Viva Espana!

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Concept: Alba Restaurante Espanol has been serving authentic and traditional Spanish food in Metro Manila since 1952. Deemed as the longest-staying Spanish restaurant in the country, the restaurant maintains the tradition of serving classic Spanish food with a taste of the traditional environment and culture.

Background: Senor Anastacio de Alba opened the first Alba restaurant 60 years ago along Isaac Peral, now United Nations Avenue, in Manila. Back then, the restaurant was known as Alba Cocina Espanola. Returning to Spain after a failed investment in the 1970s, Senor Alba came back and put up Casa Colas, presently known as Alba Restaurante Espanol located in Polaris Street, Bel-Air, Makati. Along with its main branch, the restaurant chain expanded to two branches at Tomas Morato, Quezon City and Westgate Center, Alabang. The launch of their new branch at the Prism Plaza in the Mall of Asia Complex coincides with two landmarks in Alba's history: Senor Alba's 60th year in the Philippines and the launch of the The Alba Cookbook, where Senor Alba shares some of his famous recipes and cooking tips along with some anecdotes from his life.

Ambience: Alba's interiors showcase Spanish influences with some modern accents for a more contemporary yet cozy feel, with a seating capacity for 180 people. There are charming Spanish lamps, decorative plates, and striking murals of scenes of Barcelona, while the stone wall is reminiscent of Avila. Modish drop lights illuminating the booths also give off a more upbeat vibe.

Must-tries on the menu: Paella Valenciana de Alba (Valencian rice dish with chicken, pork, seafood, and vegetables, P490) Paella Negra (black paella with stuffed squid and shrimps, P550) Paella Verde (green vegetable paella, P450) Paella Filipino (paella with sisig and cochinillo, P490) Callos a la Madrilena (stewed ox-tripe in rich tomato sauce, P370) Pato a la Naranja (roasted duck in Espagnole orange-flavored sauce, P480)

Additional information: A lunch buffet of the restaurant's specialties is available daily from 11:30am-2pm. The restaurant faces an open parking area, and there is a parking area at the 2nd floor of the building. Smoking is allowed in its al fresco area. For events, Alba Prism has function rooms that can seat 20, 50, or 70 pax. Guests can also book the whole restaurant, which can seat up to 100 guests. The outdoor area seats up to 30 people.

Address: 4th Level, Prism Plaza, TwoEcom Center Building, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, tel (2) 808-8210, (2) 808-2326, (2) 384-6344, alba. …