Among the many Spanish restaurants in Manila, probably no other can lay claim to having the longest staying power than ALBA. The man behind it is Anastacio de Alba, a native of Avila in Spain, who first set foot on this shore on February 7, 1952. For an individual like him, who has been cooking for a period of almost 40 years, one can easily assume that the man has a love of his craft.
–Chona S. Trinidad, Philippine Graphic, April 8, 1991.
One man alone is responsible for the Spanish food tradition in the Philippine public food eating and he is Anastacio de Alba. He enriched the restaurant scenes with his homemade chorizos, morcillas, Jamon Serrano, and many others.
–Doreen Fernandez†, Philippine Daily Inquirer, January 9, 1996
There’s no formula to the best paella. It is having the perfect timing, the correct taste, the right feel for the seasonings and especially the broth, the good eye and sense to check on the arroz. He makes those paellas “we die for” because he’s been making them since we were just kids. Time has seasoned and spiced up his paellas, just like it has done to him. No question about it. Don Alba is the best paella chef in the country –Padre de Paellas Pilipinas!
–Nancy Reyes-Lumen, Food Magazine, December 1996
His lengua must come from a soft-spoken ox (!) for it is very tender and delicious. Callos remain a very popular item on the menu, it is orange from the tomato sauce, sticky, tender, and very tasty. Is it worth a journey to ALBA? Most definitely!!! Happy Eating!
–Sandy Daza, Philippine Daily Inquirer, February 25, 1995
You cannot eat sentimental memories and make a business out of it. But isn’t it nice to dine in a place where the food brings back good feelings of the past and some of the best times of your life?
–Jullie Yap-Daza, Manila Standard, 1999
Malasa, that’s what Filipino cooking is all about. In the classic, refined sense of the word, it’s what Don Alba’s cooking is also all about. He has become an institution, THE KING OF SPANISH CUISINE!
–Abe Florendo, Today, August 6, 1995