Oftentimes, when one hears Resorts World Manila, casino entertainment first comes into mind. But aside from all the gambling fun, RWM is also home to some of the tastiest cuisines in the Metro. Including the very much IG-worthy Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant. Here’s a quick review of this fiery Filipino-Spanish restaurant at RWM!
Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant: The Story Behind the Name
Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant at Resorts World Manila is owned by serial entrepreneur Henjie Carmona. The place itself pays homage to Henjie’s parents. First to his father, Rafael, who’s also the brains behind its famed recipes. Then to his mom, Petronilla, whose rich homemaking became a default inspiration for Rafael’s VIP Room – The Petronila Room. And finally, to Henjie’s personal affinity for upscale hospitality and entertainment.
So it’s no surprise that Rafael’s is also adorned with the same level of intricacy Henjie has been exposed to in his past two decades in the industry.
I’m talking about an ultra sleek bar, modern art pieces hung on walls, eclectic lighting and furnishings, and a very posh speakeasy-themed VIP room upstairs. BUT don’t get deceived by all the art and glam all around. Because their food is actually reasonably priced considering both the portion, quality, and taste.
Bestsellers at Rafael’s
With the thought of “home and the food reminds you of family” in mind, Rafael’s menu selection is a tasty marriage of real comfort food and modern flavors. Most items, as the restaurant name suggests, are tapas meaning small dishes. So they’re in smaller plates but good enough to share. Besides, who can resist not having several tapas while having drinks with friends, right?
Seafood Chowder Soup (Php 320.00)
One of my guilty pleasures when dining out is that a bowl of soup is a must. And I am glad I picked a tasty one to whet my appetite at Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant, the Seafood Chowder Soup. Unlike the typical ones, Rafael’s version was less creamy but packed a richer seafood flavor. YUM!
Chicken Skin Chicharones (Php 280.00 – HTD Fave!)
Fan of fried tapas? Then Rafael’s Chicken Skin Chicharones will definitely leave you craving for more! A sinful plate of crispy chicken skin drenched in Chili Malt Vinegar and Pickeled Carrot and Turnip Puree. LEVEL UP Chicharon, indeed!
Duck Sisig (Php 680.00)
YEP. Rafael’s really had the gastronomy Gods on their side for this one! Tender Duck breast chunks tossed in an extra savory aloili sauce, some spice, topped with a quail egg. I don’t normally eat duck (except wrapped Peking Duck) because of the fatty taste. But this dish stood out for me that day. Eat as is or pair with rice or bread. Beer please!
Wagyu Salpicao (Php 900.00 – HTD Fave!)
Salpicao is actually one of my favorite tapas because of the flavor it brings to the table. But making it with Wagyu Beef? Wow, just wow at Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant! Seared spiced Angue Prime Ribeye in Salpicao Truffle Au Jus, topped with Butter Garlic Black Garlic and Fried Oyster Mushrooms. It was so good and melt-in-your-mouth that I couldn’t resist but take home a full order to have my family taste!
Prawns in Al Ajillo Sauce (Php 850.00)
I am a big seafood fan so this was my personal order and it did not disappoint. Big and meaty Flambe Al Ajillo Shrimps tossed in Chardonnay, Roasted Chillies & Grilled Lemon. Then topped with Rafael’s signature sweet-buttery Black Garlic. Rice please!
Wagyu Brisket Caldereta (Php 1,200.00 – HTD Favorite)
And then came the main star of our feast, Rafael’s Wagyu Brisket Caldereta. A deconstructed plate of Blackened Roasted Wagyu Brisket, mixed with Carrot and Garlic Potato Puree, topped with Fried Olive. I honestly didn’t know how it would taste like by its looks but it was surprisingly excellent! Tender meat in a salty-savory-sour sauce.
Exclusivity at Rafael’s Petronila Room
Have a private function in mind? Or perhaps just taking caution with the pandemic? Well, maybe it’s about right to book the Petronila VIP Room at at Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant.
Located at the 2nd floor of this RWM restaurant, the Petronila Room is as exclusive as it gets. Posh tufted seats, a long glass table ala Speakeasy, with a lounge area to boot.
It even has a ‘Golden Toilet’ and its own mini bar showcasing the much-covete Remy Martin Louis XIII and Dalmore 25! Avaialble for exclusive use for as low as Php 15,000 only (from the original 200,000 pre-Covid)!
For the full menu, reservations, and more information, please visit @rafaelsrwph on Instagram Rand Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant on Facebook.
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