Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Taste of Italy by Chef Paolo at Amici

Privileged to have been invited to Amici  to taste its new offering dubbed  "A Taste of Italy by Chef Paolo"  in October.  

Amici  releases two new menus every year. One was last March and this one a couple of weeks back, 
all created by Chef Paolo .

Chef Paolo Moran is one among 5 siblings who  now handles and operates all Amici and Cara Mia branches in the metro.  I met Philip who heads the operation , Pammy who handles the marketing of the company and Chef Paolo, the menu conceptualization of both Caramia and Amici.

Did you know.... ?

It was their parents who started the  whole thing. Mom is a baker who  began Red Ribbon. Parents bought Amici  di  Don Bosco (friends of Don Bosco)  in 2007.

Interesting how the history of Amici reads like a  beautiful story of how Father Gianluigi Colombo a Salesian Italian priest started a canteen in Don Bosco to help their employees, eventually became popular then bought by the family who previously owned the equally notable brand Red Ribbon.

Last October 25, we tasted the following at their branch in Greenhills...


Smoked Salmon Dip P90
Smoked salmon and fresh dill herbs all mixed in a creamy spread with a hint of lemon. They used pizza dough for  carbs to dip in that salmon tub. It was the perfect union of opposites- creamy vs. crunchy...

Creamy Tomato Soup  
Cup P120 Bowl P195
Stewed Tomatoes with Basil and Cream topped with bacon bits. Nothing like stewing tomatoes for several hours until the red sauce taste sweet. This was the perfect comfort food. The only thing missing is the grilled cheese sandwich haha


Chorizo Puttanesca 
Regular P380 Grande P725
My preferred sauce is  the tomato-based one.  So this pasta was an immediate winner not only for its red sauce but for how it appealed to the  palate as well. The traditional puttanesca I know is one with tomatoes, olives and capers. Loved that Chef Paolo tweaked it a bit with the addition of Chorizo. Makes me wonder how this would taste with our very own local longganisa... 

Salmone Affumicato (Smoked Salmon Penne)
Regular P398 Grande P770
Smoked salmon with tomato sauce, cream and lemon tossed in penne pasta garnished with fresh basil

Reminiscent of our trip in Rome where pastas were simple yet flavorful. Italian dishes let its quality ingredients speak for itself.

Italian Seafood Rice P395
Shrimp , sole, mussels, clams and scallops stewed in tomato sauce and rich buttery rice
Akin to paella and risotto, this rice dish enamors with its complex flavors of the sea  and the sweet flavor of the tomato. The texture is a delightful blend of creamy and chewy.

Salami and Blue Cheese Pizza P525
They had me at blue cheese. I loved that it was combined with salami,tomato, olives, etc. Philip shared that they had their own oven specially made to create those delightful chewy pizzas, doughs of  which are made from scratch by the way

Classic Ube Cake P135 per slice
'Layers and layers of  light ube chiffon slice with ube halaya filling topped with beautifully whipped cream for an authentic Filipino treat'.... what's not to like.

Brought me back to those days when the original Red Ribbon was still owned by Philip's family. Oh well  no need to fret, its back. Yay!

I was  pleasantly surprised to learn that Amici owners were former proprietors of the family's much loved Red Ribbon. No wonder the taste and look  of their new classic Ube Cake is  familiar.

That is what is fascinating about this foodie life. You learn something new everyday, meet interesting people, have foodgasmic adventures and get to chronicle it for others to read.

You get sneak peak and taste of  new products. 

Classic example... 

Chef Paolo came out with 3 new variants of gelato too in addition to the "Taste of Italy ..." which was launched only last  October 

Omg that Ube, dulce de leche and  vanilla flavors were all creamy and delicious.  My favorite would have to be Ube, followed by dulce then vanilla.

Watch out for it . Available   on November 15

Amici Greenhills  had been in this location since 2009 and underwent renovation recently "to look more like an Italian restaurant " per Philip. The 200 square meter it occupies has a maximum seating capacity of 100 people at any one time.  

The brand currently has 24 outlets ,  9 of which are  Amici restaurants  and  the other 15 Caramia kiosks  all over the metro.

Thank you for having us @Amici and for the invite @johnbunag.  In pic , foodies with Philip and Pammy Moran

Amici Greenhills is located at  the ground floor of 101 Missouri Square, Missouri corner Connecticut Street, Greenhills San Juan City

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

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