Gradual decrease in portion size and sudden increase in prices caused the abatement of our frequent Dulcinea visits. Having abstained from one of my favorite steaks for so long though, prompted me to take a chance and find out if they have meliorated somewhat.
The Dulcinea branch in Glorietta is tucked in between Auntie Anne's and La Piadina, right across Jollibee. The place is adorned with Moroccan/Mediterranean displays, although the menu is more of the Spanish cuisine.
The first entrée was the Salpicao (P310) redolent of freshly sauteed garlic. A few slices of ribbed potatoes garnished with minced herbs covers a third of the plate. Unpretentious and direct, the cubes of tenderloin vaunt of a bold, savory taste that is a mixture of brine and garlic. It had scattered garlic bits and was scantily doused with the oil it was cooked in. While it wasn't the best in town, it wasn't half-bad either. The competition would be on flavor and tenderness, and on a scale of one to ten, for me this would be a 7.
I was disgruntled to see a displeasing and unappetizing plate of Arroz Ala Cubana (P250). What should have been distinctive ground beef slightly bathed in tomato sauce looked more like a poor version of hashed meat evocative of prison food or bad cafeterias'. I was glad I wasn't the one who ordered it, but felt bad that my dad had to brave eating the stuff (he affirmed that it was indeed unpleasant). I'm afraid I can't tell you anything about its sapidity (or lack thereof). Confessedly, I didn't dare try tasting it lest I lose my appetite for my own ordered dish. It was definitely a far cry from my favorite version from Conti's; too bad they've phased it out, much to my dismay.
The sight of the Gypsy Steak (P360) more than made up for the abhorrent visual image of the preceding dish. The right gradual shades of brown painted every square inch of the steak; its glistening skin elicits an eager anticipation of its sebaceous goodness only a good chunk of meat can provide. Tiny puddles of herbed butter grace its uneven ground, flowing gently like a calm stream, and finally gathering in a mass pool of oil underneath. A single bite releases a ton of flavor impregnated deep within. The savory juice seeps out from the center, arousing a hungry urge to take one bite after another; the mashed potatoes and rice gingerly taking a back seat. Chewing on the succulent fat evokes the ooh's and the mmm's and a hushed mumble of profanity. Excuse me while I drool.
A bowl of soup escorts each steak, usually a prelude. It may vary according to availability, sometimes cream of mushroom, french onion soup or cream of asparagus.
Our favorite beverage order is the pitcher of Tropical Fruit Shake (P175). A blend of mango, pineapple, banana, apple and papaya, it's as fruity and refreshing as they come.
I'm pleased that the Gypsy Steak is again as great as when I've first tasted it. It may have seen an increase in price but at least they've reverted it to the original quality worthy of another visit -- a perennial one to be exact.
Spot: 2nd Level, Glorietta 4 Ayala Center, Makati City
Contact No.: 752.7110