Al Dente (ahl DEHN-teh) “Firm to the bite.” Term referring to the proper degree of doneness for pasta or risotto, denoting that it should still be somewhat chewy, neither hard nor mushy.
Join me in welcoming Al Dente to Manila! If you have been to Iloilo, Al Dente is the first genuine Italian restaurant in Iloilo located at Sarabia Manor Convention Center along Gen. Luna street. This is Chef Pauline’s baby and you should read this article first before proceeding: Chef Pauline: Pauline Banusing’s culinary skills and enterprising spirit liven up Iloilo’s restaurant scene. She owns a number of restaurant in Iloilo including Citrus Global Bistro, Maki Japanese Restaurant, and Villa Regalla Seafood Restaurant in Villa Beach (head to head with Tatoy’s and Breakthrough). So, most likely if you are in Iloilo, Chef Pauline’s restaurants would have welcomed you to that lovely city. Now, it is our turn to give her a warm welcome to Manila 🙂
I love their pizza because of their famous biscuit-like pizza crust which makes it unique and interesting. The crust is sweet that blends very well with their right choices of toppings. I love the Formaggio which is their 5 cheese equivalent with ricotta, mozzarella, feta, blue cheese (I love this), and parmesan cheese. The pasta is very good as well and delivered to its promised of “al dente” cooking. Although my wife and I debated whether the Lasagna should also be cooked in al dente style or it should be softer. Pizza and pasta are their core items in the menu and if you venture in the salad and fish department, I should warn you that they are not fresh (yet — I do hope they improve on this).
The ambiance is like bistro style with both air conditioned area and al fresco dining places. I found it weird that it is located in the Silver Auto Mall area where you have a view of the parked cars in the background. The silver auto mall would also be the home of Forest Bistro, Baguio’s famous bistro place. This is one alternative place you can dine if you are in the Tiendesitas or SM Hypermarket, Ortigas. Or if you are like me, looking for a place to eat with ample parking slots, good food, and still relatively small crowd (I’m sure not for long).
Here is a snap shot of the al dente ambiance. My son loved the pizza crust biscuits 🙂 I’m glad that they have a baby/ booster seat which means that they would like to cater to families. And maybe a changing station is in the works.
Al Dente Chef’s Fresh Salad (P95+). Fresh Garden Salad with Italian Dressing
I have to disagree with the fresh description. Soggy is the more appropriate word.
My wife asked me, is this the one which was supposedly with macadamia nuts? We both agree that the seabass was not fresh. As for the lasagna, I liked it while my wife just gave it an OK thumbs up.
1. Formaggio (P250+). Herbed flavored marinara sauce baked with melted italian cheeses — ricotta, mozzarella, feta, blue cheese and parmesan cheese. (My Favorite!)
2. Godfather’s (P280+). Lean bacon, pepperoni, italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, olives and mozzarella cheese.
3. Pepperoni, Mushroom and Sausage Plaza (P250). Slices of pepperoni italian sausage, and mushrooms on top of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
4. Chicken Barbecue (P225+). Generous chicken strips with home made barbecue sauce, mozzarella cheese and onions.
Ground Floor, Silver City Auto Mall
(in front of Super SM Hypermarket, Ortigas)
Frontera Verde, Pasig City