Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Spices: Cantina Sicilianita

Being the only restaurant in a row of business enterprises, I didn't have any expectations of this place. I thought this would just be another run of the mill restaurant. I practically pass by here everyday as it is located in Shaw Blvd, Manadaluyong. And it was not until I read something about this place that we decided to give it a try.

Cantina Sicilianita

Restaurant was relatively small, seats around 20 people. Looking at the menu, all of the dishes they serve were Italian and it was such a joy to see that they serve wine. We got a bottle of wine from Sicily, a Nero D Avola that was made by Cellaro. It was my first time to taste this wine variety. Smell was slightly fruity and flavor was slightly dry with soft to medium tannins.

What I found amazing is that for a small restaurant, the wines are in a separate refrigerator. The red was brought out chilled to the perfect temperature and prices were so cheap. It's a sign that the owner is a serious wine drinker and lover.

Cellaro Nero D' Avola - Php650

We got to try two of the pasta dishes, the first of which is the Gamberetti Fra Diavolo. The Linguine was cooked to al dente perfection, shrimps were plump and juicy and the sauce was simple and flavorful. The pasta dish was so easy to eat that it made us take one forkful after another.

Gamberetti Fra Diavolo - Php210

I was a bit skeptical in ordering the Black Truffle Pasta because of my previous experiences of having this in other restaurants. It is a known fact that restos would use synthetic truffle oil but most of the time the truffle pasta dishes wouldn't even have a hint of the aromatic oil. When the Black Truffle Pasta was served, the scent of the aromatic oil was evident and again every little component of the dish was cooked perfectly. What's more admirable is this dish was honest cause written on the menu was the words '...mushrooms marinated in black truffle infused virgin olive oil.'

Black Truffle Pasta - Php240

The last main we tried was the Crusted Fish with Mushroom Risotto. Really simple dish cooked well. The crusted dory was lightly coated and it had a pretty nice crunch. I would have like my risotto a little bit creamier but flavor wise it was spot on. Not the best risotto but it was way way better and affordable than the other ones I tried around the metro.

Crusted Fish with Mushroom Risotto - Php300

I read about people raving about Cantina's Cannolli and we were so lucky that we got the very last piece of the day. The server told us that usually the chef would just make a single batch for each day. We had the Dolci Combo which includes a cup of Cafe Americano and a Cannoli. The coffee they used was locally grown Arabica beans from Benguet, one of my favorite local coffee bean region. . The cannolli was love at first bite, the Italian pastry dessert was to die for. The pastry dough was thick and baked to a perfect crisp and the cream cheese filling had the right balance of sweetness and sourness, it even had pistachio bits in it.

Dolci Combo

While finishing up our cup of coffee, we had a really nice conversation with owner and chef, Mark Buhain. I told him that I really enjoyed the meal, ingredients were of great quality and prices were so affordable. The whole experience was like eating a delicious and lovely home cooked meal. It wasn't anything fancy, really simple, honest to goodness food.

Cantina Sicilianita
Address: 548 Facilities Center Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City
Tel. No.: 570 2905
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  1. My workmate has gone there a few weeks ago and liked it as well. Should give this place a visit soon. :)

    1. Hi michy! I'm also itching to go back and dine here again soon!