A Spanish-Italian Bistro by Anita Celdran, La Collina is hidden in Brgy. Poblacion area near Makati City Hall. It’s a slow food restaurant committed to sourcing fresh ingredients from nearby sustainable farms to produce Spanish food from the heritage recipes of the Celdran family and Italian cuisine from Anita’s Italian partner.
“Collina,” which means small hill both in Spanish and Italian, is a reference to the restaurant’s original hill location in Tagaytay before it found its way to a nice house along Molina St. in Brgy. Poblacion.
It’s awesome to discover these food-forward places to reinvigorate the dining scene in the otherwise bar-dominated neighborhood of Brgy. Poblacion. It feels like the first time you discovered Sala in the Malate neighborhood years ago.
Here’s what you can expect at La Collina.
First things First
La Collina is located in the upper west side of Brgy. Poblacion area along Molina St. opposite Kermit and Chuck’s Deli.
The ground floor is a bar for the Brgy. Poblacion hangout crowd and for those who want to eat on the street level.
The 2nd floor, where the magic happens, features the best of local craftsmanship with interiors designed by Baby Imperial and Damien “Coco” Anne (of B+C Design) who did the famed interiors of Sala and Black Bird.
The restaurant is popular for intimate parties, with a capacity of 28 (function room), 65 (2nd floor dining) and 22 (first floor dining).
The neighborhood ambiance of the quieter side of Poblacion area is perfect for a lazy lunch or romantic dinner with friends.
Just a bit of trivia, Anita is the sister of David Celdran and the first cousin of Carlos Celdran. Also to disclose, she partnered with Tita Kelly Boncan who handles the marketing for the restaurant.
Sangria Rosso (₱350).
As you would in Spain, start with their signature Sangria to give your conversation a kick and to get you into that European mood.
Arancina (₱350). Risotto balls with mozzarella
These rice balls are soft, and they ooze with mozzarella.
Fitto Misto (₱450). Baby shrimp, squid
Lightly battered fried seafood just like how they do it in Galicia but with our very own fresh seafood.
Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio Italy 2017 (₱300/glass, ₱1,500/bottle). (vivino rating 3.5)
Order a nice crisp Pinot Grigio that’s refreshingly fruity with a dry finish. Nice to partner with the appetizers.
Red Beet, Goat Cheese Salad (₱350). Candied walnut with baby greens in sherry vinaigrette
Not much of a presentation but something healthy to start with. Best to eat a bit of red beet, goat cheese and candied walnut in each salad bite.
Fabada Asturiana (₱320). A rich Spanish bean stew with assorted hams and chorizo
Homemade based on the Asturianas Heritage recipe of the Celdran Family using Jamon Serrano from Pamplona and two other secret meat stock to make this probably the best Fabada in town.
Blue Crab Ravioli (₱495). Blue crab with piquant cherry tomato
These pillowy soft ravioli surprises you with the tasty fresh pieces of deep sea Negros alimasag. So good!
Paella Mixta (4 pax – ₱2,000). With assorted meats and seafood.
This mixed paella is served with the best saffron and arborio rice topped with mixed sausage meat, prawn and mussels cooked just right with socarrat (caramelized tutong).
Baked Cod Fillet (₱540). Portuguese Style
The bacalao was cooked just right with a nice lightly sauteed tomato.
Braised Lamb Shoulder (₱595). With preserved lemons, served with roasted veggies
You’ll love how they cook this tender lamb shoulder served with its jus and roasted veggies on the side.
Dogajolo Toscano Italy 2016 (₱275/glass, ₱1,250). (vivino rating of 3.7)
This highly rated Tuscan red wine was perfect pairing for the lamb and the lechon. I can drink this the whole day.
Cochinillo Black Pig (₱ varies according to size and market price). Native breed, organic-fed from Sambali Beach Farm
You might want to pre-order their signature cochinillo to make sure you get to savor the taste of this organic baby pig from Sambali beach farm in Ching Camara in Botolan, Zambales.
It’s nice to end with a nicely soaked Italian Tiramisu.
Creme Catalan (₱230). With strawberry topping
Of course, a Spanish meal is not complete without crema Catalana to clean the palate and end on a sweet note.
Panna Cotta (₱235). With raspberry coulis topping
The desserts are done just right to satisfy your craving but nothing to rave about.
It was awesome to connect with these ladies—Annie Celdran who owns the resto, and Carmelita Salvador who owns the house built in the 1970s and part of the adjacent residential compound.
We loved the Fabada Asturiana, Blue Crab Ravioli to start, and the Baked Cod Fillet, Braised Lamb Shoulder and Cochinillo Black Pig from Sambali Farm. Budget about P1,000/head + wine to enjoy the food.
Congratulations Annie and Auntie Kelly for a great La Collina concept!
The 2nd floor main dining area ambiance and interiors are brimming with elegant simplicity against the vibrant residential scene surrounding the house.
An awesome place to celebrate a birthday or a milestone or even just a simple get together with friends. I bet the ambiance is much more romantic at night.
Note: There is parking available along the street and a dedicated parking area opposite the restaurant.
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of La Collina. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.
P.S. When you order coffee, make sure to request for a packet of the Muscovado Gold sugar.
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