I confess. I am a total ignoramus when it comes to wine. I enjoy a sip of bubbly as much as the next person but that’s it. I can’t share educated thoughts about bouquets and vintages, and the way I drink will probably disgust true connoisseurs. So what was I doing in a Tapas bar on a Friday night? For the food of course, as Hermanos Deli Bar promised to deliver.
A concept that originates from Spain, Tapas bars are small taverns that serve little dishes of appetizers to go with wine or other alcoholic beverages. Inspired by this concept, Hermanos serves up a wide spread of what they call Kastinoy tapas–appetizers that marry Spanish and Filipino cuisine. A pleasing combination, that’s for sure, especially since Filipino cuisine itself borrows a lot from our long history with Spain.
Driving home the point, even the names of the dishes take a leaf from the pages of history. Like this Antipasto Bonifacio platter, named after the revolutionary war hero, Andres Bonifacio. A mix of button mushrooms and bell peppers, green and black olives, and kesong puti (native white cheese) drizzled with an herbed vinaigrette. Whether Bonifacio ever ate the dishes on this antipasto platter, we’ll never know. But I do know I enjoyed the various flavors on this plate.
Another Bonifacio-centric dish, the Calamari del Supremo is your classic breaded squid rings, served with tartar sauce on the side. Can’t go wrong with a classic, especially when it’s fried perfectly to a crisp, with the squid inside cooked just right — none of the toughness that happens when you overcook squid.]
I love mushrooms so I know I had to try the Mushrooms mi Tangere. A simple dish of mushrooms with garlic in a wine paprika sauce, I could resist munching on such a perfect blend of flavors.
Beef is another love of mine. Luckily, I was able to try the Karne Dela Patria Adorada. Beef tenderloin, sauteed in a finger pepper garlic sauce. Despite the description, it wasn’t as spicy as I thought it would be, which in this case, is a good thing because you get to taste the flavor of the beef more.
Lastly, I tried the Tapang Usa de Katipunan, Filipino-style smoked deer with pickled radish and wine vinegar. A bit tougher than beef, it still made for a pleasant dish because the way it was cooked actually complemented the texture of the venison.
Hermanos has more items on their menu to suit various tastes. If you’re more particular to your wine pairings, I’m sure you can easily find a suitable combination. Even people who prefer beer have a fair selection of beer brands to choose from. (Hello, Tsing Tao!) Hermanos has all the things you need for a nice, relaxing evening. Good ambiance, good drinks, great food—all that’s left for you to supply is a group of your best friends and enough conversation to last you for an evening.
Many thanks to Mr. Manny de Luna and Spanky Enriquez for having us over.
Hermanos Deli Bar
Unit 104 Bldg. C, Ortigas Home Depot Complex
Doña Julia Vargas Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City
T: (632) 706.4978