IMAGE Jericho San Miguel

Sneak Peek: Paella and Cochinillo at Café Enye Make Every Day Feel Like a Fiesta

It's time to revisit this restaurant.

Café Enye
Mezzanine Floor, Citi Plaza 34th Street, Bonifacio Global City
Contact: 946-3575
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.

 

 


 

(SPOT.ph) While a lot of restaurants push for the “authentic” and traditional with their food, dishes that deviate from the usual often make for a more exciting dining experience. For instance, Café Enye looks like any other Spanish restaurant, but they’re a bit more complicated than that.

 

“We actually serve colonial-Spanish cuisine,” says Chef Claudia Schulze. “Picture the galleon trade. We get our inspiration from all the countries along that route, and from all the countries Spain conquered. That’s where we get our menu from.”

 


 

Despite opening their first branch in Eastwood more than a year ago, Chef Claudia isn’t very surprised that many aren’t fully acquainted with what Café Enye has to offer. “The Eastwood branch was very secluded,” says Chef Claudia. “Very few people knew about the place. So hopefully, here, we’re going to be more out there.”

 


 

“Here” is Café Enye’s second branch at Citi Plaza, Bonifacio Global City. Chef Claudia knows that opening in BGC meant catering to a market different from Eastwood’s. If the first branch was homey, this one is a bit more polished, with walls painted to resemble bricks, wood tables, and leather couches. Lighting is dimmer, and the décor is barer, but a bright and colorful floral mural by artist Akane Watanabe livens up the place. “We changed things up to make it classier for BGC,” says Chef Claudia.

 

The menu has also been pared down, from a whopping 172 dishes to just the bestsellers or the dishes that Chef Claudia felt best captured the essence of Café Enye. The food is still fundamentally Spanish, but given a twist using ingredients and flavors from Spain’s former colonies. It’s almost like taking a food trip through history.

 

Pollo Croquettas

 

Start with the Pollo Croquettas (P175), or addicting fried balls filled with chicken béchamel and potatoes. Crisp on the outside and almost melt-in-your-mouth creamy on the inside, the croquettas pair well with the strikingly salty salsa verde.

 

Morrocan-Style Curry Paella

 

You may find the blend of curry-turmeric and cinnamon in the Moroccan-Style Curry Paella (P385) headier than what you’re used to in your average paella, but it’s an intoxicating ride your taste buds will thank you for. Juicy chicken chunks keep this flavor-rich paella from becoming too overwhelming.

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Lechon Carbonara

 

The classic carbonara gets an upgrade with crispy lechon chunks in the Lechon Carbonara (P250). Not to say that the pasta isn’t already great as it is—just the right amount of cream and cheese over al-dente noodles. But each fried lechon is satisfyingly crunchy, the fat bursting in your mouth and adding a rich succulence to each forkful.

 

Cochinillo a la Casa

 

But if you’re looking to really treat yourself, go all out with the Cochinillo a la Casa (P1,200). Glistening and beautifully crisp, the cochinillo skin just beckons you to get your fork (or hands) on it immediately, and take in the layer of fat underneath that has just the perfect thickness so you can still get a taste of the mildly-salty seasoning. The seasoning extends to the pork itself, which isn’t dry at all, but juicy and succulent. Flavored just right, you might be tempted to ignore the array of sauces that come with this roast pig, but each one has something to offer to the table. The homemade liver sauce is the traditional dip to cochinillo, kicking the pork-y flavors up a notch, but the saltier chimichurri and the sweet-sticky red wine and honey glaze both add delightful contrast in flavors.

 

As Chef Claudia and the kitchen whip up one excellent dish after the other, it's safe to say that, even in the more than one year that they’ve been around, we’ve only scratched the surface on what Café Enye has to offer. Their newest BGC branch is a great excuse to revisit this not-quite Spanish restaurant.

 

Photos by Jericho San Miguel

 

*Café Enye in BGC opens on October 14, Saturday.

 

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