When an elevated Catalan restaurant opens in Manila, local gourmands are unlikely to need three guesses as to who’s at the helm. So adept have restaurateurs Dani Aliaga and Sergi Rostoll (of Las Flores fame) proved in their previous outings, that it’s both natural and correct to assume they are the brains behind Makati’s newest see and be scenester. Spanning two floors, bar, dining and alfresco areas, and a bustling open kitchen, Rambla takes as its own the former LU/LU space in Rockwell, fusing sleek, modern looks, innovative techniques and colourful cuisine to thoroughly crowd-pleasing ends.
Via head chef Pepe Lopez (formerly of BCN’s Michelin-starred Lluçanès and Ritz-Carlton), Aliaga and Rostoll here offer a molecular-tinged dining experience as visually impressive as it is tasty. Start with spherical olives reconstructed from purée and scooped individually tableside, crispy Catalan flat bread, and the oozy, organic Egg Bomb crumbed in pork, bread and spices and delicately fried to crunchy perfection. Paprika-sprinkled octopus carpaccio, creamy ricotta gnudis (pouches), and sculpted Wagyu beef inside-out cannelloni are just a few of the standout share plates, while the teetering For Chocolate Lovers dessert plays both showpiece and flavour bomb with its seven sinfully sweet components including ganache and choc-pistachio brownie. Pair your plates with pours from the Spain-centric wine list or the excellent Albert Singla-designed cocktail program and you’ll swear you’ve died and gone to Catalonia.
G/F / Joya Bldg / Joya Dr / Rockwell / Makati / +63 2 823 6468 / lunch & dinner / facebook.com/ramblaph