Ola Espana is one of the more popular restaurants in Cebu. Owned by Amparito Lhuillier, it's one of the several restaurants owned by the family from high society (another good resto they own is Pino). Ola Espana in Cebu is located at the Banilad Town Square. I was introduced to this place by one of my colleagues who was based in Cebu. We had a press launch for an event there, and my partners from Manila couldn't stop raving about the food there.
I was able to try Ola Espana, not in Cebu but in Davao. Located in a compound of restaurants beside Microtel Inn (I forgot the local name of the place), Ola Espana was full on a Sunday lunch. We had to wait for a table for around 10 minutes, and it was even in the extension area of the restaurant. And it's not surprising to see why it was packed. The place looked so cozy, yet brimming with energy. There was a deli as well, selling a lot of imported products, from pastas, to sauces, to sausages, and cheeses.
We ordered the Paella Valenciana, which was a seafood paella. It took quite a while to get this dish on the table, around 25 minutes, but they warm you when you order. The paella was delectable, sweet, salty and sour all at the same time. The seafood was cooked properly, i.e. not overcooked, except for some fish fillets that were already dry.
We also ordered a Roasted Chicken, which came out as a whole piece! We were overwhelmed with the size of the chicken swimming in its own juices. There potatoes, peas and olives around the plate. Again, it had a great balanced flavor and the white meat of the chicken (the part I only eat) was still tender and juicy. Oh, am I getting hungry now!
Our last dish was meant for one person, but I was told to order it. The Lengua came out in three slices, and smothered over a mushroom gravy sauce. The sauce was excellent with a strong earthy flavor. The lengua itself was tender, and also melted in my mouth. It was perfect, and I love lengua!
We ate a lot that lunch. With three people devouring, it was still impossible to finish what we ordered. We came out of Ola Espana with huge bellies and ready to take a siesta.