Thursday, April 18, 2013

Zarzuela: A Play of Filipino Flavors

The first time I knew about zarzuela was in high school studying about Philippine arts and culture since then I never heard of it till last week, when an FB friend had posted pictures of what seemed to be a new restaurant in vibrant orange splats.
Before we get to the resto topic, lets talk a little something about Zarzuela first.
In Spain, the term zarzuela (pronounced thahr-thway-lah or sometimes zahr-zway-lah) refers to a type of light opera consisting of song, dance, and theater. This culinary namesake, which is a seafood soup, has a full measure of drama, typically featuring halibut, mussels, shrimp, and squid—an all-star cast in an intriguing and finely tuned broth.
Have you ever had an experience with the word, either having to watch a zarzuela or having to eat a sample of the?
If not, well how about trying this one?
The  Zarzuela I'm telling you about is one of the dining spot on the East wing of Shangri La Plaza mall.   The East wing has just been opened to the mall-goers last March.   So it's really fresh for more to discover.
What I like about Zarzuela is the splash of orange colors on the chairs which blended well on the crisp white colors of the walls and against it is the sun striking a glimmer on the glass panels.
You see orange is a power color, being one of the healing colors, it is said to increase the craving for food. One good choice might I say for the owners.  Don't you know that people who like orange are usually thoughtful and sincere.  And that curiosity is a driving characteristic of orange, and with it comes exploration of new things.
And what a spotless way to start a lunch...
As the play starts...
Do you think they can pull off a good show.
We started with the Fountain of Youth (199.00).  You'll definitely be lured by this sinful pork belly fat cutlets breaded and fried to crisp.   A trio of condiments are good ensemble -  green mango, bagoong dip and tomato vinaigrette.
This play had turned out to be a spectacle with Humba.(429.00).   The slow cooked braised pork made this enticing dish eaten with cups after cups of rice.  Yes,dish are served for sharing.   So an order of this can serve up to 2 to 3 people, one can finish this though  if he or she is not scared of the cholesterol.   With  pork so tender and  the stew has that mix of salty, sweet and a little sour, with a hint of that "pineappley" taste.
For the health-conscious, a number of home-spun veggie dishes welcome your plate.    A rather family favorite caught my attention as I scanned over the few fish and seafood dibs.   How can the name Rellenong Bangus ala Zarzuela not get your appetite running?   But for an expensive price tag of P599, it's a real deal indeed.  Good thing it was that fine and no fish bone was caught in my mouth unlike other Rellenong Bangus I had in some other restuarant (good thing else I will be totally mad).  The size is just about the same weight of a half a kilo of bangus without the fish bones of course.
If you are craving for a hearty Filipino dessert, then make haste, they do have the usual like the Tocino del Cielo, an upscale rendition of Maruya, you can definitely have one here.   Actually, the ultimate reason why I had to try this and had a bunch of friends join me was the Pinoy Winter Wonderland.   According to the menu that I read online, it's an all white halo-halo.   Summer really got into my cold cravings so I just had to try theirs.   But I was in utter discontent.  They said it was halo-halo so  I thought it was this tall or chubby glass of icy mixed fruits and delicacy but it was just a mix of  nata, lychee, buko, sago which actually is just our typical buko salad.   Had I known I could have ordered a different dessert. But then again, it was still good.
I just hoped my friends enjoyed the lunch as much as I did with them.

Shangri-La Plaza Mall
6/F Shangri-La Plaza Mall, East Wing, EDSA cor Shaw Blvd


  1. At first, I thought the article is all about classic Filipino plays but when I read the article, yumyumyum, I want to go there in that restaurant. delicious food =)

  2. Tried their sister resto, Savor, before and I loved it! :)


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