Greenhills’ Wilson Street area has new restaurants opening up recently. As the Jose Abad Santos street in San Juan is starting to become a real foodie zone, we tried out Calderon, a Spanish cocina tapas place. Tapas are a wide variety of warm or cold appetizers/snacks dishes that often when in quantity can make up an interesting Spanish meal. Its like dim-sum for the Spanish.
Calderon Spanish Cocina Tapas y Behidas is on F. Calderon St., a sidestreet from Jose Abad Santos. Its a small place and you might miss it if you’re not looking. Its on the side street just after Ristras. The restaurant has very limited seating with only a 2-3 tables in the ground floor and some more on the second floor. So its an ok place for 2-4 people groups but will be more difficult if you are many.
There were only 2 of us so we did not get to order their Paella which is good for 4 they say. We opted instead to try some of their tapas. First dish that was served was Gambas Al Ajillo (shrimp in olive oil). This one I found ok, its not bad and the shrimps are fresh. It went very well with an order of garlic rice. However, I must say that I still find the Gambas over at Mario’s in Tomas Morato to be better.
Next up on the menu we tried the some spanish spring roll twist. Its a crispy appetizer with some mayo based sauce. I found the sauce to be too heavy actually and so just be sure not to dip too much as it can be overpowering.
The price here at Calderon is not very cheap. A tapas appetizer typically runs from 200-300 price range if I remember correctly. While they do not scrimp on the quantity, its not alot either. Just about right for 2-3 persons to taste and try. Lastly, we had a fried fish fillet order that also complements well with their garlic rice. The serving size of this dish seems to be more abundant than the others. The taste is nothing bad but nothing special either.
Overall Verdict: Ok but nothing special. Its not a bad place when you want some quiet place to have a date or a peaceful spanish tapas meal. Or if you want to just hang-out, have some beers with some more upscale appetizer dishes.
Its not a place I would advise against but its not a place I would recommend either. The value for money is just a bit tad expensive (expect maybe Php 350 per person) and the food is nothing special. In case you want to check them out:
Calderon cocina tapas y behidas
403 F. Calderon Street
San Juan, Metro Manila