Hala Paella: A Taste of Spanish Comfort Food in Cebu City

On the night of my 35th birthday last 15 November 2015, I went out with my brother Nathan and cousin John Stephen. We headed out to Hala Paella at the Banilad Town Center. BTC has some good restaurants. We hoped this one would be another good find.

Hala Paella serves Spanish comfort food in Cebu. Grab one or two of their rice dish specials and pair it with one or two of their main courses, and you are good to go.

Hala Paella Restaurant in Cebu City Philippines
Hala Paella

Hala Paella Specials 

The Menu at Hala Paella Restaurant

Paella is the house specialty. It's name screams that out for crying out loud! There are six varieties available at Hala Paella: Chorizo, Aligue, Negra, Lechon, Valenciana, and Pollo. Chorizo has sweetened ground pork mixed with the rice. You can order three different sizes: Solo, Grande, and Familia. The solo size is actually a bit generous already as it can serve two to three people. We ordered three kinds of their rice specialty dish: Aligue, Negra, and the Valenciana.

If you are a fan of seafood, try the Aligue Paella. It has some crab sticks and crab fat mixed in the rice.

crab fat rice dish at Hala Paella Restaurant
Aligue paella

You can enjoy more seafood with Negra Paella. The dish features rice blackened by squid ink and also has some shrimp and squid bits mixed in the rice. 

rice blackened with squid ink at Hala Paella Restaurant
Paella Negra

When you want to have it all, the Valenciana is like the mother dish. It is abundantly sprinkled with clams, shrimp, squid, chorizo, and lechon.

Valenciana special rice dish at Hala Paella Restaurant
Paella Valenciana

Pollo Paella has chicken mixed with the rice. Lechon Paella obviously has the famed Cebu lechon mixed with the rice. The Spanish chorizo variety has sweetened ground pork mixed in the rice.

Main Courses

Filipinos love to eat their rice with viand or an entree. We Cebuanos are no different. At Hala Paella, you can order a main dish or two with their rice dishes. Main courses available are:

  • Chuletas or sweetened pork rib
  • Salpicao de Cerdo
  • Lengua
  • Callos
  • Cazuela or Pork Casserole with cheese
  • Gambas or sauteed shrimp in garlic
  • Calamares or deep fried breaded squid rings
  • Croquetas
  • Spanish Chorizo 
We tried their gambas and chuletas. The flavors on both dishes were okay. I personally liked the sweetened pork ribs. The meat though can be made a little more tender. I loved how there's a lot of garlic in the gambas. I'm a huge fan of garlic on my food so it wasn't a hard sell to me.

Sauteed shrimp in garlic at Hala Paella Restaurant
Gambas or sauteed shrimp in garlic

sweetened pork rib at Hala Paella Restaurant
Chuletas or sweetened pork rib

Location and Contact Information

Hala Paella is located at the Banilad Town Center (BTC) in Banilad, Cebu City. It's stall is right outside Dim Sum Break near the vehicle exit at BTC. For take out orders, you may dial +63 32 344 4252. You may also connect with them by liking their Facebook page.

Have you tried the specialty rice dishes at Hala Paella? What is your favorite variety? We'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. You may share them in the comments below.