July 22, 2006

Amici di Estomago

Last tuesday, T and I bumped into an old friend from HS as we traversed the underpass along Paseo de Roxas in Makati. We thought it would be another duo food trip, but luckily, R. was there to liven up the dinner scene. We took a cab and headed towards this non-descript hole-in-a-school restaurant that people tout as Manila's best kept secret, the Amici di Don Bosco.

Amici is simple but people who go there do not mind the kitchy atmosphere and the canteen-like set-up because the main attraction there is the great authentic Italian pizzas and pastas and gelato. Most of its customers, we observed, are well-dressed moneyed citizens of Makati which is ironic because the place is located under the overpass along Arnaiz (Pasay) Avenue. I was expecting the SM food-court crowd but I was wrong, people really go out of their way just to order pizzas to go and gelatos for their hankering brood back home.

When we entered, T was ecstatic (read: jumping up and down)to see the varieties of gelato that she immediately dived into a chocolate scoop. I tried it and the I was blown away with the intensity of the flavor. It was rich, silky and soft, no ice bits clinging to the cream. I then chose mine Cheese flavor and the first scoop reminded me of the milky goodness of cheese with its sweet creamy texture spiked with tart pieces of cheddar cheese. Some might find it wierd to eat fromaggio gelato, but for me, this is the best- and no other ice cream brand can surpass Amici's in terms of quality and pricing. At P35 per scoop of quality gelato, who can resist? For those who have deeper pockets and only eat at Rockwell's Pazzo gelato, this is a great alternative.

We went back to our table and ordered our dinner. We decided on pasta. Not knowing what to get, we asked the cashier/clerk what are the recommended entrees. She ticked the Tagliatelle con Sici(something Sicilian), spaghetti ala don bosco and some other dish. We settled on the first one- home-made tagliatelle cooked in tomatoes, red wine, parmesan, and italian sausage. It was so satisfying that my tongue began to sing O sole mio, not! It was fantastic nevertheless. These are the pastas that are not found in commercialized knock-offs where their basic menu consists only of spaghetti bolognese and carbonara. Amici is the bomb! And the servings are good for two people. T barely finished hers, R was slow in his plate while I was feeling constricted after eating halfway.

We skipped on drinks, as usual, and settled on their fresh and priceless mineral water... yes, price-less meaning free. Because the place has that scholarly feel of being in a high school cafeteria, we were free to enjoy lounging about with nary a care towards our fellow foodlovers. Who cares about slouching in our seats and laughing to our hearts' content about high school faux pas? No ugly heads reared in our direction with their evil eye glaring at us. We had a great time catching up with old times.

After the meal, another round of gelato. T got some flavor which I forgot while I took away some cheese gelato. Just can't get enough. We egged R to try it but he passed saying he was too full to have a scoop of the cold delight. We stayed on for another 30 minutes before venturing out into the hell that is Manila. At least in Amici, the food will always be your friend, and that's their promise. And yes, with such food intake, I promised my porcelain bowl back home to meet another friend from Amici albeit in another form. Hah!

Other sites featuring this terrific discovery (w/ photos):
http://dessertcomesfirst.blogspot.com/2005/07/manilas-best-kept-italian-secret.html
http://www.tsinoy.com/blog/index.php?op=Default&Date=200502&blogId=31
http://anton.blogs.com/awesome/2005/07/amici_de_don_bo.html
http://justeats.blogspot.com/2005/08/amici.html

9 comments:

Steel said...

Another feeding hole for my curious appetite! Can't wait to drop by the Makati area again. Thanks for the tip.

Jules said...

sure no problem... you'll bowl over their gelato... even now, i'm still craving for their fromaggio gelato

Theresa said...

Too many possibilities to try out. I intend to go through every item in that menu, to find out truly my favorite dish....and more gelato! :) who cares if there is a nbeed to walk bck to that place? :) at least i'll lose a bit of calories to make room for more.

Jules said...

yup you're right.... mmmm... gelato... now, say it with me...djeehhhh...llluhhhh...tttohhhh... yum!

Aurea said...

That cheese gelato sounds good - I want to try some too! Nagugutom na ako!

jairam said...

we all love AMici!

Kiko said...

So, you've passed by Amici. That thing was successful even during our highschool days in busko. Yeah our cafeteria rules!

watson said...

So... Juls you also found the delight called Amici di Don Bosco. I am not a pasta afficionado myself but surprisingly, I finished my plate! Sarap. Now your post makes me want to go back.

Jules said...

aurea: the cheese gelato is a must try... and so is the pistachio and strawberry and the chocolate and hazelnut...yum

jairam: yes we do! yes we do!

kiko: you're lucky to have amici... i can imagine your recess and lunch sa amici... :)

watson: galing ng amici magconvert ng tao..harharhar... generous servings nila and their ingredients are not scrimped... sulit sya...