Il Ponticello Makati, Manila

If you grew up in Manila in the early 2000s, you’ll remember “Ponti” as the place for good pizza, blue drinks, and many hazy nights of partying till the wee hours. Like many of us, Ponticello has certainly grown up since those years and she’s turned into a pretty sexy lady. She now has beautiful interiors that make you feel like you’ve walked into another era and food that has matured to please even the most snobby tongues.

Carl and I were recently invited to a VIP dinner to formally launch the new Il Ponticello. Here was what we were treated to (my personal descriptions are the non-bold text in italics):

afterlight-2Portobello Alla Griglia: Silky, creamy, smoky mushroom and cheese duetto. You could definitely taste the smoky flavour of the mushrooms. When paired with a bit of cheese and the grilled cherry tomato it was a perfect medley to start our meal. 

afterlight-4Lasagna Carbonara: Comforting and creamy, a marriage made in Italian heaven. This was pure joy with every bite and something I would certainly order again. The cream and cheese were just right and everyone in our table was saying how perfect it would be to dip a bit of crusty bread in the remaining sauce. I highly recommend giving this one a try. 

afterlight-5Presto É Trofie: Classic Ligurian Pesto on Trofie paired with grilled butterflied prawns. The prawns were perfectly seasoned. Maybe a little difficult to remove from their shell but once accomplished and eaten with the roasted garlic that was also served, the effort was worth it. 

afterlight-6Flat Iron Steak Tagliata: Northern Italian-style Tagliata steak. Pink, tender, and without a hint of chewiness that I usually find when I order a steak in the Philippines. If you’re looking for a protein packed meal, this is your guy. 

afterlight-7Porchetta Alla Romana: 6-hour slow roasted Roman-style slab of Pork Belly seasoned generously with Fennel & Garlic. This dish might not photograph well, but don’t be fooled by its lack of looks. These super tender slices of pork with crispy skin were a beautiful end to the savoury part of our meal. 

afterlight-10Tiramisu: Famed Venetian espresso-infused dessert. I’m a huge tiramisu fan, so I was happy that this dessert didn’t disappoint. Just the right amount of sweetness, coffee, and alcohol to receive the approval of every tiramisu-lover I know. 

afterlight-11Cheesecake Panna Cotta: Silky, melt-in-your-mouth dolci from Piedmont, Northern Italy. I have to admit that I was initially skeptical about how this dessert would work. But it was wiped clean almost instantly by our table. The creamy texture of the panna cotta paired with the crunch of toffee and cheesecake bites sprinkled all around was glorious. 

afterlight-12Bundino Al Cioccolato: Warm and rich Italian baked chocolate pudding. Chocolate pudding will always remind me of my grandmother. She made it regularly while growing up and served it with a healthy topping of cream. This bowl of warm chocolate pudding brought me back to those times with her. 

Here were the usual suspects at our table: 

afterlight-8Beauty maven Erica Paredes, who I’ll be working with quite often in the coming months on an exciting new project.

afterlight-9Carl, Radio DJ Margaux Sue Cortez, and Circuit’s JR Isaac.

Thank you again, Ponti for the wonderful meal. It was the perfect way to end a long work week.

Il Ponticello is located at:

2/F Antel Corporate Center, 121 Valero St. Salcedo Village Makati

Telephone Number: (02) 944-9512

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