Alma Manila Travels From The Shores Of Siargao To Makati

Siargao island’s famous Alma arrives in Metro Manila, bringing Chef Luis Martinez’s widely-loved Spanish fare to the city.

Alma first opened its doors on the island of Siargao, Philippines in 2020. Word spread of the amazing Spanish food there and people actually went to Siargao just to try Alma. The restaurant was inspired by Chef Luis Martinez’s upbringing in Valencia, Spain, where the region’s waters are abundant with seafood. It is a city where paella is known for.

Chef Luis Martinez
Chef Luis Martinez

Established during the pandemic, a time when most restaurants closed, Alma was embraced by the Siargao community. The spirit of Alma was created overlooking the fishermen’s boats.

Alma is a space where Spanish flavor and flair interweave with Siargao’s local produce and laid-back beach vibes. The Spanish restaurant has arrived in the shores of Manila and is now open in Barangay Poblacion in Makati City.  One will get the same food and similar vibe in their Manila branch.

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Luis’ love for cooking started in the kitchen of his parents. The talented chef had an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age when he was encouraged by his father to sell paella in his neighborhood at just 13 years of age. The first version of the Alma we know today was opened together with his brother in Spain, showcasing their love for Spanish cuisine as well as the ability for cooking these dishes well.

After a holiday in Siargao, it was time for his next adventure. Luis opened Alma, bringing authentic Spanish food to the island and creating a loyal following. Managing to keep Alma open and thriving to the local community during the pandemic, it sadly had to close its doors after the devastating typhoon Odette.

Alma has an extensive menu that offers several types of paella. Starters, especially the raw carpaccio and crudo dishes, are excellent. The “old school” gambas al ajillo (shrimp with garlic) is perfectly flavored and cooked – great news for traditionalists when so many restaurants have their own versions of the classic Spanish appetizer. A variety of seafood and meat dishes are available as well as several types of pasta cooked the Spanish way. There is definitely something for everyone in this cozy new restaurant.

Luis opened Terraza Martinez in September 2022 marking the start of Chef Luis’ journey in Manila. In a full circle moment, Alma is once again opening its doors in Siargao and Chef Luis brings his tried-and-tested recipes to Poblacion; people in Manila will be grateful for this.

Alma Poblacion is located at 5887 Fermina, corner Enriquez Streets, Barangay Poblacion, Makati City. Call or message (0926) 0310098 for reservations or inquiries.

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