Of Spanish food and lifelong friends

Saw an old friend today whom I thought I lost. Before I lament on what happened, I want to say that I enjoyed the food and the ambiance at the new Alba’s Restaurante Español at the Prism Plaza in the Mall of Asia complex. While the hubby and I have made MOA our second home (hehehe), it was my first time to set foot in this irregularly-shaped building. It reminded me of the alfresco dining level of the Hongkong Museum of Art. It overlooks Manila Bay and I am so sure that the sunset here would have been a spectacular sight.

Alba’s, of course, is as traditional yet modern as it could be. We took advantage of their dinner buffet, which cost Php750++. I always feel lugi when I have buffet since I don’t eat much in one sitting, but I guess what we paid for was the variety. Mmmmm…writing now and looking at the photos making me crave for Spanish food.

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Tapas – Pizza with anchovies, Croquetas de Jamon, Mariscos, Tostadas with 3 spreads (Quezorizo, Tomate, ajo and aceite de oliva, and Espinacas), Salchichas con Champignons (which is my personal favorite!) and Mejillones al Tigre

Also available were Tabla de Embutidos, which I planned on going back on but was too full so regretfully was not able to taste, and ensalada with different dressings.

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Paella Valenciana, spicy shrimp pasta, pescado ala vizcaina in homemade tomato sauce, pollo ala king, steamed vegetables, escallopines ala pobre, and house specialty, cochinillo, and costillas de vaca al vino rojo

I would have taken and eaten more of everything if the stomach had been willing. Alas, only the mouth was. lol. Everything was just rich and sumptuous just the way I like them.

I didn’t get the callos and lengua as I have a thing about innards.

For dessert, I had canonigo, which was as near to heaven as I could get, maja blanca and mango squares. Because I was too full by this time, I let go of the mocha cake and fruit salad.

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The restaurant had the right amount of light and sounds. Not too bright, not too dim, not too loud. Perfect for family gatherings, quiet get-togethers, and even dates. Now, I’m thinking I want to hold a small party here for my Dad’s upcoming 70th birthday. We’ll see.

Over the good food was a lot of catching up. I missed my very dear and good friend for about six months. I feel happy anyway that she chose to reach out this time. I thought we broke up. She had so much going on in her life that I felt hurt when she wallowed instead of taking advantage of my shoulder to cry on. I would have thought that I was as special to her as she was to me, and it just felt wrong to me that I was lumped together with the rest of the things and people she was getting over with. I felt so disappointed that after years of confidences, food trips, kids, tears, heartbreaks, parties, hangovers, out of town trips, and whatnots, I was on her speed dial and top five list of go-to people. Save for about less than five text messages within that span, there was basically a sea of silence that I wondered if I was the only one affected. Clearly, whatever the things she was going through was beyond our friendship.

But oh well, maybe it is time to move on and grow up. It is true that things really change, and that you can either go with the flow, or get out of the raging water. I know that we would still be friends but to my consternation, it has taken on a different form. It is on a whole new plane now, and I just have to get used to it. Our roles in each other’s lives have titled at different angles. But I’ll take whatever we have.

cheng

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