Thursday, May 18, 2017

Restaurant Love: Amici

Amici used to be one of my go to restaurants when I want comfort food like pasta and cake. I still remember frequenting its pioneer branch in Don Bosco just to get a scoop of its sweet dessert. But the crazy number of new restaurants popping here and there made my trips less frequent and the insane traffic surrounding Makati and SM Megamall made me hesitant to be a mile near those areas. Those were true till I got to sample its new dishes. 

Long time no taste, Amici!

It has been quite a while since I visited Amici's branch in Ayala Triangle. And nothing seemed to have changed. I was still greeted by friendly staff and the dining area has ample space and cool enough to beat the scorching heat outside. But this well-loved brand has something new and yummy, thanks to its Executive Chef Paolo Moran, who just came back from Italy after working as chef in various restaurants in Florence and Sicily.
We were treated to several scrumptious new additions to the Amici menu and we started off with Spinach Artichoke (PHP285). 
It took great will and effort for me not to finish this plate meant for sharing. Since I usually start the day skipping breakfast, I was already famished by 11 am. And it was absolutely hard to just get one or two of the crunchy parmesan coated pizza crust wedges. That alone was good enough but of course, the creamy spinach artichoke dip was too tempting to pass. The blend of cheese and creamy dip was heavenly. I loved its light taste making it a great appetizer. 
Next served was the Bacon and Cheese Gnocchi (PHP368) and it was one of my favorites! 
The handmade Italian style pasta pillows made of potatoes were amazing! 
The chewy texture was addicting and the sauce made of asiago cheese and parmesan would definitely delight cheese lovers. Though one bowl is good for two, I could easily finish it with ease.
I was a bit worried to indulge in the squid ink dish Pasta Nero (PHP398) as I had another event to attend to right after that afternoon. But I totally went YOLO after having my first mouthful. The spectacular squid ink and pomodoro sauce was like Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra serenading my taste buds. I fell hard for its slight tangy taste. The calamari on top was very flavorful as well and added texture to the smooth dish. I would have loved it more though if there were more calamari. 
The Italian Burger (PHP368) was yet another favorite. It was hard not to like this meaty goodness when its patty is mixed with Italian sausage and seasonings making it extra flavorful. It was also a party of different textures as this filling burger has onion rings aside from the usual greens and cheese. 
The bread too is made extra special as it uses butter toasted brioche instead of the typical dry sesame topped buns. 
And just when I thought this is the hottest summer we've had, things got even hotter with the Spicy Italian Sausage Pizza (PHP468) and Seafood Diablo (PHP378). We were warned that these two dishes are hot but I wanted to test my limits. 
And the Spicy Italian Sausage was indeed too spicy for me. However, it was the I-want-more-even-when-it-burns kind of spice. Thankfully, this pizza comes with a side serving of honey that helps balance the heat of the Italian sausages. I topped mine with a teaspoonful of honey and I got to enjoy my slice of pizza without having to grab a pitcher of water. 
The Seafood Diablo reminded me of seafood marinara but with a spicy kick. The beautiful pasta topped with clams, mussels and shrimps had that delectable tangy spaghetti taste but made hotter by chili flakes. The great thing with this dish though is that you could request for it to be milder or spicier depending on your preference. 
We were all getting full when Bistecca Striploin Steak (PHP795) was served. 
Thanks to my extra tummy dedicated to steak, I managed to indulge in a piece or two of the succulent beef and some of the sauteed mushrooms and mixed vegetables. 
Other sides available for this dish are rice pilaf and baked potatoes. 
To cap our meal, we each had a scoop of Matcha Gelato (PHP90/scoop). The green dessert was matcharap! I love that it had a strong green tea taste yet not too overwhelming to the point of it tasting bitter. 
Overall, it was a superb lunch. It sure was hard to pick a favorite among the delectable dishes but if I were to choose, I'd go with the Pasta Nero. It was hands down the best squid ink pasta I've had to date. 

Amici is located at Ayala Triangle Gardens, Salcedo Village, Makati City. They also have branches in Tomas Morato, Mall of Asia, Greenhills, SM City North EDSA, SM Megamall, Diliman, McKinley Hill and Don Bosco Makati.

Amici Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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