Wednesday, September 19, 2018



Of course my first question to our host Matteo  was , Why Da Gianni?

Turned out that Da Gianni is the late  "nono" or grandfather  of  Matteo Guidicelli.  

For those not in the know,  Matteo  is the popular Filipino-Italian actor who is romantically linked to Sarah Geronimo the equally famous singer turned actress

Da Gianni Cucina Italiana is  all about paying homage to a wonderful nono (grandfather)  to Matteo and his sibs. Everything around the restaurant including the painting of the man on the horse ( painted by Da Gianni himself ),  the knick knacks on the bar, the photo of  Bridgitte Bardot ( famous French actress) were all there because they were important to nono Da Gianni.

Trivia : Check out the restroom for Bridgitte Bardot's portrait. Apparently BB is Nono Da Gianni's all time crush

Of course the food was also inspired by Da Gianni who called the Philippines home 40 years ago with nana Franca.  Matteo relates that growing up in Cebu, all they ate were Italian food cooked  from his grandparents' kitchen  Everything even the water was imported from Italy.

Yesterday thanks to Zomato,  we experienced Da Gianni  Cucina Italiana up close and personal through the stories of Matteo



Frittura Mista Di Mare P590
Beer  battered and deep fried assorted seafood and vegetables.
The batter was  not overly thick which I loved. It allowed the seafood and vegetables inside to shine. I also loved that although deep fried, it was not at all oily

Formaggio Tomino P380
Grilled  tomino cheese wrapped in prosciutto and served with arugula and cherry tomatoes.
I loved how simply it was presented letting the natural color of the greens , the redness of the cherry tomatoes  enhance the dish. The star of the show of course is the grilled tomino cheese lovingly wrapped in prosciutto. I tasted  a bit of saltiness from the prosciutto, the richness and creaminess of the tomino blending beautifully with the bitter-nuttiness of the arugula and the acidity and sweetness of the cherry tomatoes

Wild Mushroom Puff
Two kinds of mushrooms, minced onions cooked in cream sauce
It looked like a decadent  kind of pastry filled with   creamy cheese sauce. Think bechamel sauce with chunks of  shitake and portobello mushrooms enveloped by a  puff pastry bowl.  That cheese sauce was  thick and rich

Polpo Salad P465
Grilled octopus, mangoes, potato, olives, red raddish, arugula in lemon vinaigrette dressing

Polpo had always been a favorite whether it be in an Italian or Spanish cuisine. I am just amazed how the polpo was so tender. What is the secret to cooking it I wonder.  I loved the different flavors that amalgamated to result in a perfectly balanced taste and texture. That taste of the sea from the grilled octopus, the succulent sweet mango, the salty olives. the freshness from the red raddish, the nuttiness of the arugula ...all tied together by the lemon vinaigrette dressing

Eggplant Salad P390
Grilled eggplant, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, cherry tomatoes and Burrata in balsamic dressing.
Thoroughly enjoyed this salad. The grilled eggplant was surprisingly delicious. I loved the crunch on the lettuce and alfalfa sprouts lending a fresh  vibe to the whole dish. The burrata of course is an all time favorite. It provided the creamy component the dish needed.


 Quattro Formaggi P520
Four cheese topped with truffle paste
The piggery will be over the moon with joy when they see this. The family loves all kinds of cheese and pizza. This is a sure winner. I forgot to ask  though if they use the napolitana way of  creating pizza. Napolitana or not, that was some seriously delicious  4 cheese pizza

Carnevale P950
Salami milano, bacon, salsiccia, meatballs, prosciutto cotto, and  angus striploin
Sadly, I was not able to taste this variant huhu. 

 Porcini Rssotto P490
Porcini mushrooms in arborio risotto
While Im eating this I was thinking of my first son who would definitely enjoy this dish. He loves porcini rissoto and appreciates the skill required to make a perfect one.

Tip : For fans of Matteo, this is his favorite pasta

Parpardelle with Truffle Cream P450
Home made broad pasta noodles with black truffle cream sauce
From the Italian word "pappare" meaning to gobble up. These wide broad pasta are one of my favorites. Da Gianni's was freshly made from scratch per Matteo.  It was perfectly thin and al dente absorbing all that delicious black truffle cream sauce...yum!

Gamberi Linguini P425
Gragnnano pasta with garlic shrimp and chilis 
Apparently, this is Sarah Geronimo's favorite pasta dish, that is if I heard Matteo correctly. It was a simple dish. I loved that the linguini was perfectly al dente and the shrimps succulent. 

Gnocchi Ragu P420
Home made potato pasta with meat sauce

Gnocchi are dumplings made from semolina, potato, egg, cheese , etc. Ragu is an ubiquitous meat sauce  commonly served with pasta.

Da Gianni's Gnocchi  were pillowy , tender and cheesy perfectly complementing the meaty red sauce.  Do not be fooled by what seemed like a small portion.  Just a few of those delicious potato dumplings can easily fill you up.


Porchetta P780
Oven baked pork belly seasoned with herbs and spices

Surely that crackling skin is the winner in every porchetta dish served. It is the first one that disappears almost as soon as the plate lands on the table. And I say that based on  first hand experience earlier haha. Oh well the meat  was just as flavorful and enjoyable. The grilled  vegetables were a delight. They were juicy  and sweet with a bit of a crunch in them

Grilled Tenderloin P1600
Organic, grass-fed and 21 day wet-aged beef served with grilled vegetables
Cooked perfectly medium rare, it was such a joy sinking my teeth in that almost-melt-in-your-mouth tenderloin.

Slow-cooked Short Ribs P830
8 hour oven cooked ribs served with mash potatoes and carrots


Tiramisu Espresso P490
It did not look as refined and as pretty as the other desserts. What it lacked in presentation though, it more than made up for with its flavors. That robust espresso combined with cacao, the silky mascarpone and spongy savoiardi or Italian for lady fingers, all merged together to form  a wonderful dessert that is classically Italian

Coppo Tri Cioccilati P450
Omg 3 kinds of chocolates in one dessert.  I loved the contrast in texture- the silkiness of the chocolate mousse interrupted by the  texture of the hazelnut crunch. This chocoholic foodie mom is savoring every gorgeous spoonful.

Apple Crumble  P380
A startling contrast to the just wiped out Coppo Tri Cioccilati, it provided a refreshing relief to the richness of the previously tasted chocolate.  I loved the play of the creamy ice cream versus the textured crumble

Macedonia di Frutta P360

What a singularly pretty and colorful dessert it was.  Macedonia di Frutta is actually Italian Fruit SaladThose fresh raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, dragonfruit, pomegranates contrasted beautifully with the mango cream and  fresh mango fruits.


Understated elegance was my first thought. I dont know why when its not even a fine dining place and the tenor of the place was  casual.

Industrial  and rustic vibe achieved with the unfinished red brick wall, barn-style sliding door for the function room and restroom, high ceiling, exposed beam, wooden tables, black chairs.

rustic facade

Love the brick wall

I love the high ceiling and the unfinished finish look

Simple wooden tables and black chairs

The whole place  including the function room and the area outside, can easily seat 100 people


More than Matteo who was the consummate host, the homage  and love for  Nono (grandfather) Da Gianni was palpable from the ambiance, service and the food.

What a joy to experience Da Gianni 's food , through Matteo's  stories of  family and love. What's  also amazing was that  Matteo's family's affection and generosity also extended to the helpers .

Clearly it was an afternoon worth sharing with everyone. 

Definitely returning with the piggery in tow.

DA GIANNI CUCINA ITALIANA  is located at the Westgate Center, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa

Da Gianni Cucina Italiana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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