A new Spanish restaurant has emerged in the very busy restaurant hub of the Tomas Morato area. The name is Ponce, named after the grandfather of the owners, Dick and Mars Balajadia.

This place is well-groomed, offering a place for a relaxing dining experience.

It can also be a destination for a chill evening via their wine collection and plates of Tapas.

Ponce is headed by Chef Angelo Santicruz. He gives a menu filled with familiar Spanish pieces and tweaks it to fit our local taste. This is personified most in Paella Negra con Langostinos, a black ink paella curated with the taste of the Miami Filipino Restaurant Adobong Pusit. It is mixed wonderfully with prawns and squid, topped with house-made aioli.

I paired the Paella with Albondigas, Spanish meatballs immersed in cream and mushroom instead of the usual tomato-based sauce.

The Hamburguesas Y Tres Quesos was another dish I was interested in. These are sliders with three kinds of cheese (Manchego, Cheddar and Pesto based cheese).

I find the Pintxos Salmon con Huevo Mayonesa just okay. The mayonnaise was too overpowering for this appetizer, making the taste of cured salmon unnoticeable.

On dessert, I recommend ordering the crisp, non-greasy Churros. Chef Santicruz explains that it is in the quality ingredients that make his version stand out. It comes with a thick, hot chocolate dip.

Are you ready to cap off your bustling 8 to 5 with them? Come by at 124 Sct. Dr. Lazcano St., Brgy. Sacred Heart, Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

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