I love rice. I call it the great equalizer because it balances the strong flavors of Filipino dishes. In fact, I wouldn’t call a meal complete if there was no rice. After all, I’m both Filipino and Japanese, two countries that revere the mighty grain. Naturally, I have a strong affinity for Spain’s paella, and I just discovered a place that serves some good stuff, with a sangria promo for the month!
Rico Rico is a paelleria with an excellent spot at Food on Four at SM Aura Premier. It’s hard to miss them: they’re at a central location, with an open kitchen where the chefs make paella on the spot. They’re part of the La Lola Group, which also handles Spanish restaurants Las Flores, Rambla, Churreria La Lola, and Tomatito, so you’re guaranteed authentic flavors even with the food court setting and price points.
For Madrid Fusion Manila, they’re holding the Paella Fiesta this month, where guests can partake of Rico Rico’s paella with a glass of ice-cold sangria for P150 (or P99 without sangria) every Sunday this month! The offer starts at 12:30 with a cooking show.
I had lunch at Rico Rico last weekend, where Chef Edgar Sanuy prepared a delicious batch of Marisco (seafood) paella. Sanuy is a Catalan chef who also created the menus of Mott 32, Vi Cool, MercedesMe, and BCN in Hong Kong.
The first thing I noticed about the Marisco is the abundance of toppings. There was enough shrimps, clams, and squid to go around. The rice was brimming with flavor, and there was a burst of creaminess when I bit the squid. It was so flavorful that I started craving for it hours after the meal, its character lingering on my tongue and in my mind as I ate dinner. And for P395 per solo pan on a regular day (and P595 to share), it’s a steal. To add context, a Marisco paella at Las Flores is P975.
I also tried the Negra, another paella dish that’s popping with flavor. Rico Rico doesn’t seem like it’s about to run out of ingredients any time soon, as the chefs generously sprinkled our pan with eggs, peas, and bell pepper. Hungry hounds can get the Negra 2.0, which has chicken. The Negra is available at P250 (solo) and P475 (to share), while the Negra 2.0 is P265 (solo) and P495 (to share).
Aside from the Marisco and the Negra, Rico Rico also has the Vegetales (vegetables) for P225 and P435, the Carne (chicken and pork) for P290 and P550, and the Surf and Turf (seafood and pork) for P330 and P630. But don’t forget to visit on a Sunday this month for their great promo!
And oh, you can also customize your paella by changing the aioli (a garlic and olive oil sauce) or adding extra toppings.
Rico Rico proves that you don’t have to look far for a great meal. Sometimes they’re on the fourth floor of a mall, right in the middle of a food court. The promise of a good meal is even in their name: rico rico is Spanish for delicious.