When my dear friend Achie Kay invited me to try out Via Antonella, I have to admit, I really didn't know what to expect. From the name of the restaurant, I can deduce it serves Italian cuisine. But lo and behold, after checking out their menu, it turns out that this barely two-month old resto serves international fare with Filipino cuisine as its roots.
While I trust my friend's taste when it comes to food, more often than not, I end up not being crazy about joints which doesn't have a solid identity. But my skepticism took the backseat as soon as I stepped foot inside Via Antonella. Sure, I still don't know if the food is any good, but the interior is so nice that I'd like to give the place the chance to prove me wrong. Clean white walls, arched windows, wooden furniture, egg tray-carpeted high ceilings, and light fixtures that beautifully hang like stars in the night sky...
|✓ Rootbeer Espresso (P135)|
The Meal Starters
I thought it would still take a while before our brunch officially starts. But just a few minutes after our drinks were served, the meal starters were already brought to our table.
We were each served with a bowl of Cream of Shiitake and Leeks. It may look small, but believe me, this portion is just enough to whet the palate. Actually, even a tad more than enough! And while it may look like a plain Jane, let me tell you that it isn't. This may even well be included in my list of favorite soups and chowders to date. Seriously! Every spoonful gives off a hearty flavor of shiitake mushrooms with pizzazz from the leeks.
|✓ Cream of Shiitake and Leeks (P125)|
We also got to try the Cheesy Sisig Lumpia which is a serving of the Pinoy favorite pulutan spiked with green chillies and mozzarella cheese, rolled in lumpia wrap, and deep-fried to a nice crisp. While I commend this appetizer for not being oily, I'd have to say that I still prefer my sisig sans the wrap. Maybe it's just me, but I found myself too excited to devour what's inside the lumpia encasing when I was eating this. Haha!
|Cheesy Sisig Lumpia (P155)|
Next, we had the Crispy Adobo Wings and Chips which I really liked. Each wing was fried to a crisp and coated with sweet and spicy adobo glaze. It's like your double-fried chicken, but Pinoy style! Definitely a treat and a perfect order for foodies who love to papak and eat with their hands. For me though, it made me crave for white rice. Haha!
|✓ Crispy Adobo Wings and Chips (P175)|
All-Day Breakfast, Pasta and Burger
Before going straight to the mains, we first placed our stomachs to the test as we sampled an item each from the other food categories on Via Antonella's menu.
I've never had chicken ala king served on a bed of waffles, but here we were offered with this unique breakfast item, the Waffle Ala King. As weird as it may look, everything worked well on this plate -- the tender and juicy grilled chicken, the aromatics sautéed in butter, and the bechamel sauce drenched over every element, the waffles included. And while the waffles weren't as crispy as I would've wanted, I really liked the whole dish.
|✓ Waffle Ala King (P175)|
For pasta, we were served with the Chili-Tuyo Spaghetti, one of my all-time favorite Pinoy pasta dishes ever! And while I think I make a mean spicy tuyo pasta dish, I'd give this rendition a thumbs up. You definitely get to enjoy the saltiness of the tuyo, and the mild kick which makes every forkful of this al dente-cooked spaghetti more enjoyable.
|✓ Chili-Tuyo Spaghetti (P185)|
To satisfy the burger boss in us, we had the Antonella Burger which packs layers after layers of quarter pounder Wagyu beef patty, caramelized onions, pickles, TLC, house dressing, mustard and ketchup, and sesame bun. Now, while I'm a big fan of gourmet burgers, I can definitely say that this straight-forward and unpretentious ensemble is worthy of attention, especially from burger fanatics. The star of this burger, the beef patty, is super juicy and super meaty. Well, what can you expect from Wagyu burger patties?
|Antonella Burger (P195)|
The Main Entrées
We were already full enough even before the mains were served. But as Achie Kay advised, we really need to save some space for the main course. And I'm very glad I did.
For mains, we first had the fork-tender Baby Back Ribs -- a half slab of American porkloin ribs, grilled and basted with the resto's own mesquite smoked barbecue sauce. I love how the meat is super tender and oozes with sweet, savory and smoky flavors. Of course, it still can't rival my fave ribs place. But biases aside, this serving is pretty good!
|Baby Back Ribs (P395)|
Forgive my poor choice of angle, but as much as the sauce looks gross on the photo, this serving of Pininyahang Roasted Chicken which I oddly read as pinahiyang roasted chicken, tasted divine! The sous vide-cooked then roasted chicken was super moist, super tender and super flavorful. Even if I don't dig pineapples in my savory dishes, this really got me foodgasming with every spoonful. The grilled pineapples were a treat too! And this comes from someone who'd take out the pineapples from her Hawaiian pizza!
|✓ Pininyahang Roasted Chicken (P395)|
Another dish I really love is the Hole in the Bone which is the resto's take on the classic Italian dish, Osso Buco -- beef shank slowly braised in beef stock, roasted tomatoes and mixed aromatics, then smothered with its own braising liquid. Now, doesn't that sound like porn? With how it was meticulously prepared, the meat came out very tender, very succulent, and straight-forwardly good. Oh, and another thing I loved about this dish is the mashed kamote siding it came with. Really, really addicting stuff!
|✓ Hole in the Bone (P395)|
We already had so much food, but Achie Kay claimed it ain't over until we get to try another one of the best-sellers, the Lamb Kaldereta Rice Meal. While I usually love my lamb as steak, I can't deny that I really enjoyed this soft and tender slow-braised lamb in kaldereta sauce. It didn't taste gamey at all, although of course, you'd still know it's lamb because of its distinct flavor. Sadly, this doesn't come in a for-sharing portion though.
|Lamb Kaldereta Rice Meal (P195)|
Since we've already had this much food, it would be a sin to miss the desserts. Our stomachs have held it out this far, so why stop now?
Via Antonella currently has only 1 dessert item on the menu, the Waffle ala Mode which is available in 2 variants: Peach-Mango and Banana-Mango.
|Peach-Mango Waffle ala Mode (P125)|
This treat makes use of freshly-baked waffles with caramelized fruits, vanilla ice cream, and drizzled with a choice of chocolate or caramel sauce. Just from the name and presentation alone, you can already tell that this is a very straight-forward dessert. Tastes good, but lacks the wow factor though. Maybe given more time, Via Antonella can come up with sweet treats as impressive and interesting as their savory items.
|Banana-Mango Waffle ala Mode (P125)|
While I went in a little skeptical, Via Antonella has proven me wrong. Its menu might be a combination of international fare and Pinoy favorites with a twist, definitely not streamlined, but it's something they do very well. From the appetizers down to the mains, I can't find a single item I didn't like. Actually, I've even fallen in love with some of their dishes! And while the dessert can use some improvement or developing, I'm happy to say, this trip to Via Antonella has converted me to a believer. With honest to goodness food, an invigorating ambiance, prompt and courteous service, and very reasonable price tags, Via Antonella is indeed a great addition to the foodie scene in Teachers Village.
Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 4.5/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Ambiance - 4.5/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Via Antonella, Teachers Village
#189 Maginhawa cor. Makadios St.,
Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
Metro Manila, Philippines
Posted in: comfort food, filipino, food, fusion, honest food, international, quezon city, teachers village