Hearty Meal at El Corazon

“Perhaps it takes courage to raise children.” -John Steinbeck, East of Eden

It surely is tough being a mother. I have seen my mom in action over the years, making things happen when they have to. She’s resourceful and so smart about a lot of things which may be a product of how she grew up.

So, for mother’s day, we went out to dinner to the new mall nearby that we have not visited at all. I figured we should go out and eat somewhere we’ve not been before so we went to Uptown Bonifacio in BGC, Taguig. We also wanted to see the branch of All About Baking there so we were hitting two birds with one stone.

In our search for a place to dine in, we came across El Corazon, a Spanish-Filipino restaurant. Being partly Spanish, surely she would appreciate this place so I suggested we tried the food here. We did not have to wait long to be seated, luckily.

My mom isn’t one who is game when it comes to posing for photos though. The woman rarely smiles at them anyway. I wonder why because she looks so pretty when she smiles. But, we got convinced by the restaurant staff to pose for one. They said they were giving us a free copy as souvenir.

Anyway, the food selection looked very, very appetizing and scrumptious but we did not want to order so much that we could not finish so we decided on three dishes first.

Soria|Mushroom Salpicao – ₱225

It smelled wonderfully upon arriving on our table. You can see the mushrooms were sliced just right; not too big and not too thin that it would look too plentiful.

I love mushrooms! I love salpicao! So this should be great, right?

Except for the strong vinegar taste, everything else was great. The mushrooms were not over or undercooked. The oil was not overwhelming. Garlic? Just right too. But, yeah. The vinegar was too strong in this dish for my taste.

Campeador | Pork Binagoongan – ₱350

Binagoongan means it was cooked with bagoong, which is a Filipino condiment (a paste) made from fermented fish or krill.

I know it sounds unappetizing but wait until you try it! It goes great with green mangoes (the sour kind) and is used in a lot of dishes in the country. I personally love bagoong with sinigang, a sour soup/stew.

Going back to pork binagoongan, I was surprised that the pork was not covered in the bagoong already like how most restaurants serve this dish. Rather, there was an eggplant covered with lots of bagoong, with the pork sitting on top. I guess it helps the diners determine how much bagoong they wanted with the meat.

I loved this dish so much! The pork had a crunchy top and was not too chewy. The bagoong was absolutely yummy too! It wasn’t too fishy for my liking. I didn’t bother with the eggplant though. Mom and I do not eat that vegetable.

Paella Valenciana – ₱695

I had high expectations from this dish. It did not disappoint!

Filled with prawns, squid, mussels, fish fillet, chicken, pork, chorizo, vegetables and egg, this was an entire meal all on its own! The best part is that I did not have an allergic reaction to the seafood like I normally would. This means they used fresh, quality ingredients!

It was so good! The flavors blended so nicely that you could not determine whih meat was which unless you took a good look before putting it in your mouth. It was so flavorful in the right way that you did not need to cleanse your palate very often.

We had leftovers that we ate the following day at home. You know what, it tasted even better the day after! Maybe because the flavors had more time to meld and blend together and seep into the rice. Gosh, makes me want to go back for more.

The Spanish and Filipino in my mom was happy that night. Mom has a tendency to scrutinize and critique the food when we eat out but it looked like she was really satisfied. Okay, one piece of the pork binagoongan that she got was a little tough, she said. But, that was all the criticism I heard that night. Which means, I did a good job choosing the place!

Thank God we didn’t order more than three dishes because we still had leftovers! I want to go back so we can try their other dishes too. I will have to find out if they deliver via Food Panda. 😁

My relationship with my mom is not perfect. We had our share of misunderstandings in the past. But, my mom has been a constant figure in my life, and is always there when I need her. Who I am today is a product of how she raised me. And even if we do not see eye-to-eye every time, I know that she will always be there for me and my sister.

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