One weekend, I was walking around Legaspi Village only to spot a boarded up establishment. All I could see was the wooden ceiling and I knew another good thing is about to pop up. Weeks later, they finally opened—a pasta bar that looked like it was plucked out of Barcelona and moved to Manila. And true enough, this was the story behind it.
Tricia Espino put up Trufa Pasta Bar with her business partner Gerard Lorenta after spending a year or so in Barcelona, she wanted to bring a piece of it home—so why not open something inspired by the places she’d hang out in between classes? As the name suggests, the resto serves a variety of dishes for every discerning palate (more on that later), but it doesn’t stop there as they also serve tapas, ensaladas, and dessert. You can opt to pair anything you ordered with their selection of wine flown in from Spain.
But what sets them apart is the fact that it’s self-service and the pasta can be to your preference—from choosing between gnocchi, pappardelle, or rigatoni, to your choice of sauce like pomodoro, four cheese, carbonara, or their specialty truffle cream. It doesn’t stop there as you can also top up your pasta dish with any of their available toppings like pancetta (lightly fried pork belly), crispy Ilonggo chorizo, or something as simple as Spanish olives or spinach. The possibilities, no matter how cliché that sounds, are endless.
If you want something simple yet tasty, go for the Ajillo (P195), olive oil-based with garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes which we chose to have with al-dente spaghetti. But if you want something with a Filipino twist, then go for the Tapastalog (P290) which is cream-based with sweet tapa topped with egg—definitely a quick favorite. But if you love truffle as much as I do, then go for their signature dish Trufa (P340), go have it with gnocchi for that yummy texture.
Pasta is not the only thing you should try at Trufa—they also have quick bites like their Montaditos, a Spanish staple made with slices of bread (similar to a baguette) with your choice of toppings. Go light with vegetables and order Montadito Mediterraneo (P185) or the classic Montadito de Salmon (P120). But Tricia suggests that you try Montadito de Tulapo con Guava (P185), which is tulapo pate with guava foam. If you want something a little filling, then go for their Huervos Estrellados (P195), thick cut fries topped with crispy chorizo, tapa, aioli, and some runny egg. (I kid you not when I say I finished it on my own and refused to share.) I washed it down with a glass of Calamansi Zumos Con Tubo (P130), freshly pressed sugarcane juice with, you guessed it, calamansi juice.
When we craved for something sweet, they were quick to offer the Trufa Cookie—two shortbread cookies in the shape of Barcelona tiles with salted caramel, chocolate, pecans, and truffle oil sandwiched in between. It was my first time to try truffle oil with something sweet, and it did not disappoint. I would’ve eaten one more if I wasn’t filled with carbs already.
With a packed menu and a homey, quiet place to stay in, we’d definitely pay another visit or two (or more).
Trufa Pasta Bar. 109 PPI Building, Esteban Street, Legaspi Village Makati City. Open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday to Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 1a.m. on Thursday to Saturday. +639178045011. For more information, visit their Facebook page.
Photos by RG Medestomas and Bianca Arreola
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