo just doesn’t stop innovating, and it’s amazing how he can do this for all his restaurants. But that’s the beauty of it, that there is always something new to look forward to with every visit, yet you can still expect to be served your usual Spanish fare favorites.

Beso Cucina Vinoteka’s Menu and Rates

Photo by Chris Manansala

We had a wonderful time at Beso Cucina Vinoteka. Thank you to Chef Carlo Miguel and the staff of Beso Cucina Vinoteka for the warm accommodation and the Spanish gastronomic experience. I’ll definitely be coming back for the challenge of chowing down unlimited servings of Paella!-HANA

Beso Cucina Vinoteka
7th ave cor. 29th Street
Bonifacio High Street, Taguig

8 comments to Review: A Gastronomic Feast of Spanish Comfort Food at Beso Cucina Vinoteka (The Fort, BGC, Taguig)

  • mason_moorexxx  says:

    Have any arguments about me putting up this on twitter?

    • dollhana  says:

      No, go right ahead. :)

  • Halley  says:

    Hi therе! Thiѕ post couldn’t be written any better!

    Going through this poszt reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him.
    Pretty sure he’s going to have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  • alvin imperial  says:

    wow.. another menu .. :D thanks again for sharing this kind of foods.. miss Hana.

  • Lenard  says:

    I reаlly like hat you guys are usually upp too.

    This κind of cleνеr work and coveragе! Keep up the аmazing worқs
    guys I’ve added you guys tο blogroll.

  • kevin michael huffer  says:

    omg i remember chef carlo from the biggest loser asia, he is def my inspiration as to why i need to keep fit ..i def wanna try his mouthwatering masterpiece too! thanks for posting this hana!

  • kevin michael huffer  says:

    i def wanna try beso paella because they say it is mouthwatering and savory .. i wanna try if it’s def a kiss from heaven :-)

  • christopher amo  says:

    i definitely want to try Crispy Mussels with Jamon, Garlic, and Bacon Foam because it looks yummy and crispy – the not your ordinary mussels kind of thing because it looks crispy and im curious about the foamy thing on top.. hmm will it make me feel out of this world or something :D

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>