First, La Pícara, pronounced as la pí-cara (with emphasis on the pi), means the mischievious or naughty.

It’s a Spanish restaurant with Tropical Cuban/Central American-inspired design that transports you from the city into an oasis in the center of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The food was surprisingly very good, Spanish food with a naughty playful twist of Filipino ingredients or Asian interpretation but still classy elegant Spanish food.

We tried it three times in the last few weeks before their grand opening. Here’s what we loved that you should try:

 

LA PICARA MANILA
High Street corner 5th Avenue, 2Floor, Exchange Stock Market Mall, BGC, Taguig
Mobile: +63 927 172 4480
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: La Picara Manila
Instagram: La Picara PH
Website: http://lapicara.ph

First Things First

They are popular for their Sangria and drinks program which starts with a happy hour from 3.00pm to 7.00pm daily plus 9pm to 3am on weekends (Thursday – Saturday).

La Pícara was successfully conceptualized by first-time restaurateurs Isabel Calvo and Architect Felipe (long name: Felipe Antonio Díaz de Miranda Fernández de Molina).

On a cold day, my favorite place is the terrace where you can hangout as the sun sets and you can see the colors of the center of BGC—5th St. and Bonifacio High Street.

La Picara Menu: Tapas 1 | Tapas 2 | Fresh & Cheeky | Las Chacinas | Caliente! Caliente! | Thug Paellas | Desserts

Drinks Menu: Happy Hour Cocktails | Cocktails | Gin & Tonic & Granizados | Beer | Juices & Soda | Coffee & Tea | Spirits: Gin | Spirits: Tequila & Rum | Spirits: Vodka, Brandi, Cognac, Vermouth, Cachaca | Liqueurs & Others

Essentially, you go here for the tapas and drinks to start your bar hopping, but you can also stay for their Spanish food for dinner.


Tapas

Sangria Picara

Sangria Picara (₱350). Watermelon, Pineapple, Rambutan, Passion Fruit & Red Wine. Happy Hour Buy One Take One

One of the best sangrias we’ve tasted in the metro, it’s properly made with sweet red wine and fruit juices finished with a fragrant aroma from star anise.

(Tip: it’s good to start but it can ruin your appetite if you drink a lot.)

Kimchi Croquetas

Kimchi Croquetas (₱340). Crispy, creamy, salmon sashimi, croquetas niguiri

Loved the hint of kimchi to spice up this croqueta topped with salmon. So good!

Croqueyaki

Croqueyaki (₱340). 100% Jamon Croquetas

Yes, this is 100% Jamon Croquetas served takoyaki-style.

(It would be nice to have a bit of pulpo inside to complete the adaptation.)

Sisig Pibil Tacos

Sisig Pibil Tacos (₱340). The flavors of Mexico with our beloved Sisig

You’d find this sisig, done Spanish style but served Mexican style in a taco on a bamboo container, on every table.

Burrata

Burrata (₱590) with caramelized tomato, green pesto & migas, served with homemade crackers

What makes this burrata different from those of other restos is that it matches perfectly with the caramelized juicy tomatoes served on a bed of pesto.

This is a good pica pica that you can eat steadily with the homemade crackers.

Pulpo

Pulpo (₱380). Flash grilled sous vide octopus served with potato foam, crums negra & pimenton

Thinly-sliced pulpo cooked well and served Spanish style with pimenton spinkles and potato mousse. I wished they had bigger or more slices of octopus.

Fresca Flamenco

Fresca Flamenco (₱290). Strawberries, Lime Juice & Coconut Milk

Order the fresca to refresh your palate if you decide to have your main meal here.


Main Dish

Chili Crab Paella

Chili Crab Paella (₱890) with soft shell crab tempura

The paella is done Spanish style with a thin layer of rice mixed with the chili crab flavor and topped with battered soft shell crab.

What makes this awesome is the soccarat which is the caramelized rice sauce with chili crab flavor (we call this tutong but this one is not burnt).

Iberian Pork Fideua

Iberian Pork Fideua (₱980). Toasted nuddles with pork knuckle topped with braised pork ribs

If you are looking for something different, try their fideua made from toasted noodles.

Beef Cheeks

Beef Cheeks (₱680). Slow cooked in red with served with mashed potato & saba

Our favorite was the beef cheeks topped with saba skin on a bed of mashed potato with flavors of saba—a nice La Picara innovation.


Dessert

Save yourself from gaining more calories from the dessert, which needs improvement, but if you insist…

Arroz Con Leche

Arroz Con Leche (₱280) with caramelized mango & strudel

This is like mango and suman but served Spanish style like rice in condensed milk.

Puto Flan de Queso

Puto Flan de Queso (₱380). Three desserts in one

If you were to choose one, order this leche flan cheesecake to end on a sweet note.

Helado de Yogurt

Helado de Yogurt (₱230). Homemade yogurt ice cream with passion fruit

Sweet yogurt with a ball of passion fruit which you can mix to add flavor and cut through the sweetness.


Final Thoughts

Honestly, we initially thought this was just-another-resto-riding-the-Spanish-wave in Manila, but it turned out to be one of the best restaurant concepts at One Bonifacio High Street Stock Exchange Mall.

We recommend starting with the Sangria Picara and tapas of Kimchi Croquettas plus Sisig Tacos and the Burrata Salad, ordering the Chili Crab Paella and Beef Cheeks for the main course and ending with Puto Flan de Queso for dessert. Budget about ₱1,000/head for a full meal + drinks.

Best to go with a group of 4-6 so that you can really enjoy the paella. Best to reserve the round or group tables inside because this area is where you get transported into a tropical oasis with a relaxing view after a hard day’s work.

Congratulations to Isabel and Felipe for the awesome Spanish restaurant concept. Welcome to the vibrant restaurant dining scene of Manila!

 

LA PICARA MANILA
High Street corner 5th Avenue, 2Floor, Exchange Stock Market Mall, BGC, Taguig
Mobile: +63 927 172 4480
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: La Picara Manila
Instagram: La Picara PH
Website: http://lapicara.ph

 

Live an Awesome Life,
Anton
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: We conducted a food tour of One Bonifacio High Street and we were media guests during the grand opening.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.

P.S. La Picara was voted as the best restaurant during our recent #OneBHSEats food crawl.

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