Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant
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Some must-tries at Serenity are of course the delectable Authentic Spanish Tapas & Soups, Spanish Rice (Paella) Dishes, Spanish Noodle (Fideua) Dishes, Cochinillo - the Spanish style suckling pig and Sangrias (Spanish Wine Cocktails) which are highlights and the signatures of the restaurant.
This is one restaurant I'll never forget dining at. After looking at positive past reviews, I suggested it for dinner with a friend of mine, proclaiming that the reviews can't be wrong and that we'll have a pleasant night out. Wrong. We had it so bad.
The waiters took forever to attend to us, possibly because it was crowded, but how can it take 15 minutes to get me an additional fork and 20 minutes for the bill? Paella is one of the dishes I'd never miss when dining at a Spanish restaurant. This dish took 40 minutes to arrive and honestly? It reeked of the sea, with the clams, scallop and prawns not being fresh at all. Even the rice, tasted like dirty dishrag water (disgusting way to be describing this, I know, but really).
To add on, one of our orders was about cold by the time they served it to us (it wasn't a cold dish). It isn't cheap dining there and to be receiving sub-standard quality food was totally unacceptable.It was such an unpleasant experience, my date and I never once considered dining at Serenity again.
If this review had been written a year ago, I would have been raving about its mouth-watering whole chicken stuffed with rice and sucking pig. Sadly, having returned for a second go-around recently, I was bitterly disappointed.
All the dishes that I had came back for were no longer on the menu, save for the suckling pig. Serenity's menu, now much more streamlined, seems to indicate that the restaurant won't be around much longer. The restaurant, once packed to the brim and bustling with a Spanish live band, was barely full on a weekend and the stage was empty.The food no longer justifies the high price they charge.
I'm not really sure if you should consider Serenity a high-end restaurant, considering its location right smack in the busy section of Vivo City, so it's ambience is not really exclusive.
I decided to try a spattering of stuff from the menu including the paella, sautéed clams, fried sliver fish, a garden salad and a warm chocolate cake.
Several hits and misses here, but overall the paella which was saffron rice lined with chicken, prawns, squid and mussels was probably the best of the lot. The sautéed clams were over-doused with white wine in my opinion, but if you like the pungent flavour, it just be what the doctor ordered for you. The fried silver fish was competent enough, although can anyone do any wrong with fried sliver fish?
Don't ask me how it compares to authentic Spanish food as I've not been to Spain, but for all things considered, the food should be palatable to anyone who has a preference for Western cuisine.
The wine selection is over-priced - half the selection you can get from wine shops at considerably less cost, so I would not splash unnecessarily here (unless you want to).
It might interest you to know that the band plays two to three sets - a repertoire of light and lounge music. Nothing too raucous here, which is great especially if you want to have a conversation over dinner.
I think depending on what you were expecting, the result can be a love-it or hate-it feeling when you dine here. So don't expect exclusivity with fine-dining service, but as an occasional splurge into a menu less-travelled, then this place may be just for you.
We had only three sides but the bill amounted to quite a hefty sum above 50. And yet, despite what we paid, the food was so-so at best. We had grilled squid in extra virgin olive oil, smashed egg with iberico ham, and roast potatos with (what I think was) romesco sauce.
Sounds like quite a feast, no? But don't be fooled by pictures in the menu and don't be fooled by the fact that it's some high-end place. Ultimately, the food -- the taste, the flavour -- does not match up to their visual appeal on the menu and the posh decor of the place.
What our sides had in common was their surprising blandness, save for the smashed egg with iberico ham, and especially their greasiness. The potatoes and eggs and squid were all swimming in grease, and we forcing down forkful after greasy forkful and consuming so much grease that we might as well have downed a whole bottle of oil. Yes, we ordered grilled squid with extra virgin olive oil, so there's bound to be oil. But then again, you don't douse the food in oil, do you? You **drizzle**. The squid was perhaps the hardest to choke down. Not only was it unbearably greasy, it was also unbearably bland. It needed salt and flavour. Strangely enough, despite how much oil there was, there was barely a hint of flavour in every bite, not the mellow, fruity notes characteristic of extra virgin olive oil even. And this led us to suspect that they are either using some other kind of oil or a very low-grade olive oil which has only a very mild flavour. The squid itself, apart from its blandness, was extremely rubbery and hard to tear apart (even with our teeth), So, honestly, chewing on that squid was almost akin to chewing on a grease-soaked slipper. Horrible, really.
The eggs and iberico ham wasn't as bad but there wasn't anything special about it. It was also too greasy. And we would have preferred the combination of eggs and ham in Eggs Benedict.
The third side of roast potatoes was quite bad, though not quite as bad as the squid. Like the squid, though, it needed seasoning and flavour. It was mostly plain mush in the mouth and very boring (and torturous, needless to say) to eat. It might have helped had the potatoes come in smaller chunks.
All in all, don't waste your money on this place.
For the first time, I spent about 100 - 120 dollars just on 2 main dishes and an ala carte (If I am not wrong, it was clams). It is really expensive and definitely not advisable for students or part-timers to dine there. However, the ambiance is marvelous.
Entering the restaurant really give you a Spanish feel. Besides the excellent customer service they provide us, I have really enjoy the music and the performance from the singers and dancers. The taste of the food seems normal to me, and I seriously think that the food is overcharged.
Because of the price, its rating is therefore a 2.5, at least in my perspective.
My cousin and I had Spanish food at Serenity bar and restaurant last week. It was my first time trying Spanish food and I was game to give Serenity a try due to their menu spread. Boy, I was alarmed with their spread of over 50 dishes. I’m not kidding. Just tapas alone, which is appetizers, mainly bread dishes spread over 5-6 pages in their menu.
We decided to give patatas bravas ($15.80) a try being the potato fans we are. Also, we had paella valen ($53) to share as paella is the traditional dish of Spain. It is basically saffron rice with mussels, squids and tiger prawns. The way of preparation of this dish is somewhat interesting and very different. But, I thoroughly enjoyed eating the paella. Portion was relatively huge for the amount we paid. A disappointment was that ice water was charged at $2. So, both of us decided to have mocktails instead. I had apple tempo while my cousin had mango tropicana both of which went well with our paella. Both mocktails costs $10.
Ambience in Serenity was good with their friendly service staff. Also, they had an in-house band playing Spanish music which made enhanced our whole dining experience.