La Picara Brings A Naughty Twist To Manila’s Dining Scene
Centrally located at the second floor of the newly opened One Bonifacio High Street Mall, La Picara is ready to welcome diners who are looking for fine Spanish cuisine, a well-stocked bar, and a jolly good time.
Behind the restaurant’s over-all design is the energetic co-owner, Felipe Díaz de Miranda, who shares that the team wanted a dining atmosphere that reflected the restaurant’s name — La Picara or el picaro, which means ‘naughty’ or in Filipino, makulit. From the interior decoration, to the mix of gold and green, to playful plates and lush greenery… every detail reflects a vibrant and fun dining experience. This theme is also reflected in their menu which combines traditional Spanish cuisine with a modern and Asian twist.
We got to sit down with co-owners Isabel Calvo and Felipe who shared with us some of their favourite dishes from the menu. There’s a lot of tapas to choose from, all of which are exciting twists on Spanish cuisine.
The kimchi croquetas are perfectly bite-sized; the supple salmon sashimi wrapped in crispy breading is a wonderful combination without being too heavy on the palate. Combining Mexican flavours with a Filipino twist, the sisig pibil tacos deliver a punch of flavour with a crunch (both from the meat and taco itself). The siomai de carrillera is a scrumptious dim sum pocket filled with beef cheek (stewed for 24 hours in red wine) and it's as delicious as it sounds!
For something more Spanish, the pulpo, and socarrat roll are must-tries to get a feel of La Picara’s roots. Not to miss is the burrata which mixes green pesto, a perfectly caramelised tomato and fresh mozzarella —since it comes with homemade crackers, it’s a great dish for sharing.
Among their assortment of ‘thug paellas’, we shared a pan of chilli crab paella which was incredibly delectable and crispy at the bottom. After a few bites, we were definitely craving for seconds! Make sure to get a glass of their sangria picara which is infused with watermelon, pineapple, rambutan, and passion fruit; crisp and flavourful, it’s a great pair to any number of dishes on the menu.
To make things extra "picaro", happy hour is from Sunday to Friday is 2PM to 6PM, and 9PM onwards from Thursday to Saturday. With buy one take one on their cocktails, La Picara is a great place to gather with friends for a fun night out.
So, if you’re looking for a place that’s sophisticated yet fun and laidback, La Picara should be at the top of your list. Come for the incredibly fun menu and stay for the drinks and warm service. There’s no harm in being naughty every now and then, wink wink!
La Picara is located inside the One Bonifacio High Street Mall; to know more about it, visit: lapicaramanila.com or follow them on Instagram: @lapicaraph.
- Photography Kryss Rubio