Ilustrado in Manila - Philippines
What images are conjured in your mind when you think of Spanish cuisine?
Perhaps, youd imagine the old Walled City of Intramuros in Manila, the seat of government during the Spanish colonial period. And, maybe, youd swear to hearing as well the faint echo of horse-drawn carruajes clickety-clacking along its narrow cobble-stoned streets; and, make-out fleeting silhouettes of well-dressed, highly educated, and enlightened Filipinos with their ubiquitous canethe ilustrado of those times, languidly strolling by the long line of gas-lit sidewalk lamp posts.
If you love genuine Spanish food, imagine no more. All you have to do when you are passing through the City of Manila is to ask the cab driver to take you to Intramuros, a couple of hundred yards from the foot of the old Quezon Bridge in downtown Quiapo and just a spitting distance away from five-star hotels such as the famed Manila Hotel, Manila Hilton Hotel and Hyatt Regency Hotel. Then, take a short walk along the cobble-stoned driveway of General Luna Street that leads past a tree-shaded courtyard to a reconstructed 19th century house that has been converted into an elegant fine-dining restaurant called Ilustrado.
This unique 19th century themed Philippine restaurant is comprised of a dining area and ballroom whose polished hard wood furniture and white table clothes lend an air of Old World formality and a coffee shop that features old carriage wheels hanging from the ceiling with walls that are livened up with theater show posters. The menu features Spanish dishes such as the all time favorite, Paella, along with exotic Filipino specialties like Kalderetang Kambing (goat stew) and Adobong Usa (venison cooked in vinegar and soy sauce).
If you are exploring the centuries old structures in the Walled City, fine dining in this popular Philippine restaurant provides the fitting climax to your entire Intramuros experience. Treat your palate to the exquisite taste and sight of Lobster ala Jaime, which was created by former Central Bank Governor, the late Jaime Ongpin. For an average cost of only P500.00 per person, you could bite into some of the restaurants heirloom recipes such as the Ilustrado Morcon, generous slices of minced pork, sausages and eggs wrapped in tender beef swimming in rich gravy. Combine this fare with the much acclaimed Paella Ilustrado or its luscious and creamy version of Bagnet, the pride of the Heritage City of Vigan. Then, top off your meal with that sinfully sweet Leche Flan or the famous Sampaguita Sorbet which is made from the fragrant sampaguita flower exclusively for the discriminating taste buds of its guests.
Ilustrado caters to the events of Malacanang Palace, the Bangko Sentral ng PIlipinas and Dell Philippines, to name a few. This themed restaurant also accepts reservations ranging from huge garden and ballroom celebrations to small function room group dining. For reservations, you can call up +632-527-3674. The Coffee Shop is open 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday to Saturday; and, 8:00 AM to 5:00PM Sunday while Restaurant hours is 11:00AM to 3:00PM & 6:00PM to 10:00 PM Monday to Saturday; and, 11:00AM to 3:00PM Sunday.