A few months ago, I got to visit the newly-renovated branch of Italianni's Restaurant in Gateway Mall. And this time, it's their SM Mall of Asia restaurant which got a make over!
From a cramped Italian restaurant, Italianni's in SM Mall of Asia can now comfortably seat over 120 guests. Although the dining space can accommodate about 80 people prior to the renovation, the tables were so close to each other that it's hard to keep your conversations private. It was also very difficult to get a table before, especially during weekends when families and big groups of long-time friends flock the mall.
And while Italianni's Restaurant in SM Mall of Asia is now bigger and even offers a function room, there are things which I'm glad to have remained unchanged. Sticking to its theme, the restaurant still exudes elegance on top of a promise of comfort. Lighting is still pretty warm, complementing the browns and greens of the wide, cozy space.
Of course, we didn't visit the restaurant just to look around, appreciate and talk about its renovation all night. We also had our evening meal starting with a serving of the bestselling Sicilian Chicken Salad (Lunch P425; Regular P650) which is a light, colorful and beautiful ensemble of chicken breast pieces on a bed of romaine lettuce, mangoes, red grapes and pine nuts in a lemon-mustard dressing.
Another salad item we had was the Four Seasons (P595) which is an enticing plate of crispy romaine lettuce, green apples, tomatoes, dried berries, grapes and peaches topped with caramelized walnuts, Parmesan flakes and honey shrimps, and then drenched with a four season dressing. While I enjoyed the previous savory salad, I liked how sharp and refreshing this ensemble was, truly a nice appetite whetter.
We also had one of my favorite items in the restaurant, the Angus Steak Pizza (P575). Ever since I've tried this at the Gateway branch, I have been constantly craving for this carnivore pleaser packed with minced angus beef, mozzarella cheese, green bell peppers, caramelized onions and mushroom cream sauce on top of a chewy flat bread.
We also got to sample another pizza, the Seafood Mango Pizza (P625) which is loaded with assorted fresh seafood in a pesto cream sauce, heapings of mozzarella cheese, and bright mango slices. While I love the combination of seafood and mangoes in a salad, this is the first time I've tried it on a pizza. I loved the blend of flavors though since the earthy, savory seafood is highlighted by the sweet refreshing flavors of the mango.
We also had the Seafood Cioppino (Lunch P395; Regular P595; Abbondanza P895) which I ate as my main course. And just like the last time, I again fell in love with this sweet, tangy and slightly spicy plate of al dente-cooked pasta in red wine and basil pesto sauce which had loads of mussels, clams, shrimps and calamari. Simply delish!
Although I'm more of a red sauce kind of gal, my companions were all really digging this plate of Creamy Crab Spaghetti (P425), another al dente-cooked pasta pimped with Alaskan crab meat and fresh herbs and spices in a rich, thick and creamy white sauce.
For pesto and sausage lovers, there's also the Penne with Italian Sausage (P495), a really filling pasta dish of penne sautéed with caramelized onions and crispy pancetta in pesto sauce, and topped with slices of Italian sausage and Parmesan. I really love the smoky and earthy flavors of this pasta item, next to the Seafood Cioppino though.
To end on a sweet note, we had a serving of the Tartufo (P450), a three-layer chocolate cake made up of both dark and white chocolate mousse then covered with a super fudgy frosting. I know, price is expensive for just a slice of chocolate cake. But believe me, this order can be shared even by 3 people. It's that big when it comes to chocolatey flavors!
We also got to try a pretty new sweet treat, the Limon de Cielo (P225) which is a soft and smooth baked custard dessert topped with caramel sauce and sugar-coated with lime zest. Although this may look like your ordinary leche flan, do not be fooled! In all honesty, this is one of my most favorite desserts so far. I just loved how sharp and creamy this item is without being overly sweet. The downside though is that I'll need one order just for myself. Not sharing this lovely dessert with anyone!
Another dessert we had was this beautiful plate of Panna Cotta (P295) which is a freshly-made Italian vanilla custard served with a choice of mango sauce, blueberry sauce, or honey with walnuts. For this trip, we decided to go for the mango sauce which made our panna cotta really colorful and pretty. And while I so love how this treat looks on the plate, I unfortunately found it too sweet for my palate.
The wide and cozy newly-renovated space of Italianni's Restaurant in SM Mall of Asia is already a sweet treat on its own. However, The Bistro Group gives us more reasons to visit this Italian food haven tomorrow, October 10, 2012, as they'll be slashing 50% off on every diner's total bill! And take note, no minimum order required to avail of the promo.
Even after several trips to Italianni's, I still stand by my verdict that this elegant and cozy restaurant offers great food, great service and great ambiance which The Bistro Group is widely known for. Yes, price tag is hefty, but you'll really get your money's worth every single time. A great tip to somehow lower the dining cost though is going here for lunch, or sharing orders with either your date or your friends. Or, why not get the most out of your dining experience for less by taking advantage of the 50% off the total bill promo?
To further help you decide which items to order, check out my previous post about Italianni's new dishes and old favorites during my visit to the renovated Gateway branch.
Taste - 4.5/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 2.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 2.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Italianni's Restaurant, SM Mall of Asia
2/F SM Mall of Asia, Entertainment Mall, South Wing,
Ocean Dr. Manila Bay Reclamation Area,
Pasay City, Metro Manila