DULCINEA is considered as one of the oldest Spanish restaurants in the country. Founded in 1963, it became a favorite among diners who knew good Spanish food, and so the restaurant grew into several branches through the years and continued to be a favorite even when new Spanish restaurants opened. Think Churros con Chocolate and Dulcinea is the first place that comes to mind.
But while generations of Filipinos have grown up with the restaurant’s time-honored offerings, Dulcinea management recognizes that there is now a new and fresh crowd of diners who are looking for something more. Embracing this challenge to appeal to a younger demographic and adapting to the changing landscape of the local food industry, Café Dulcinea was born.
The idea came from Mars Florete III, son of Dulcinea owner Marcelino Florete Jr. The younger Florete came up with the innovative Café Dulcinea concept as a final requirement for his Ateneo MBA program. Apparently, he convinced not just his Master’s degree in Business Administration mentors but also the Dulcinea management itself. And so, inspired by the now MBA degree holder’s brainchild, the Dulcinea team went to work to make it happen. After some refining and tweaking, the younger Florete’s dream finally came true when Café Dulcinea at SM Megamall, the pilot branch to brandish the new café concept, opened in time for Christmas 2019.
While Café Dulcinea has chosen to become a leaner version of the old Dulcinea restaurant, it is still the same Dulcinea though it now sports a more vibrant and modern look and ambiance. It comes in a new and improved package, yes, but it remains true to the best and most beloved items on the old Dulcinea menu.
So expect the classic—and almost iconic—Churros con Chocolate to still be the timeless best-seller on the menu.
Café Dulcinea will also continue to serve its most popular dishes. When it comes to savory selections, Salpicao (tasty tenderloin cubes sautéed in garlic, olive oil and spices), Gambas Al Ajillo (shrimps sautéed in a medley of garlic, olive oil and chili), Tuhod y Batoc (tender and succulent beef knee and shoulder stew with potatoes, mushrooms, and red and green bell pepper), and Paella (variants include Paella Valenciana, Paella Marinara, Paella Negra, and Paella Verduras) are on top of the list. The restaurant’s popular sweet items, such as pastries, cream puffs, eclairs, silvanas and cakes, are available every day. The café also offers its all-day breakfast menu.
(Café Dulcinea is located at the 4th Level Bridgeway of SM Megamall; with telephone number 8352-2051.)