C’Italian Dining, or “C,” was nominated as one of the best Italian restaurants during the 2010 Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secret Awards2. Ironic that the chef is actually French, but I digress.
Sure enough, the Junkies team made the trip to Pampanga, GPS on hand and predictably got lost. Let’s just chalk it up to either a faulty GPS map or let’s say C’s location has a shitty location.3
Nice ambience. A little bit dark and some really cheesy Italian music, but not unlike a place I visited in Florence once. As with every Italian meal, bread is served — this time with a cheese and pesto dip. Bread was fresh and hot; pesto was fragrant. Good start to the meal!
Two pasta courses this time. First, the Penne Roberto, which is a white sauce-based pasta with chicken fillet, gorgonzola cheese, cream, and assorted herbs. Let me just say I’m not a fan of white sauces, but this was actually pretty damn good.
I’m a big red sauce guy and the Spaghetti Amatriciana was a hit. Filipinos cook their tomato sauce on the sweeter side, which I really hate. Really. This was good, but a bit on the salty side. Came with bacon and mushrooms, which was pretty far off the traditional Amatriciana.4
Pasta was al dente, which shouldn’t even be commended. Pasta should always be al dente, people!
As much as you may love pasta, people come to C for their panizzas. In fact, you’d have to be a fool to come all the way and NOT order these bad boys. Thin, crepe-like pizzas served with arugula and alfalfa — roll it up like a cigar, then eat it. We went for the Panizza Jando, which comes with Italian salami, garlic, and chili flakes. Awesome combo!
The panizza was pretty good. Salami is never a bad thing but I didn’t get a hint of the chili flakes. They must’ve heard one of our mates ask whether this would be too spicy, which either says a lot about their service or doesn’t say as much with the kitchen. I’d go with the first.
Overall, I’d say the food was pretty good, but I probably won’t spend 700 bucks for a plate of pasta much less drive all the way to Pampanga just for this.