Friday, April 19, 2013

Pagliacci: Classic Italian Cuisine at The Podium

Classic Italian food the way it should be, rustic and traditional, simple yet full of flavor using the finest and freshest ingredients. 

Located inside a mall, one finds comforting Italian dishes based on traditional recipes in its extensive menu, something you don't normally expect with its mall location. Nothing is adjusted to suit the noticeably sweeter note popular among most diners as each dish remains true to its origin and flavor. Handmade noodles made fresh daily and authentic ingredients imported from Italy add to the rustic charm of Pagliacci.

Hidden at the far end, one can easily miss the place. But if you're after real Italian flavors, it's worth the extra walk. Simple interiors greet diners as they enter Pagliacci, yet one feels immediately at home. More than the interiors, it's all about the food at Pagliacci. 

Dinner begins with Pagliacci's Pane di Casa (P 130+), freshly baked homemade bread with eggplant and tomato salsa dip. The bread, baked in house daily, sets the tone for Pagliacci's Italian cuisine. Everything is freshly made from scratch, and you can immediately taste the difference with the bread. For me, the bread served in any establishment more often indicates the quality of the rest of the menu. And this one is definitely a good start.

Ai 4 Formaggi (P 400+), the classic four cheese pizza with mozzarella, gorgonzola, scamorza and parmigiano. A simple and rustic style pizza, but don't let the pale colors fool you. One bite brings rich flavors from the imported cheeses, as you go for another slice.

Spaghetti ala Lorenzo (P 330), an interesting pasta dish with an interesting story, made with olive oil, shrimps, broccoli, garlic and chili. The dish is said to be an idea from a long-time and loyal customer at Pagliacci, hence the name. And as I tasted this unique dish, one can't help raising a glass to Lorenzo for a great idea. The juicy, plump shrimps combine well with the simple yet flavorful olive oil and garlic base, with the fresh broccoli adding a layer of texture and the chili for that cooling kick.

Tagliatelle Tartufate (P 400+), homemade spinach noodles with rich truffle cream and mushrooms. Nutty mushrooms in a rich cream sauce, always a winning combo. And the noodles are just perfect, firm and flavorful.

Risotto ai Funghi (P 420+), classic Italian rice dish with mushrooms, another comforting and traditional dish. The Parmesan blends well with the mushrooms, adding a sharp note to the richness of the risotto. A simple dish, yet one of the hardest to prepare, Pagliacci's dish is a great example of just how a proper risotto should be, moist, creamy and butter-like.

Osso Buco alla Milanese (P 550+), slow-cooked beef shank with tomato sauce, herbs and red wine, served with mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables. Fork-tender, the beef retains its flavors without being drowned out by the rich sauce. And the marrow is the kicker, blending well with the sauce. A personal favorite, and definitely worth a second visit.

And what better way to cap an authentic Italian meal than with Pagliacci's homemade gelato, available in a variety of traditional and cool new flavors.

I go for the White Toblerone, with bits of white chocolate. Creamy and not too sweet, a cool ending to a great dinner at Pagliacci's.

If you have a sudden craving for Italian, head for the mall. And take the extra walk to the far end. Its definitely worth the walk.

Pagliacci is located at the 5th Level, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong or call 687-1514 for inquiries.

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  1. What a marvelous dining experience. :)

    1. Hi Ramona, so cool to find authentic cuisine in a mall, great to hear from you Ramona!

  2. One can't deny a good and simple pasta at the end of the day, no. Love the abundant prawns on that plate of spaghetti, really want to eat some pasta now!!

    1. hey Winston, nothing like pasta to make things right, great to hear from you bud!


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