Ipar’s Restaurante Y Bar De Tapas in Cebu City
Looking for a restaurant that will surely transport you to Spain? Craving for the best paella in Cebu that needs at least an hour to prepare? Want a chef trained in Zarautz to cook an authentic Spanish meal off the menu for you?
The King of Sinulog is off to Ipar’s Restaurante Y Bar De Tapas, the brainchild of Chef Ipar Ouano Miranda and a gift to Cebu’s food scene. A product of passion and years of creative work, Ipar’s has held the banner for Spanish Cuisine in the Queen City of the South for 10 years now. Read on as I share to you what this cozy Spanish restaurant has to offer during our Cebu Food Crawl visit.
Assuming you’re already in Cebu City, tell the driver to take you to Ramos. Ipar’s is the beige building with red-tiled roofing, a few blocks from Velez College on the left side of the road across St. Paul’s College before heading down to Junquera Extension in Cebu City. There are also Jeepneys (04C, 17C, 14D) passing the area. For those bringing their car, there’s a parking space good for 10 vehicles in front.
I already knew it before stepping into the wooden antique doors that I was in for a distinctive experience that when I entered, I forgot that I was in Cebu.
On the right is their Bar de Tapas where 8 people can opt to try out appetizers while sipping cocktails while the main courses are prepared in the kitchen. Surrounding me are flags and emblems which I think relate to Jai-alai, a Basque game played in a court with a ball and a wickerwork racket, a sport popular in Cebu a couple of decades back. The open area through the concrete wall next to us is their main dining area populated by repurposed antique tables and chairs capable of accommodating 50 people in one setting. Several paintings, picture frames and paelleras are plastered on the walls relating to bullfighting and the chef’s personality and culinary journey. Their chandeliers are lighted by candles which seem to be inspired from Spanish castles. Literally, every inch is instagrammable and perfect for any kind of occasion.
For our appetizers, we had calamares, chorizo, croquetas de pollo, tortilla de patata and garlic bread. I’m used to eating calamares battered and deep-fried which was why the dish came as a bit of surprise to me but when I tasted it, I was able appreciate its true unmasked flavor. For the chorizo, I’m used to sweet and spicy like the ones found in Larsian, but this was different as the homemade Spanish chorizo was on the salty side.
My mouth was salivating that I needed to pair it with the paella which was not yet served so I combined it with the tortilla de patata instead. What a combo! Also, the croquetas de pollo was an eye opening experience as well with cheese melting in my mouth apart from the tender chicken stuffing, truly one of my newly found favorites. For the garlic bread, I loved its texture and garlicky goodness. To reset my palate once in a while, I take a sip of Calimocho, a drink where red wine and cola are combined and quite invigorating.
At long last, the moment has come for us to taste the award-winning Paella de la Casa, It was aromatic, with the meats and seafood complementing each other to result in a flavorful bite. Chef Ipar also told us that all his dishes are prepared with Spanish olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. You can also ask your server about the chef’s daily special or even request Chef Ipar personally of a Spanish dish you’ve been longing to try that’s not on the menu as long as he has the ingredients that is.
Before heading out to continue the long day ahead of us, Chef Ipar insisted that we try out what he claims to be the best leche flan in town, which left us no choice but to enjoy every inch of its milky caramel goodness. To cure our afternoon drowsiness, he also gave us a shot of coffee bombon, which indeed gave us an extra boost to face the tasks ahead.
A typical meal for two would cost around PHP800. Their appetizers range from PHP120 to PHP200, salads at PHP150 to PHP200, soups at PHP70 to PHP200, rice dishes at PHP600 to PHP950, chicken at PHP180 to PHP480 and fish and shellfish at PHP250 to PHP650. There are also Spanish sardines in different varieties ready for take-out at PHP100 per container. Also, a bottle of wine ranges from PHP550 to PHP1,700. Prices are inclusive of VAT and there is no service charge. If you’d ask me price and value wise, everything is reasonable since you’re paying for quality food and the total experience.
If Chef Ipar is not busy in the kitchen, he’ll be happy to engage his guests on a friendly conversation. The team at Ipar’s is also more than capable of accommodating your needs and requests. However, take note that the 6-person paella needs at least an hour to prepare, better order ahead before heading to the restaurant.
If you truly want to immerse yourself in a Spanish culinary experience, then Ipar’s Restaurante Y Bar de Tapas is perfect for you. Try this place out this weekend. Later!
Ipar’s Restaurante Y Bar de Tapas is located at 157 F. Ramos Street, in Cebu City. For lunch, they are open from 10AM to 2PM Tuesday to Sunday. For dinner, they are open from 6PM to 10PM from Monday to Sunday. For reservations, you may contact (032)410-7727, (032)255-4727 and (+63)(917)626-6662. For promos and updates, check out their official Facebook account. For more information, you can also check out their website.