Barcino takes you on a surprise vacation with its new breakfast menu
MANILA, Philippines — Mornings aren’t always easy. There are days when we just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of our daily grind. We look for temporary sanctuaries, bits of respite, where even just for a few minutes we get to pretend that our lives exist only in the moment.
For many Filipinos, this is the significance of breakfast...or at least, it’s what they long for in the instances where they do get to sit down and enjoy a morning meal.
So picture this: surrounding you is the radiant ambiance of a vineyard; playing in the background, masking the hums of the busy city are the strums of a Spanish guitar; and, as you lounge on your seat, even with the sun high in the sky, you’re sipping on some cava in between forkfuls of poached egg, chorizo, and ciabatta.
Every Desayuno breakfast at Barcino strives to be an experience like this.
The Desayuno experience
Barcino’s newly-launched Desayuno (“breakfast” in Spanish) menu is a confluence of different cultures. It takes inspiration from our country’s love for breakfast, the Spanish tradition of late and laidback meals, and even the brunch movement of today.
Thus, its menu is a curation of comfort foods that evoke familiar Filipino favorites but crafted in the methods and with the ingredients of Spanish cuisine.
With a selection specially designed by chefs Norbert Gandler and Kenneth Cacho of the International School for Culinary Arts & Hotel Management, and Barcino head chef Nicolas Diaz, the Desayuno menu was initially offered only from Friday to Sunday at Barcino’s Santolan Town Plaza Branch beginning last November.
Today, it has expanded to being offered all-week-round in branches like Uptown Parade, Molito Lifestyle Center, and soon, Rockwell. And, true to its Spanish roots of extended mealtimes, in all these stores, you can get your Desayuno from 7 am to as late as 1 pm.
The Desayuno starts with complimentary bread. Pick a piece from an assortment of danishes, chocolate croissants, butter croissants, sultana scrolls, apple turnover, wholemeal, and ciabatta.
If you’re looking to sample all of them, you can do so through the Cesta Variada de Bolleria (P320) variety basket.
Just like in Europe, drinking early in the day is perfectly acceptable here. You may order a glass of Cava (P300) to complement the flavors of your meal.
For main courses, you can go either sweet or savory, or maybe even both.
For those with a sweet tooth but are also going the healthy route, Desayuno offers fresh treats like the Muesli Con Frutas Frescas (P360).
The assorted fruit bowl strikes a balance by mixing dried berries, bananas, and pears with homemade cultured milk, chia seeds, and granola.
For kids and kids-at-heart, there is the Desayuno Pancake (P450).
Though light and fluffy, the pancakes pack a certain zing as the dish uses lemon curd to add a hint of citrus to its sweet toppings of whipped strawberry butter and maple syrup.
Standing out in the Desayuno menu is the savory selection.
The Desayuno Arroz Caldo (P480) features the fusion of Spanish and Filipino sensibilities to full effect.
Partly a deconstruction, the dish serves roasted chicken inasal alongside the iconic Filipino arroz caldo. The rice porridge, flavored with ginger and saffron, feels more filling as it is cooked to a thicker consistency and has a certain crunch to it with the addition of onion cracklings.
Another savory highlight is the Huevos Escalfados (P480). A cousin to Eggs Benedict, the Huevos Escalfados serves nicely runny poached eggs atop ciabatta with cherry tomatoes, Manchego cheese, olives, and chorizo.
The dish is a burst of flavor and is particularly well-rounded with its blend of fresh crisp from the tomatoes, creaminess from the cheese mixing with the egg, and sweet spice from the chorizo.
Lastly, for dessert, Desayuno also has the El Lado Dulce selection where you can find Cinnamon Tostados (P380) and Churros (P250).
Expanding its menu into breakfast territory is an inspired move from Barcino. Not only does it feel fitting for Filipino tastebuds, but it also gives us a taste of Spanish culture beyond the restaurant’s signature tapas—a culture that we may want to look to for inspiration.
Desayuno’s message is to take a step back and use mealtime as your short vacation inside your day. In a time where breakfast is often hastened, this practice is very much welcome, if not needed.
Desayuno by Barcino is served daily from 7 am to 1 pm at the Barcino branches in Molito Lifestyle Center and Uptown Parade. In Santolan Town Plaza, Desayuno is offered every Friday to Sunday from 7 am to 1 pm.
Reservations are highly recommended for an 8 am to 10 am timeslot. Limited slots will be available for walk-ins starting at 7 am.
For reservations, contact: Barcino Molito Lifestyle Center at (02) 821-0917 or 0926-641-0446, Barcino Uptown Parade at (02) 829-4855 or 0917-705-4332, Barcino Santolan Town Plaza at (02) 532-6225 or 0977-097-6784. — Rappler.com