In Review: Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant (Resorts World Hotel)
Fine dining, either with family, friends or work mates, should always be relaxing – and complimented with good service and food. Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant provides that subtle candle lit dinner. It sets the mood for good conversations, after a long haul from or coming from a direct flight straight from the airport – which is a stones throw away from this restaurant. Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant has its special roots. “The restaurant I named after my father. He died a few years ago, but his memories live on with food. He was a very good cook, something my family cherish even after his passing,” said restaurant owner Henjie Carmona. Henjie hails from an Ilonggo family clan, where food and social events mke up lasting memories with friends or relatives. – in times of celebrations of crisis. “Food is always present.It brings family together, and my father cooks it so well that we come back for it like a craving.”
Henjie wanted to create that same gastronomic effect with Rafael’s Tapas and Restaurant, which is the latest restaurant to open at the newly opened posh dining wing of the Resorts World Hotel. “The restaurant, despite the tapa name attached to its flare, serves authentic Filipino food. But not recipe comes straight off my father’s homegrown recipes,” said Carmona. While Henjie did not inherit the cooking flare of his father, Carmona managed to bring on his father’s well loved kitchen recipes to this restaurant. “My father trained one cook before he passed away. He is part of the restaurant’s concept, but I hired Chef Jinggoy Fernando to manage these homegrown recipes.” Chef Fernando, who similarly grew up loving Filipino dishes, gave restaurant its unique menu flare. High on diner’s demand is the Duck Sisig, which is serve sizzling steak style complete with chicharon, duck meat and liver. “It is dish made to be shared, enjoyed with friends who wants to know more about Filipino dishes.” Chef Fernando believes there is more to Filipino cuisines that needed discovering. “Filipino food is very good. I want people explore and enjoy that in ways I did growing in a family who loves homegrown food,” said Chef Fernando. Another driving menu dish, which is fantastic with mixed or chilled mrgaritas, is the Bicol Express Fried Chicken. It took its cue from “tinutungan”, which burns coconut meat before grating. It gives fried chciken that special smokey chilly milky flavor typical of home made Bicolano dishes. “We want people to enjoy Filipino cuisines in so many ways that reminds them of home cooked food, which is what my father Rafael left us with so many good memories,” said Henjie. Being a Tapa’s Bar, Rafael’s has a wide array of Spanish sweet side leaning alcohol mixed drinks. Vodka, Margharetita or Gin make for a great drink pitch after a long haul from work. Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant, which sits within Resorts World Manila’’s casinos, is a good dine in place to unwind. It is equally a great place to explore provincial pinoy cuisines, a choice which begins with restaurant’s crab dishes, igado (or mixed liver, pork, beef or duck), sizzling styled dinuguan are great choices for a long dinner spent with friends or family. Business gatherings, with Rafael’s noticeably subtly ambience, you can drop in for casual drinks served with Octopus served on sliced watermelons or why not savor fresh salmon cuts.
“The restaurant is designed for casual dining, where people can easily come in, converse while enjoying time out of a busy meeting.” Said Chef Jinggoy. The restaurant’s candle lit interiors, with its wide tall walls showcasing Henjie’s painting collections is a charmer. “The paintings are from my personal collections. I wanted to display art, but I want to showcase a different set that set the restaurant’s laidback homely mood,” said Henjie. Rafel’s Tapas and Restaurant sits subtly in the middle of Resorts World Hotel’s newly opened dining wing. The location makes it a friendly spot for private dinners – perfect for a Valentine Day option right after a theater show.
“We want people to realize, despite Rafael’s tapa restaurant design, is a great place to dine out on homegrown Filipino cuisines. For a night cap end meal, the Salpicao is a rounded dish to cap a full dinner. It is great with rice or just enjoy it with drinks. “The restaurants offers a peek into well loved Filipino cuisines, which is what most Filipinos crave whenever they are with friends,” said Chef Fernando. Rafael’s Tapas and Restaurant is found at the newest dining wing at the second of the Resorts World Manila Hotel.