This restaurant that serves Filipino and Spanish flavors is ready for the ‘new normal’

Published July 14, 2020, 3:35 PM

by MB Lifestyle

Tapas Y Todo Lo Demás

When Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant opened its doors to customers and patrons of Resorts World Manila earlier in March, no one could tell that it would soon find them closed as the country was put into the first of a series of quarantines designed to contain Covid-19. Back then, it wasn’t yet declared a pandemic, so Henji Carmona, owner of Rafael’s, felt hopeful about his new venture. 

His hopes, like those of many entrepreneurs who were looking for a new beginning for 2020, were dashed by this virus from overseas, which has abruptly halted not just the operations of Rafael’s and all other restaurants like it, but also that of Resorts World Manila.

Fast forward to a little over three months, and Henji and Rafael’s are back. The restaurant has yet again opened its doors to the public, albeit following very strict health protocols to keep both its customers and staff safe during this time of the pandemic. After all, no virus should ever stop people from enjoying an exquisite meal of Filipino and Spanish cuisine, right?

Like many restaurants today, Rafael’s has put in place measures designed to keep diners safe and comfortable enough to enjoy a tasty serving of, say, its flavorful Wagyu beef caldereta.

Sanitation procedures upon entering the restaurant, which is located on the second floor of the retail area at the Newport Mall of Resorts World Manila, includes hand sanitizers and a foot bath available by the door, where guests are also required to record relevant information to help with contact tracing (should a need for it ever arise).

Rafael’s Whisky Sour fuses Monkey Shoulder Whisky, lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg white, lemon & orange bitters.

Every member of Rafael’s staff is required to have a health declaration form and are in full personal protective equipment (PPE) while on duty. Inside the rather quirky and whimsically cozy restaurant, with a good collection of art pieces on display, tables are kept one meter apart, and orders are taken and payment is done in a contactless fashion. To make sure that everything in the restaurant is clean and disinfected, every equipment is regularly subjected to industrial UV light disinfecting. They also use Diversey food-grade disinfectant solutions. Rafael’s staff are also monitored to regularly wash their hands and sanitize every 30 minutes. 

Yet all these procedures do not take away from the enjoyable dinner that Rafael’s promises.

Quite the contrary. Knowing that there are safety protocols in place makes it even more possible for diners to enjoy Rafael’s Filipino-Spanish fusion dishes, from their version of the paella to their chipirones con harissa and their Petronila’s chicken with pineapple fried rice, among

Petronila’s Chicken, Rafael’s style of chicken inasal

Rafael’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant is on the second floor of the retail area at Resorts World Manila’s Newport Mall. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. | IG: @rafaelsrwph | Facebook: Rafael’s Tapas Bar & Restaurant