Thursday, February 10, 2022

Tasty Bites and Soothing Sips at Bar Pintxos Tapas Y Mas, Now Open at 8 Rockwell

A small plate of savory tapas and pintxos paired with a glass of wine, cocktail or beer in a breezy al fresco area, it just doesn't get better than that. It's simple pleasures like this that we've missed during the long days of quarantine. Now you can enjoy all that and more at Rockwell Center's newest dining destination... 

Bar Pintxos Tapas Y Mas opens its newest branch at 8 Rockwell adding to its roster of locations in Alabang, Bonifacio Global City, Salcedo Village and Greenbelt 5 in Makati and Cebu. And just in time too. As the metro slowly and cautiously opens up with the gradual easing of quarantine restrictions, it's a good time to savor authentic Spanish tapas and pintxos once more at Bar Pintxos Tapas Y Mas. 

The opening of the sixth branch in Rockwell is part of the continuing culinary journey that began way back in 2003 when two friends, Tinchu Gonzalez and Miguel Vecin, established Tierra de España, a Spanish delicatessen brand. The success of their specialty offerings like chorizo and smoked meats led to the opening of Bar Pintxos Tapas Y Mas in 2015 with their very first branch in Alabang. Inspired by their Spanish travels and passion for food, Bar Pintxos soon became the spot for authentic Spanish tapas and pintxos in the metro.

And it's a story that continues with the opening of their newest location in one of Makati's prestigious addresses. The cool neighborhood vibe Bar Pintxos is known for from its first location in Alabang comes to Rockwell with its spacious al fresco dining area and elegant interiors with panoramic glass walls and high ceiling. Now with six branches located in Alabang, Bonifacio Global City, Salcedo Village, Greenbelt 5 and Cebu, the Rockwell location is proof that you can't hold back a good thing like Bar Pintxos. The spacious al fresco area at the latest location is also in tune with the times for the new normal.

My own story at Bar Pintxos began with a sampling of their specialties...

...starting with something so surprisingly simple yet bursting with bold flavors in true Bar Pintxos style. 

First Things First: Para Picar

The deceptively simple Berenjenas made with delicately crisp fried eggplant sliced paper-thin drizzled with honey and pimiento drapes the palate with a subtle yet deep sweetness followed by a smoky and soothing heat with each bite. It's this rich and inventive play on traditional and modern flavors that differentiates Bar Pintxos from the usual options in the metro. 

And once you start, you just can't stop. The soft yet crisp finish of the eggplant is followed by the sweetness of honey and just a whisper of heat for balanced flavors and textural contrasts. And that's just for starters...

Bolder flavors are up next with the specialty Chorizo Bilbao of Bar Pintxos served with fresh baked and crusty Ciabatta. Classic Spanish notes with the Chorizo Bilbao sets the tone for the rest of your dining experience at Bar Pintxos...

...and it doesn't get more authentic than this. Homemade and prepared the traditional way, the Chorizo Bilbao delivers vibrant yet deep flavorful notes draping the palate with its savory richness. 

And don't forget to dunk your ciabatta for even more intense notes. Now you need to wash it all down...

...with one of many excellent selections at Bar Pintxos like the Lagarde Extra Brut, a crisp and refreshing sparkling wine to cleanse the palate. One sip and you're ready for another bite. 

Pick Your Pintxos

It goes without saying that no dining experience at Bar Pintxos is complete without their signature pintxos. "Pintxo" literally means "thorn" or "spike" referring to the toothpick or skewer holding the topping or mixture to the piece of bread. An essential element in Basque society and culture, these tasty bites are recreated at Bar Pintxos with a wide variety of combinations. And here's a sampler selection that just calls for another round of drinks. Clockwise from the top, the Jamon Allioli topped with Jamon Serrano drizzled with creamy aioli is the Bar Pintxos trademark with its savory sharpness balanced by the smooth and creamy sauce. The Yakiniku Manchego is an inspired east meets west play with yakiniku beef rolled and filled with Manchego cheese on thinly sliced potato while the Burrata with Chistorra and caramelized onions with honey and Bacalao round up the platter.  

The Burrata is pure silky smooth richness on crusty and crisp bread mellowing the punchy flavors of the Chistorra while the Bacalao brings subtle even nuanced notes with a creamy finish. The range of flavors in this one platter is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg from the wide selection of pintxos of Bar Pintxos.  

But it's the indulgent flavors of the Jamon Allioli that lingers long after the last bite with the sweet and salty notes of the premium Jamon Serrano and creamy texture of the aioli combining for that decadent weave of savory notes. 

The Jamon Serrano just melts in your mouth releasing its intense flavors, and for many loyal customers, it's this one that got them hooked to Bar Pintxos. It's just fitting and appropriate that one of the metro's best tapas bars includes "pintxos" in its name. 

Then, there's the Yakiniku with Manchego packing some serious flavor. Fork-tender beef with Manchego on a thin potato slice instead of bread brings its own unique flavors into play for another inventive pintxos creation. Each component adds its own layer of richness, coming together in each bite. But there's more. The signature tapas of Bar Pintxos were then served... 

Time For Some Tapas

Tasty nibbles on small plates have always been the attraction for traditional tapas bars. And the tapas selection at Bar Pintxos does not disappoint. The hearty Crujiente with fried thin and crisp shoestring potatoes, chorizo and gambas topped with egg is a sumptuous mash-up of contrasting flavors and textures in a seamless and balanced blend. 

Taking its cue from the familiar "huevos" or ranch-style eggs, this classic hangover breakfast is reinterpreted by Bar Pintxos with their own spin for a lavish yet sumptuous small plate with big flavors. And to fully enjoy the dish, simply mix all the components together...

...for that big bite of pure and comforting goodness. The egg binds everything together, with the unctuous notes of chorizo and briny sweetness of the gambas completing the dish.

It's both rustic and refined in that Bar Pintxos style, elegantly executed to satisfy any appetite. Now that calls for another glass of wine.

Bar Pintxos pulls all the stops with their next dish. The Costillas de Cerdo, a slab of tender pork rib with piquillo is another savory number with just a whisper of smoky sweetness from the peppers, nutty hints from garlic and subtle tartness from tomatoes.  

The sweet piquillo peppers doesn't overwhelm the delicate notes of the pork rib, draping it with a gentle heat for depth. Unlike the more common rib dishes with its pronounced sweet, sticky and smoky profile from north of the border, the Costillas de Cerdo by Bar Pintxos offers vibrant notes with the piquillo peppers as its flavorful base.

Dip a piece of crusty bread and mop up the sauce infused with all the flavors followed by a long sip of Lagarde Extra Brut, it's moments like these that you've missed during the quarantine.  

If you're still hungry, Bar Pintxos has even more flavorful surprises from the kitchen like this Seafood Paella with succulent shrimps, squid and plump mussels with lemon. After all, your Spanish afternoon isn't quite complete without the iconic rice dish. 

A meal in itself, the Seafood Paella with soft, moist and fluffy rice infused with saffron and the fresh, clean and briny flavors of the day's freshest catch combine for a sumptuous dish triggering fond memories of countless family celebrations from simpler times. At Bar Pintxos, you can relive these moments with each bite and spoonful of their Seafood Paella. 

You can also opt for the Meat Paella at Bar Pintxos, your call. But the Seafood Paella works for me. 

The metro has a number of good tapas bars, but not many can claim to prepare most of the ingredients like authentic Spanish sausages including chorizo, chistorra, cantimpalitos, butifara and smoked meats locally produced under the Tierra de España label (see more at their FB Page at and website at It's a distinct edge that sets Bar Pintxos apart from the rest.

Baby eels on a clay dish? Not quite, but the gulas made from surimi or pollock fish-based paste (the same ingredient used for crab sticks) hits all the right notes from the texture down to its flavor. The growing scarcity and prohibitive cost of angulas due to overfishing makes the once common staple a prized delicacy. The Gulas Y Gambas topped with crunchy garlic, chili and herbs is another must-try dish at Bar Pintxos.

The fresh and succulent shrimps and clean flavors of the gulas alone makes this dish special, add some garlic, chili and the nutty roundness of olive oil and you've got a winner. One more round? Yes, please.

The passion for authentic flavors and premium quality ingredients are clearly evident in all the dishes served at Bar Pintxos, taking your palate to the Basque country with just a few bites. You can now indulge in your own flavorful Spanish getaway in one of six locations, including Rockwell Center. Then, there's that laid-back Bar Pintxos vibe...

Dining out once more can be truly liberating, and you can make it even more special at Bar Pintxos with their extensive menu of tasty bites and soothing sips. You can also order their specialty tapas and pintxos from their own online shop at for your convenience. Ready for a Spanish-inspired tipple with authentic tapas and pintxos? Head on over to Rockwell Center, and raise a toast to the neighborhood's newest dining destination...

Bar Pintxos is located at the Ground Floor of 8 Rockwell, Plaza Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati or call 0905 796 8729 for reservations and inquiries. You can also visit their website and FB Page for updates at and

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