4/F Food on Four, SM Aura Premier, McKinley Parkway cor. 26th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila
- 22 Reviews
- 82 Recommend
- 22 Reviewers
- Business Hours
- Open: 10:00a - 10:00p
- 10:00a - 10:00p
- 10:00a - 10:00p
- 10:00a - 10:00p
- 10:00a - 10:00p
- 10:00a - 10:00p
- 10:00a - 10:00p
- 10:00a - 10:00p
More Business Info
- Parking Lot
- Take Out:
- Lunch, Dinner
- Good for Groups:
Most Recent Reviews
It was a weekend sale at sm aura so i decided to drop by that maybe i could find a good deal but too bad sale at upscale area dont land you any good deal at all so decided to check out their food at around 930pm, it seems they are open till 11pm tonight and i suddenly remember having a meetup in the past with the gang at rico rico, and remember someone ordering their seafood paella and it seems good. So i went on to order another one.
Order came within few minutes and it looks good so i went ahead in capturing shots before i dig in. I felt amused and surprised that the paella was so thinly spread throughout the container. Lol. It literally lasted only a few bites from me and it seems and in my honest opinion not worth the P300 wherein i could get a bigger take at alba or la tienda.
The sauce at the middle i didnt much like at all and it seems it was abit too much for thinly spread rice 🤣. The baby squid were fresh and good as well as the clams. Right now its three stars from me cause i think they could do a better job as seen from previous reviews, maybe it was an off visit or near closing time. So there three stars for the meantime.
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SM Aura’s food court is known to be a fancier version of your usual food hall. With more premium options to choose from, you’d have to shell out more cash for a meal. I wouldn’t mind spending a few extra hundreds if it means that I'd get a “good meal.” And that is exactly what I got from Food on Four’s new player.
Hello, Rico Rico.
This new paella place caught my interest when it opened a few months ago. Vibrant colors and DIY paella were what caught my attention. And I grew even more curious when I found out that this brand is the brainchild of the group handling Las Flores and Rambla, restaurants known to serve superb Spanish dishes. But my schedule didn’t permit me to try this place sooner.
Thankfully, I was invited by a fellow blogger to attend Rico Rico’s food tasting event in celebration of the ongoing Madrid Fusion and I happen to be free that day. I thought to myself, “This is it!”
I was warmly greeted by JM of SM Aura who pointed me to the other bloggers taking photos of the paella we were about to try. And that was my first time to be acquainted with Rico Rico’s offerings. And it was love at first sight (and sniff).
Rico Rico offers six paellas and we were served the four bestsellers namely Marisco (PHP320, solo | PHP595, to share), Vegetables (PHP225, solo | PHP435, to share), Carne (PHP290, solo | PHP550, to share) and Negra 2.0 (PHP265, solo | PHP495, to share).
I first sampled Marisco which also happens to be part of the Paella Fiesta promo where diners could avail a serving for only PHP99 (or PHP150 with a glass of Sangria).
I loved everything about this dish. The generous serving of squid, clams and shrimps make it value for money. The paella rice used was great too. The slight tangy taste of it was simply addicting and it definitely brought out and enhanced the taste of the toppings.
Carne was pretty good too. The chicken bits were tender and juicy while the pork chunks were a bit crunchy creating this wonderful contrast in texture.
Negra 2.0 left a lasting impression too. The dark plate of paella topped with chicken chunks, peas, egg, bell pepper and saffron aioli was so good that I had two servings of it. The squid ink taste was pronounced in the paella rice and it went beautifully with the toppings. Though I would still not recommend this on a first date to avoid you know what.
As an extra treat, we were each given a glass (or a cup) of Rico Rico’s Sangria (PHP99). At first, I thought that it was just some punch without the punch but it was actually intoxicating. In fact, I got a bit woozy after finishing my glass. But I guess it was because I was tired that whole week hence getting hit fast after a bit of alcohol.
Overall, it was a lovely lunch. I’d definitely go back for more and try Vegetables which I wasn’t able to sample last time.
Rico Rico is located at Food on Four, 4th Floor, SM Aura Premier, McKinley Parkway, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
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Paella is a Spanish dish that's loved by most Filipinos. Because what's not to love about it? Rice x meat x veggies - staples in our daily diet. Restaurants offering Spanish cuisine, or even those that do not, in our local food scene usually have paella in their menu. Most do not deliver and are merely rice mixed with an assortment of meat and veggies, often in a tomato based sauce.
Rambla is one of our favorites when talking about Paella. Though the price is a bit up there, it's worth indulging once in a while. But there isn't really a place that offers honest to goodness Paella at an affordable price.
Enter Rico Rico...
A concept born out of the passion for Spanish food by the same group behind Rambla, Las Flores, La Lola and Tomatito! Rico Rico is trying to change the way Filipinos see Paella. From formal and expensive to casual and affordable - the concept is pretty solid! Paella in a food court cooked right in front of you competing with food court stalls in speed, Rico Rico is changing the Paella ball game!
Located in SM Aura's foodcourt, Rico Rico's space is pretty huge allowing them to install a decent kitchen towards the center providing some venue for them to show how they make magic with their Paella. The color theme is also easy on the eyes - white and teal with accents of pastel colors and walls marred with colorful wall arts.
Paid a visit on a weekday lunch for a sponsored pig-out, it wasn't my first time at Rico Rico. Visiting during their first couple of days from launching did not serve me well. Good thing I believe in second chances.
We tried some of their tapas, Paellas and dessert to boot!
Let's start off with the Tapas. Croquetas, Chorizo, Salpicao and Gambas - great starters!
| Chorizo Croquetas for 190Php
Warm balls of mashed potatoes deep fried with some crunchy breading, one bite will give you an explosion of chorizo and cheese! This one's pretty good but can get a little too salty.
| Chorizo for 275Php
One of the tapas that I enjoyed, the chorizo pieces were cooked just right. Tender and flavorful, each piece had a certain bite.
| Salpicao for 350Php
This is their most expensive tapas and it's for a reason. According to their Marketing Head, Dani, they didn't want to compromise the quality of the beef so they made sure to use only the premium kind. You can tell that he's telling the truth because each piece of meat was tender!
| Gambas for 275Php
Another favorite tapas of mine, succulent shrimps in a spicy oil based sauce, it's nothing like your sauce drenched version from watering holes.
Onto the Paella, we tried a total of four. According to Chef Edgar and Dani, Rico Rico ensures that they only use the best and freshest ingredients possible. They don't take shortcuts nor use magic powders. Nothing canned nor pre-packed. Their stocks are made from scratch as well as each aioli. Their tapas are cooked as ordered as well as each pan of Paella. The passion put into each step to ensure efficiency and good quality is a story they love to tell and it was really amazing to hear them talk about their brand with so much enthusiasm and confidence.
Unlike other Paellas where the ingredients are fixed, this concept will allow you to customize your order. Choose your Paella from the 6 variants - seafood, all meat, veggie, negra, pumped up negra and surf & turf. If you think you want more, add toppings to your heart's content. Each additional topping comes with a price of course. Next step is to choose your aioli. You can go with the recommended ones but if you are more experimental, do it your own way! You can go with the most basic one or go all the way!
Now, lets talk about each Paella we tried --
| Vegetable Paella for 225Php Solo, 435Php To Share
Vegetable Paella sounds and looks like the most unappealing variant in their menu. May sound boring but I must admit that it was MY FAVORITE Paella of all. So good I even ordered it again when I went back for dinner on the same day. Cooked with veggie stock, this Paella was topped with parsley aioli, crisp veggies like asparagus, young corn, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and onions.
Dani highly recommended this saying that it's the "sexiest veggie paella in town" lol It's totally not boring at all! From the flavors of the rice itself, I can tell that there was something else than the veggie stock. True enough, there was paprika, garlic, parsley and a dash of cumin that made all the difference. Served with Chimichurri, make sure to ask for more if you want a spicier kick. One last tip: go dirty all the way and mix the aioli with the Chimichurri, rice and the veggies! It's the best way to enjoy their Paella!
| Carne for 290Php Solo, 550Php To Share
My second fave, this Carne Paella is a meat lovers dream! Liempo cuts, chicken chunks, pieces of beef and chorizo in a chicken stock cooked rice. There was more than enough protein in each spoonful! Paired with parsley aioli, this Paella is one that's highly recommended!
| Negra 2.0 for 265Php Solo, 495Php To Share
Squid Ink Paella is my favorite kind but surprisingly, it's just 3rd in my list for Rico Rico! Don't get me wrong. This Negra 2.0 is still delicious! Seafood stock, squid ink, saffron aioli - what's not to love? The squid ink flavor was there and I liked it!
| Marisco for 320Php Solo, 595Php To Share
Their seafood paella is also one to note. Marisco is usually a crowd favorite in other restaurants because it's seafood! This one's no exemption. Seafood stock, an assortment of seafood (shrimps, baby squid and clams) with saffron aioli, it's tasty and flavorful but weak in flavor compared to the other 3 that I tried.
| Leche Flan for 120Php
For dessert, we got to sample their Leche Flan. This was surprisingly good! Served in an unconventional way, mason jar was used instead of the usual llanera. The bottom was lined with caramelized sugar, topped with the soft silky flan. Make sure to you'll scoop all the way to the bottom of the jar to get some of the sweet stuff that pairs well with the flan itself.
This dessert also has a generous serving of whipped cream on top that tends to cut through the sweetness, if it gets too much for you. This dessert was so good I got it again after dinner!
Overall, it was a pleasant visit. Even when we came back at night for dinner, as paying customers, the food quality and taste was the same and the service was excellent! Rico Rico is definitely one genius concept! I can't wait for them to expand and reach more foodies!
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La Lola Group does it again with RicoRico Paelleria ️. Breaking the mold once more by putting their latest concept in a food court, albeit an upscale one in SM Aura, it's a risk worth taking because of the more affluent consumers there. Why? Because the investment is less because the space is shared with the mall and other tenants, & you don't need to hire as many staff. But the good thing is that,
1) La Lola owners are quite hands on, open to feedback, and tweak menu as needed (hands on, creativity and humility make for a good restauranteur)
2) La Lola owners have experienced this style of resto in some form with Churreria La Lola
3) They hired an esteemed chef, Chef Edgar, who designed the menu and is a bona fide Spanish chef. He gave us good insight on the origin of paella, the regionalisation of paella in Spain (where it differs from one region to another), and techniques about their paella.
4) This is a create your own paella concept, with 4 base formula when this Rendezvoos happened but they've added 1 to 2 more at least since then.
Rico Rico, at a Glance:
> Food & Beverage: 1/2 (paella's a solid 5; ditto for their Chorizo and Chorizo croquetas; only their short orders like beef salpicao and shrimp gambas needing more improvement)
> Service: since this is in a food court, I combined dine in and kitchen in one
> Ambience: bear in mind this is in SM Aura food court so take this with a grain of salt
> Value for Money:
> Owner & Head Chef: wait, that's more than 5 stars??!? 🤣 (it's not often that an owner out-chats and out-animates looloo reviewers but Dani and Edgar were an absolute blast to speak to and I learned a lot by this fun interaction; were it not a work day, it wouldn't be unlikely to end way past 12 midnight)
OVERALL: (the owner interaction took this from a 4.5 to 5 because the experience was such a blast)
Worth a try - Yes
Worth a return - Absolutely! Plus the variety is incredible and they don't scrimp on ingredients. This is one of my must try's in Aura, plus you can add more ulam from the other resto's if you're a big group. Just let Rico Rico take care of the carbs!
> TIPS: If you're one to 3 people, solo should be just fine (P235 to under P400); if you've got huge appetites, go for the To Share sizes (P435 to under P600). Since I'm a carnivore at heart, I loved the Carne Paella (chicken stock, more subtle notes given the strong toppings like chorizo, crunchy liempo, beef salpicao, etc.), but the others are equally compelling in their own way. Explanations below after the verdict. Another must have are the ff.
> Chorizo croquetas, probably the best I've ever tried
> Chorizo small plate order
> VERDICT: Another awesome concept worth trying by the La Lola group. Another being their Tomatito resto bar along 30th beside Seda. Paella is always one of my faves, and theirs have great flavors, not the wet kind of paella, and don't scrimp on ingredients. The prices are reasonable to me, too.
The balance of my review:
Create your own paella is the name of Rico Rico's game. Rico is also Spanish for delicious. Perfect choice, and it's easy to recall.
Their 4 choices of base paella are
1. Carne - Chicken broth
2. Vegetarian - good as well with a just light sprinkle of cumin
3. Seafood - rich in taste, base is shellfish, and Shrimp stands out. This is very good but can be cloying.
4. Negra - squid ink, always one of the more polarizing tastes, but one that I love.
The most affordable is the vegetarian but don't let that fool you. This dish is actually among most people's top 2 choices during our sponsored event. It's different, yet no less brilliant. The cumin gives the dish more bite as vegetarian can be quite subtle. I quite liked it. Their Seafood and Negra paellas are equally great, though since they're fairly common, they're more safe but still very legit choices as well.
Their short orders are also awesome, in particular the chorizo croquetas and Chorizos. Yummmmm... Their Beef Salpicao lacked depth in flavor and their Shrimp Gambas were inferior to their own gambas at (now sold) Barcino... lacking garlic. I hope that, by now, they've made adjustments as they were welcome to the feedback that time.
I liked their Sangria, I believe they plan to have Sangria and paella parties every month on selected weekends. And their Leche flan is different in a good way, in that it's not too sweet, more fluffy and served in a jar.
The experience was enhanced by so many stories, banter and jokes by both Dani and Edgar. It was probably my most memorable Rendezvoos because of both the food and the resto's representatives.
P.S. This was a review of a Feb. Sponsored |Rendezvoos courtesy of Peanut D's invite. So here it is, Pea. Naunahan ako ng halos lahat when i was 75% done with my draft so I let them go first and then got tambak with work. What an experience. Still fresh after 3 months.
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Paella was so flavorful! Hindi tipid sa ingredients... Sulit!
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As a big fan of paella, I had to try Rico Rico! We tried 3 variants - paella carne and two types of paella negra. The paella carne was really yummy and they're quite generous with the toppings. I really like the way that they presented the dish when you dine in - I ordered the single serving and I think it's good to share if you're not too hungry. The first paella negra with the eggs and all was good too, thought that the yellow bit in the center was egg yolk, but it wasn't haha. The second type was.. well i don't really know what it was but it wasn't really as good as the other two.
Serving time was quick. Ambiance was alright, though not much to say as it is located in the food court area.
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Jayson J organized a foodie meet-up with fellow |ooloo peeps here in rico rico. The place is located in SM Aura foodcourt which surprised me. I thought they were a stand alone resto in aura. They are located smack center of the foodcourt. Colorful and open kitchen which was hard to miss. The place specializes mostly on Paella. The head chef gladly suggested us to try their combo which includes 2 variants of Paella the Negra and Carne. The combo also includes 4 glass of sangria and a serving of Chirizo for a total of 1425PHP. We ordered that combo plus the Vegetales Paella.(435PHP).
Carne Paella - my least favorite among the paella. It tasted so ordinary and the flavor was a bit underwhelming
Paella Negra - one of my fave. It was a simple paella negra topped with lots of bonito flakes. After mixing the bonito flakes with the dark rice you'll think it would be plain in flavor because of the lack of visibility of the toppings but the bonito flakes did it job well giving this paella a wonderful seafood flavor.
Vegetales Paella - the crowd fave. Well topped with delicious fresh veggies and mushrooms. Gave the paella a nice variety of texture and the vegetable stock used in the paella was flavorful.
Chorizo - a great starter but nothing too special for me.
Sangria - most of them didn't like it but I did like this drink love the kick of the alcohol with zesty flavor. Drawback I was a bit sleepy after drinking this haha..
Also got to taste a bit of Norman Lester T order since he arrived when we were already finished hehe. Thanks!
Marisco Paella - the seafood paella that is also highly recommended by the chef. Love it and agree that this is their best paella.
Overall the paella was great but serving size was a bit small for me for its price.
Thanks Jayson J for arranging this #Jaydezvoos hahaha.. Nice seeing you guys Mark L Unisse C Elaine O Kristin A Norman Lester T Will C
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Meanwhile at the food scene at SM Aura, really came in very early for our eatup. Around 6PM The cooks were already prepping for the ingredients for tonight's dinner service. The crew were a little bit busy and was not able to give off warm ambience, but around 7PM the place became literally warmer because they started up firing the orders as customers started to come by.
As for the group, we started calling our orders around 745PM and we occupied all 7 seats facing the action scene. Thanks to chef jesse who suggested us to get their promo paella, we got free 8pcs chorizo cutlets and 4 sangrias.
paella negra (for share)
Bonito flakes waving hello at us as it was served. This paella is not salty but rather you could really taste that distinct squid ink flavor. This one is a little plain; not much toppings. Order their 2.0 version for more seafood toppings
Carne (for share)
The lightest tasting of them all but still not but, in fact, the pork and chicken toppings were generous. Love the crispy fat portion of the Pork serving.
veggie (for share)
Say whut?! Veggie could never be this good. Thanks to EJ B recommending this through the groupchat. French beans. Mushrooms. Cherry tomatoes. Soo good.
Well i was not in the mood for drinking, and this one got that alcoholic taste you would look for if you want to be a little sleepy-- not at all tipsy.
It's above average. This one would be a good topping for the carne paella
Alas. Heat was over and we noticed the crew became a little warmer naman.
Soon enough traveling tongue Norman Lester T came and he agreed that we can taste what he's ordering
I love the distinct seafood flavor. I enjoyed eating the squid topping which was not rubbery.
Overall i think these are unique paella 🥘 because the rice they use is plump-- the flavors were really rich. So rich it's actually like a drier version of risotto! Yes, much like a risotto. Thing is the serving is a little few, that means price might be just a little steep.
What can i say, i think this for now shall be the best paella in the metro. Should there be another one, why not recommend it. Haha!
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ALERT! HIGH CARB DINNER
A group of hungry |ooloo reviewers decided to meet up to try different flavors of paella offered by Rico Rico. Thank you to Jayson J for organizing and inviting us Saves some money to sample multiple dishes 🏼
When we arrived at the food court, we sat at a table right in front of Rico Rico. And Jayson J got extra hungry waiting for us, he ordered a poke bowl from Poke/Poke
We moved to the bar counter at Rico Rico's stall when majority of us were already there – to fully experience the open kitchen and take some shots of the chefs cooking the paella They used a kind of stove which can make really big flames and it was so fun to watch! As a bonus, we also managed to have some conversation going with the chef about the paella! 🏼
Our initial plan was to order the following:
• Surf and Turf (PHP 630) - Seafood and Pork
• Negra 2.0 (PHP 495) - Squid ink with chicken, peas and pepper
• Vegetables (PHP 435)
All for sharing. Total will come to PHP 1560.
But the chef recommended we order their Combo for 4 which includes:
• Negra (PHP 475)
• Carne (PHP 550)
• Chorizo (PHP 275)
• 4 Sangria (PHP 99 each)
Total is at PHP 1696, but the combo is priced at PHP 1425. Saves PHP 271.
So what we got was the combo, plus the vegetables whih ended at PHP 1860. If we got 4 sangria with our original order, it would go to about PHP 1956. It's not a huge set back, only PHP 96 pesos difference in the end. Maybe I shouldn't have computed.
On to the review of the dishes!
This was the first one I got to try since it was served right in front of me. The rice was cooked so well! It had that bite! I loved it! ️ However, as compared to the other variants, this had the least robust flavor. The closest comparison I can give is a less salty adobo rice But the pork and chicken in it was pretty good! It had more flavor. 🏼 The stock they use for this paella is chicken stock.
It looked amazing when it was served because of all the moving bonito flakes. I really liked this because it was very flavorful. What was depressing though was it had no toppings.
This is their vegetarian choice which was really really good. I'd say this was my top 2 for the night with what we got. It had a lot of toppings too and I especially liked the mushrooms. 🏼 I liked the flavor of the rice. They used vegetable stock and some sauces that I do not remember the name of. But I'd recommend this 🏼
Norman Lester T arrived after we were all finished eating so he had to order his own solo paella. We all got a spoon from his order to try this highly recommended dish from the chef. #1 goes to this because it was so so good! The stock they used was seafood (obviously, since it's a seafood paella) and they use all sorts of seafood in it, shrimp, crab and more! It was really really reaaaaaally good! It had shrimp, clams and squid on top. I got a small piece off the shrimp and it was cooked perfectly! 🏼
Additional tapas, good, but nothing special about it.
It was a great experience! ️ At the end, we cleaned the plates and the crispy bits left on it was really good! Tutong for the win!
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I'm not a member of #TeamExtraRice for nothing.
Jayson J organized a dinner at Rico Rico. I first heard this paella stall here in |ooloo. It's located at the food court of SM Aura. I heard really good things during that rendezvoos so my expectation for this place is really high.
We were supposed to meet at 7:30pm, but I had work to finish last night so I arrived a little past 8pm. And guess what? They were done eating! Oh come on, it's rice guys! How come you finished everything in 30min? Okay 45 minutes. Anyway, they're so thoughtful enough as they let me try few servings of what they had. Thanks guys!
** Negra (250php solo / 475php to share)
I love Paella Negra in general. Or any squid ink meal in that sense. I was not able to eat it with bonito flakes but I can taste the seafood goodness in the rice.
** Carne (290php solo / 550php to share)
Unisse C told me that this contained generous amount of meat when it was served. I was only able to taste a spoonful, but it's enough for me to say that among all that we ordered, this was the least flavorful. But in a good way. It's not overwhelming. I actually liked its light taste.
** Vegetable (225php solo / 435php to share)
This was surprisingly good! Though this doesn't contain meat, the taste was still rich and has a lot of texture.
Aaaand let's go to my order.
** Marisco (320php solo / 595php to share)
I ordered solo of Marisco as I was too hungry when I arrived. I specifically picked this for them to try as well. I was actually having a difficult time deciding if I'm getting this or the Surf n Turf one. However the one at the counter suggested to go for Marisco. This is seafood paella. One of the staff told us that the broth they used here has shrimp, crab, etc. to achieve the strong seafood flavor in the rice. Then they used the same ingredients to make the Marisco sauce. No wonder that this has the "lasang dagat" taste. It was so rich and strong. This was topped with generous amount of shrimps, squid, and clams.
I honestly think that Rico Rico serves good paella. Compared to my previous experience at ArroZeria, the paella in Rico Rico has more meat and toppings. Both were flavorful and delicious, tbh.
I like that they have an open kitchen where you can see how your order is done. It's nice to watch how they do the tricks to serve you your nice paella.
I paired my solo order of Marisco paella with a glass of Red Sangria. The drink was okay but I tasted better sangrias in other restaurants. I spent 419php for these, but to be honest, the paella + sangria combination didn't make me full. The solo size wasn't enough to fill my tummy.
But definitely, I'll be back for the Vegetable Paella. I was also interested to try their Negra 2.0 with chicken, egg, peas, and red bell pepper!
Hi guys, thank you and see you again soon Jayson J Dennis O Elaine O Kristin A Will C Unisse C and Mark L (did I tag you correctly? Haha 🏻️) Until next time!
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This food court resto in Aura is just fantastic. Dished out one of the best paellas I have had. Surf and turf for the win. From the guys who gave us La Lola.
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We ordered almost every single dish in the menu and believe it or not, they were all perfect!!!!
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this place is a breath of fresh air in the food court scene. i loved the taste and the freshness of the flavors. it's so nice that it's at the food court level of sm aura. an excellent alternative to the usual pepper lunch, sizzling plate and other fast food chains. you can even watch while they cook your orderthanks RicoRico!
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Repetition is a literary device that repeats the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea clearer. As a rhetorical device, it could be a word, a phrase or a full sentence or a poetical line repeated to emphasize its significance in the entire text.
I am a fan of repetition as it comes in handy in debate. So why the literature talk? Well, i think the newest restaurant to grace Food on Four incorporated this technique. Take a wild guess...Rico Rico! baby
Rico Rico is La Lola's brother from another mother. And the Chef doesn't have the same name, the word loosely translates to delicious in Spanish. The fact that repetition is involved means they have an ego the size of Australia or they make insanely good food.
I am happy to report that this is not an eg case but an insatiable passion to make good food.
Chorizo Croquetas. This a wonderful version of a classic. The crispy exterior and the chorizo flavor inside will entice your senses. I found myself wanting for more.
Carne Paella. I am not a Paella person so trust me when i say that this is insanely good. They used pork and chicken stock with the rice. Each bite is a symphony of flavors, an assault on your palate done in the most exquisite way. And oh, let us not forget that the rice is topped with generous amounts of pork.
Rico Rico is one of those restaurants you will visit again and again. Good food and good price, what more can you ask for?
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Kanin get it!
I normally don't eat rice or any carbs for dinner, but last Thursday's Looloo rendezvous was of course, an exception. How could I say no to glorious pans of paella?! This tita's "diet" was ruined -- but not in vain, since the dishes served were worth the calories.
To kick things off, we had a glass of red sangria. It was refreshingly light. The kind that you can drink like juice and depending on your tolerance, get tipsy from soon after.
This was paired with crispy Chorizo Croquettes, which were quite flavorful.
Next up was the main event: the actual paella dishes! First was the vegetarian paella. I had doubts about this dish, being a carnivore, but as chef Edgar was mixing the pan, a savory, almost cheesy waft was emitted. The aroma reminded me of cheesy risotto (which was a good thing). True enough, the taste didn't disappoint. It was light yet flavorful, with the vegetables adding a bit of crunch. And yes, in a way, it did taste like cheesy risotto, which isn't bad in my book. I actually liked it!
The seafood paella (Marisco) was packed with an amazing array of fish and shellfish. I loved how they used huge pieces of shrimp!
But wait...that's not all! We had another delicious pan of paella: the Paella Negra, which is basically black paella cooked in squid ink. It was quite rich, but not to the point that you don't taste the squid anymore.
We also had the Pork & Chicken Paella (Carne) which was also filled with generous amounts of liempo, chorizo and chicken.
If you think that was it, no sir-ee! Out comes these three platters of tapas: chorizo, salpicao and gambas. The Chorizo was by far, the best among the three tapas platters. We had a few inputs for the salpicao & gambas which we voiced out to Chef Edgar and Dani, one of the owners. They gladly listened to our suggestions, and for me, that says a lot about how much they value their customers.
Last but not the least, we had the Leche Flan. It was creamy, light and not too sweet. A perfect ending to a fun, food-filled evening!
Would I recommend this place? Si! Porque?
1. Value for money. If you're like me who has champagne taste on a beer budget, this is it! Good quality Spanish food -- in a foodcourt. San ka pa?!
2. Quality. From what we've tasted, these guys don't compromise on their ingredients and way of cooking. Yes, it may be served in a food court, but that doesn't mean you get food court quality.
Did I mention that Rico Rico actually means "delicious" in Spanish? And for delicious pans of rice like these, this tita will gladly break her diet!
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Yummy, Masarap... RICO RICO!!! 🥘
At first, one would think that Rico Rico is named after someone famous, a family member or something like that but it actually means delicious in Spanish. And true to its name, they serve real good, yummy, delicious, and masarap Spanish dishes. Located in the foodcourt of SM Aura, Rico Rico will surely help satisfy your paella and tapas cravings or curiosity without hurting the wallet!!
Since this is a sponsored event, we were able to sample most of the dishes they offer.
While waiting for the group to be complete, Chef Edgar and Dani let us try the SANGRIA (99). Priced very very reasonably, this will surely make all sangria loving people happy.
According to Chef Edgar, Sangrias are "tricky". Why? Because the alcohol isn't that obvious so you drink and just drink only to feel the effect after you've had and finished a lot.
I don't drink alcohol and most of the time I just taste them so this is not something I'll get again but would gladly recommend to everyone. But just a warning! ️ Contrary to what Chef Edgar said, this is not at all "light", first sip and you'll instantly taste the alcohol. But it's good, I liked the citrusy taste c/o the calamansi.
They have 4 paella available and they all come in 2 sizes - solo and to share. Prices are from 225 to 320 pesos and 435 to 595, respectively. Not bad, right?
NEGRA (Squid Ink)
The VEGETARIAN was everyone's favorite. Though plain and the most simple it was still packed with so much flavor. It's not sad unlike most vegetarian dishes.
The CARNE was cooked w chicken stock and topped with all the meat you'll ever want - salpicao, chorizo, and pork belly. Perfect for all the meat lovers!! What's so good about this one is that they used chicken stock, it was not too strong that it made the yummy flavors of the different meat to shine. 🏼
NEGRA was also good. Loved how you can taste the seafood goodness and that this was topped w buhay na bonito flakes!
My second favorite was the MARISCO or the seafood paella because seafood is love!! Topped with squid, clams, and shrimps. Sarap!!!
Btw, you can make your own Paella and have it your way. Choose your base, toppings, and sauce. 🏼
If the paellas are still not yet enough to fill your tummy, they also have TAPAS you can try and enjoy.
CHORIZO CROQUETAS (190)
My favorite would be the CROQUETAS because it was so damn good! Fried mashed potato balls filled with chorizo bits inside. Loved that it's crisp outside and soft inside. I'll order this again!!!!
Next favorite would be the GAMBAS. I think I was the only one who included this in their top 3 favorite dishes. It's not as good as the other gambas I've tried but I like that the shrimps were all plump and juicy. If there's just one thing I'll want to add to this, it'll be A LOT of spiciness!
The SALPICAO was good, the beef was tender but there was just something lacking with the taste. Chef Edgar added salt and it tasted better.
And lastly, the crowd favorite --- the CHORIZO. Every one loved this one but was just way too salty for me. (Trivia: They don't make the chorizo, they have a supplier but the recipe is their's.)
Of course, the night wouldn't be complete without something sweet to end it with. For dessert they let us try the LECHE FLAN (120). This version is just like our usual leche flan but not exactly the same (labo!). This is composed of 3 layers -- caramel sauce, the flan, and then topped with whipped cream. This dessert will surely make anyone happy! It's creamy and had the right level of sweetness. I liked it even without the caramel sauce!!
Overall, it was a fun and a very insightful night w the looloo peeps, Chef Edgar and Dani. ️ Not only were our tummies filled w so much good food but we also learned a lot from them - from the "sosyal" term of tutong (burnt rice) which is the SOCARRAT to how important it is the we value our relationship w other people, that we learn to respect everyone, and most importantly, that hardwork really pays off. 🏼
Yes, |ooloo rendezvoos are not just about FOOD but also about LIFE, in general.
PS: thanks for the letter Peanut D ️
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The people behind La Lola, Tomatito, Rambla, and Las Flores venture into the food court space. This isn't your regular food court stall, everything is made from scratch and the whole process is on display. You can choose from the 4 preset paellas (Seafood, Negra, Carne with pork and chicken, Vegetable), make your own, or play around with the preset paellas with the numerous add-ons. Once you decided on the kind, you can choose to have a solo or sharing size (3-4 people).
Vegetable Paella (225 PHP) Solo
Buttery smooth paella topped with onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and cucumber, and aioli, mix all together for even smoother pan of rice and veggies. Obviously butter is involved, but that's better than anything else. Excited to try their seafood paella, as they claim to use fresh seafood... mmm...
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Last Thursday night, we celebrated another success story of La Lola Group through a looloo rendezvoos, a sponsored event. Rico Rico, similar to its siblings under La Lola Group, also has a Spanish tenor to this new local concept.
I was one of the less punctual guests that night, thanks to EDSA's never ending mannequin challenge. The first thing that caught my attention as I arrive at the meeting place were glasses of SANGRIA (PHP99). Dani and Chef Edgar really know how to treat their guests well and fancy because it was a good start. Chef Edgar mentioned that the alcohol upshot is very minimal but I think that's to his standard. Haha! I am not an expert when it comes to cocktails, sangria and all other mixes as 90% of the time I drink beer at home. Haha! The alcohol was pretty obvious but it was good. It was a refreshing start because the drink was sweet, fruity, boozy but smooth.
We started with CHORIZO CROQUETAS (PHP190). Unlike the usual croquette with meat and veggies inside, Rico Rico's version has chorizo. Anyone will fall in love at first bite with this breadcrumbed fried roll. I am willing to go back just for this and a glass of Sangria.
We were served with four different kinds of Paella and their Vegetales or Vegetable Paella was served first. This paella was a crowd favorite and is cooked with vegetable stock as the base and a mix of asaparagus, onions, baby corns, zucchini and cherry tomatoes served with Parsley Aioli on top. I did not expect to enjoy this paella. The profound flavors of the vegetables will make you want more.
To Share (PHP435)
Next in line was another crowd favorite, the CARNE PAELLA or pork and chicken paella. They use chicken stock as base for this paella and a blend of chorizo, liempo, beef salpicao and chicken. It's hard to understand how Rico Rico can come up with quality dishes like this without cutting back on ingredients and sell it at a popular price.
To Share (PHP550)
Squid ink paella is a common paella served at Spanish restaurants. The price for this kind of paella is normally steep because seafood is the primary ingredient, of course, but not for Rico Rico. Their own version of PAELLA NEGRA is a real steal compared to other restaurants. The seafood stock used was very pulsing that delivered bold seafood flavors. It was served with bonito flakes and traditional aioli on top.
To Share (PHP475)
The last paella we tried was MARISCO or their version of seafood paella. Similar to paella negra, seafood stock was also the base for this paella with a mix of shrimps, squid, clams and served with saffron aioli on top. It was very savory and what I like about it is that it wasn't too overloaded with ingredients that it drowns the rice. Just enough to balance everything and also in respect to the star of the dish - RICE
To Share (PHP595)
Apart from croquetas, we were able to try other tapas and they served as GAMBAS (PHP275), CHORIZO (PHP275) and SALPICAO (PHP350). Among the three, the chorizo was the best. I am not sure if it's the same chorizo they use for their croquetas but I'm telling you, don't skip on this if you're planning to visit soon.
We ended our delicious Spanish spread with a bang! They served us their Leche Flan. It was not in the usual form that most of us are used to. It has three levels, whipped cream on top, leche flan in the middle and caramel at the bottom. It's not too sweet and the texture is very smooth.
Unlike other places that serve paella, Rico Rico can serve in 10 minutes and still deliver the quality that you expect in a delicious paella. What I also love about Rico Rico's paellas is that they source their rice from spain. They have a mix of locally sourced and imported ingredients but they choose the best ones to ensure that food is not only delicious but also of high quality. The short grain rice they use is perfect because it can easily absorb the flavors and can deliver a strong punch of flavors on your palate. It's really nice to see Rico Rico settled in the middle of SM Aura's food court. With its location plus the price of their food, more people can get to experience Spanish authenticity.
It was that night that I understood why restaurants under La Lola Group are so successful and that's because of the people on top of this company who worked so hard to provide customers not only delicious instagrammable dishes but also unforgettable customer service experience.
Thank you for having us join again Peanut D and to Dani Aliaga and Chef Edgar S of Rico Rico, thanks for preparing a delicious set for us!
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Gone are the days of poor food quality in a food court setting thanks to Hole in the Wall in Century Mall who pioneered the concept a few years ago. Same is to be said with SM Aura's Food on Four.
Enter Rico Rico, the newest paellaria place being managed by two passionate Spanish chefs - Dani Aliaga and Edgar Sanuy. The cool dudes are affiliated with La Lola's group that brought us Las Flores, Rambla, Churreria La Lola and Tomatito. I was fortunate to meet them together with other loolooers through a sponsored event last Thursday. |oo|oo rendezvoos anyone? (Quoting from Peanut D, looloo rendezvoos kasi branded na looloo rendezvous so double o. #lalang #foryourFYIhehehe )
The word "Rico" is a Spanish word for yummy and I'm happy to say that their food confirms it. We started with red Sangria (P99) which is a wine infused drink. Most of us were caught off guard by the strong alcohol taste as we were told it should only be minimal.
The wine taste was not concentrated but it was well enough to be called such name. I will be Iying if I say I didn't like it. I find this odd considering my lack of enthusiasm to fermented grapes. I hope I made Olivia Pope of Scandal proud.
Then came the chorizo croquetas made of milk, flour, potatoes (?) and flavoring. The thick and round fried goodies are perfection! This for me is the unsung heroes of Rico Rico. I was secretly happy when people were ignoring the savory miniatures on the table. Probably because the paella dishes are coming one after another. I made a few ninja moves and ate three of them. 🤣
According to chef Edgar, paella not only pertains to the actual dish but also to the wide pan where it's being cooked. The pan is a must have if you want to execute the dish perfectly due to its flat broad surface.
In Rico Rico, customers have the luxury of customizing their own paella which I think is great. More option means more fun. Also, there is no need to wait for half an hour to enjoy one. The secret lies in pre-cooking the rice for 7 to 8 minutes and then keeping it in a blast chiller. Doing this preserves the taste, texture and flavor of the rice to perfection before cooking the paella dish for about 6 minutes.
For this event, the chefs prepared four paellas:
🥘CARNE or Pork and Chicken Paella (solo P290/to share P550) is made of liempo, chicken, salpicao and chorizo. They use chicken stalk to mix with rice to balance out the flavor from the meat garnish. This is the best thing on the menu because of MEAT!
🥘VEGETABLES or Vegetable Paella (solo P225/ to share P435) has aioli dip, cherry tomatoes, paprika, garlic, parsley and one of the spices I dislike.. cumin! I was amazed as I didn't taste a hint of cumin and I had a proper portion of this paella. I also loved this dish!
🥘MARISCO or Seafood Paella (solo P320/to share P595) involves shrimp, clams, squids with the spanish rice stirred in seafood stalk. There's a good amount of butter that you can spread on the paella to make it more savory!
🥘NEGRA or Squid Ink Paella (solo P250/to share P475) - This came with garlic aioli and bonito flakes. The squid ink flavor was pronounced and this was also cooked well.
After the awesome paellas, we also tried the rest of their tapas - salpicao (P350), chorizo (P275) and gambas (P275). All tapas were also good! I enjoyed the salpicao the most because of the tender meat and tasty sauce.
The leche flan came in a jar with whipped cream on top. Having a sweet tooth, the dessert was just okay probably because the flan's sweetness was subtle that I have to put a lot of caramelized syrup to enjoy it.
To sum up my experience, The food delivers and their price range is not offensive so I know I'll have my second visit soon. Muy bien Rico Rico! Lo hiciste genial!🍾
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When you get invited to a sponsored looloo rendezvoos, you drop everything and goooo!
So our host dining place on a Thursday evening was Rico Rico, a newly-opened paellaria from the La Lola group, literally translated as "yummy yummy" from Spanish . I loved the adorably designed exterior with their tiled countertops and mint green signage. It's located in the food court at SM Aura buuuuut don't let the food court stigma fool you! Chef Edgar assured us that quality is not compromised, as they use fresh ingredients with everything made from scratch, which frankly was something I was excited to see for myself.
Each paella was noted to take around 10 minutes to prepare. You can choose from 4 paellas they have on offer, with each one cooked in different stocks:
Vegetable (solo P225, to share P435)
Surprisingly super flavorful! Rice topped with a variety of vegetables mixed together with a bunch of spices for that powerful tasty kick.
Carne (solo P290, to share P550)
My favorite oneee! I found this to be the most sulit as it was packed with different types of meats like chorizo, liempo, beef salpicao and chicken. Plus, flavor was on point and very comforting!
Negra (solo P250, to share P475)
Squid ink paella. Flavor was balanced just right such that it wasn't too overwhelming.
🦐 Marisco (solo P320, to share P595)
The most expensive of the presets, but understandable considering it's seafood but it was still packed with ingredients like squid and shrimp.
Or, you could customize your own from the type of paella you want, topping and aioli!
We were also given a taste of their assortment of tapas:
▪️ Chorizo croquettas (P190) - crispy on the outside, warm and soft and flavorful on the inside. So good!
▪️ Salpicao (P350) - tender beef chunks set in a delicious sauce.
▪️Chorizo (P275) - intensely flavored; fans of this sausage would love their take on this.
▪️Gambas (P275) - succulent juicy shrimp pieces sautéed in flavorful oil. Classic!
Aaaand you can enjoy all this with a cold glass of sangria (P99) ! Yes pleaseeee!
Finally, to cap everything off, we were served one of their desserts, the leche flan (P120) . Their version has whipped cream on top of the flan and caramel syrup. The flan was firm and the whole dish was quite light in flavor. Something that is a welcome toning down after a flavorful paella experience. However, I would prefer it to be a bit sweeter if I were to order it on its own.
Overall, I would say the food is reasonably priced considering the quality and accessibility! I now know where to direct people for really good paella!
And as always, it was a pleasure hanging out and eating with everyone! Thanks so much for the invite, Peanut D! And nice seeing you guys, Lizanne S, Kiko G, Abe C, EJ B, Anne R, Ruth S, Jairus d!
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