Olive Garden Opens in Manila! (What to Expect)

Olive Garden, the largest American-Italian restaurant chain in the US, finally opens in Manila. It is a division of Darden Restaurants (DRI) which has 900+ restaurants globally. The Philippine franchise is professionally run by The Bistro Group, known for bringing in successful American franchises like Friday’s and Denny’s.

Olive Garden Reel

Balikbayans and Filipinos who have been to the US love the Olive Garden brand for its wholesome ambiance and never ending soup, salad, bread, and lots of grated parmesan cheese.

Here’s what to expect from the Olive Garden flagship branch in the Philippines.


ABOUT OLIVE GARDEN

The Olive Garden flagship branch in Manila opens in Mall of Asia’s South Entertainment Mall where Italianni’s used to be located. It’s also near the Decathlon store.

On cooler nights the al fresco seating area is perfect for a Manila Sunset session while eating together with friends and family.

OLIVE GARDEN MANILA
📍 Level 2, South Entertainment Mall, Mall of Asia
⏰ Open Daily 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
FB: Olive Garden Philippines
IG: @olivegardenphilippines

It is quite spacious, and there is a variety of seat options. Love the woven lights and dividers.

Reserve the booth tables for more intimate dining or the lounge sofa section for casual family style dining.

Appetizers, Soups & Salad, Classic Entrees, Create your Own Pasta, Desserts, Kids
Featured Cocktails, Beverages, Wine, Liquors, Sangrias, Beer, Soda & Coffee

We loved the cocktails, the never-ending first course, and the Italian pasta section.


The cocktail program, including the non-alcoholic beverages, is something to look forward to.

HIBISCUS-OH! (₱250)
White rum, hibiscus syrup, orange juice, fresh sour, and simple syrup 

This orange hibiscus sour, with a citrusy buzz in a Japanese garden presentation, is the best. A bit sweet though, so ask for the syrup to be served on the side to control the sweetness.

 ITALIAN MARGARITA (₱275)
Frozen Margarita is made with Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila, triple sec and topped with amaretto, a sweet Italian Liqueur (served on the side).

The Italian Margarita is their signature, with silver tequila and served with their signature Italian liquor on the side which you can shoot separately or mix with the margarita.


NEVER ENDING FIRST COURSE

Never-Ending Soup, Salad AND Breadsticks (₱495) 

Yes, you can just order the eat all you can soup, salad and breadsticks, which are all good and taste like the ones at Olive Garden in the US.

Famous House Salad, breadsticks OR your choice of homemade soup (₱395)

You can choose between the soup or the breadsticks for less than ₱100.

Zuppa Toscana — Our favorite!
Spicy Italian Sausage, kale, and potatoes in a creamy broth
Chicken & Gnocchi 
Creamy soup made with roasted chicken, Italian dumplings, and spinach
Minestrone
Fresh vegetables, beans, and pasta in a light tomato broth

All the soups are quite good but our favorite is the Toscana with Italian sausage and kale. Some like the fresh minestrone soup with vegetables in a light tomato broth. The gnocchi is also good but quite filling considering you’ll still eat pasta for your main course.


APPETIZERS

 Shrimp Fritto Misto (₱625)
Over a half-pound of shrimp mixed with fresh vegetables, hand-breaded, and lightly fried with marinara and spicy ranch. 

This is our favorite, with crispy shrimps and fried vegetables in spicy ranch and marinara sauce. Good to share and best to eat while warm and crispy.

Lasagna Fritta (₱450 | 795)
Parmesan breaded lasagna, served with homemade alfredo and meat sauce 

One of their signature appetizers. Think lasagna but in fried chunks filled with oozing alfredo sauce topped with marinara sauce and grated parmesan cheese. A bit heavy but yum.


CLASSIC ENTREES

Come with the Never-Ending First Course of Soup OR Salad and Breadsticks

Tour of Italy (₱1,245)
Chicken Parmigiana, Lasagna Classico, and signature Fettuccine Alfredo

All their signature pasta dishes in one plate that’s good for family sharing.

Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara (₱740 | ₱940)
Chicken and shrimp sautéed in a creamy sauce with bacon and roasted red peppers, over spaghetti

Their creamy carbonara sauce is a bit different, not as white and just light, served with shrimp and chicken on top. You can order it full portion size like the ones in the US, but the half-portions are already quite food for sharing. We loved this.

Chicken Alfredo (₱725 | ₱925)
Sliced grilled chicken and signature alfredo sauce over fettuccine

There are different variations of the alfredo pasta. Order their bestseller with chicken.

Grilled Chicken Margherita (₱645 | ₱845)
Topped with freshly chopped tomatoes, mozzarella, basil pesto, and lemon garlic sauce. Served with parmesan-crusted Zucchini.

I find the first course heavy if you eat all the carbs. It’s better at times to order your main course as a protein with these parmesan-crusted zucchinis for a healthier experience.

6 OZ Sirloin (₱1,295)
Grilled 6 oz sirloin topped with garlic herb butter. Served with a side of fettuccine alfredo.

For special occasions, you can order their sirloin steak for a meaty option.


DESSERTS

Warm Italian Doughnuts Zeppoli (₱395)
Doughnuts are made to order and tossed in vanilla sugar. Served with raspberry or chocolate sauce.

The doughnut itself is good—soft and crusty on the outside with just a touch of vanilla sugar. You can dip them in chocolate for a satisfying finish. Order Nespresso coffee to go with the dessert.

Strawberry Cheesecake (₱475)
Creamy and decadent cheesecake topped with strawberries

They also have other classic desserts like strawberry cheesecake just for variety.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, we love the Olive Garden Manila experience because of the never-ending first course, the overflowing grated parmesan cheese, the cocktail program, and your classic American-Italian pasta dishes. Best to order the entrees which come with the breadstick and soup OR salad options for additional ~₱200.

Our favorites would be the Hibiscus-Oh! for their cocktails, Zuppa Toscana for the soup, Shrimp Fritto Misto for the appetizer, Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara and Grilled Chicken Magherita for the mains. End with the Zeppoli and Nespresso for dessert. Budget about ₱700 head + cocktails.

This is a good place to go when you just want simple soups, salad and Italian pastas.

Congratulations to Olive Garden, Darden Restaurants group and The Bistro Group for successfully opening in Manila despite the 2 year delay because of the pandemic!

OLIVE GARDEN MANILA
📍 Level 2, South Entertainment Mall, Mall of Asia
⏰ Open Daily 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
FB: Olive Garden Philippines
IG: @olivegardenphilippines

Live an Awesome Life with Christ,

Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Thank you to our friends from Bistro for the Olive Garden preview experience. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. We will try their pizza on our next visit.

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