There are two parts to this post: First, we had Deal Grocer coupons, which we used, and it was my mom’s birthday (and Chinese New Year), we decided to splurge a bit more and go for other items on the menu.Usually, when you do the coupon thing, you don’t get actual items from the menu. It’s a special set of dishes (not in the menu) for the deal. It’s a good idea to buy maybe 1 of those, then get other dishes to try everything out. The Christmas Deal was sold for P590.00 (or $13.10), which is supposedly worth P1,430.00 (or $31.80). But we’ll never know, will we?
First you get a Tomato Bisque with Grilled Tomato and White Cheese. It’s really clean in flavor and a fresh tomato taste out of it. Classic Italian flavors. Really nice.
For the main course, you have a choice of:
We went for the Grilled Swordfish with Sicilian grape caponata, citrus dressing, and mashed potatoes. Not bad, but nothing mind blowing especially when you compare it to the other dishes on the menu.
The deal came with a Roasted Garlic Pizza made with white wine, cream, and sage. I liked this a lot and I kept munching on these the whole time. I might have finished off more than half the pizza.
For dessert, it was a Warm Chocolate Cake with Salted Orange Caramel and Vanilla Gelato. I’ve never been a fan of desserts and especially vanilla ice cream (gelato or not). I just hate vanilla ice cream! I guess the dessert wasn’t bad, but I usually find desserts too sweet and this was no exception.
There was also a 200mL bottle of Prosecco Special Cuvee, Brut, Zonin (Italy), which I don’t think we’ve even opened.
Not a bad deal, but the real mind blowing shit are the items on the menu! Take note that they served everything in its proper order, not like this crappy post I’m writing. What I mean is, appetizers came before the main course and desserts came last. After all, we don’t like things to coming earlier than they have to, right5?Like any good Italian restaurant, the first thing they serve is bread. And they have good bread here! Best part is that you get dipping sauces of pesto and pomodoro, which is easily the best bread dippings I’ve had yet. Excellent pomodoro sauce and fresh basil flavors going on here.
This was probably the first time I’ve ever willingly ordered a salad. The Insalata Caprese — white Italian buffalo mozzarella, aged balsalmico, and ripe red tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, basil, and thyme — is probably the classic Italian flavor. They even have the Italian flag colors6. The mozzarella wasn’t as good as I had hoped, but I still loved this dish. It’s really simple and all about the ingredients. Really great and fresh tomatoes. Almost as good as the one I had in Greece. I would’ve ordered the Carpaccio di Manzo Wagyu, but my sister isn’t a fan of raw meat.
We were going back and forth on which pasta to order. Because it was Chinese New Year and my mom’s birthday, I was initially thinking about some long pasta for long life7. But we couldn’t help with going with the Lamb Lasagna. We just kept coming back to that item because it was quite unique. I mean, it isn’t everyday you find lamb in an Italian place and in Manila! Basically, it was ground lamb bolognese8, home made egg lasagna sheets, bechamel and layer melted cheese. Awesome dish!
The best part of the meal has to be the 200 grams of Carni Filetto Tagliata. It’s some expensive shit but let me tell you: it was worth every bite. It’s basically Wagyu steak tenderloin with roasted grapes, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms, and truffle mashed potatoes.
It has that great charred flavor and the meat was so tender. My only beef9 was there wasn’t fat, which is what you get with the tenderloin cut. I’m probably ordering the Bistecca ala Fiorentina next time but I’d need to maybe win the lottery first to pay 4,500 bucks. Nonetheless, fantastic shit! It was so good I finished half the plate despite (1) Mom should’ve gotten most of the share (it was her birthday after all) and (2) I already finished like half the pizza beforehand.
And you’d think it stopped there. The mashed potatoes were some serious shit, like they weren’t fucking around! The mashed potatoes with the swordfish was good, but nothing compared to the truffle mashed potatoes that came with the beef. That’s some hardcore food porn right there! They put in truffle oil there and I know that’s cheating a bit but we don’t really care10 as long as they’re really good, do we?
One last thing. EXCELLENT service! Just two things about that.
- They saw we were swatting away flies so they immediately bring in candles (without any prodding). They look nice, too.
- They overheard it was my mom’s birthday, so they sent in a chocolate cake for free. Again, there was no prodding.
Overall, awesome experience and just fantastic dishes! A bit on the expensive side (by Manila standards), but something I’d willingly pay for again. Probably my best Italian meal in Manila so far and definitely not my last visit to this place.