Amici at Ayala Triangle Gardens
December 24, 2010
The branch at Ayala Triangle Gardens is the 1st full-service restaurant of Amici. It is the biggest too featuring 2 big brands: Amici & Cara Mia.
As most of you know, Amici is known to be a self-service restaurant. I’m glad that they finally ventured into a full-service restaurant. Especially for someone like me who wants to just sit and enjoy my meal, the change is definitely welcome.
It was such a delight looking at Amici’s menu. I love how they incorporated the history of Amici mentioning the priest from Dos Bosco who started it. Sentimental owners, aren’t they? We loved it! I enjoyed flipping through the pages reading and looking at the photos. But in all honesty, what really got me excited was looking at the actual menu items, because I knew we would be trying those delicious dishes at Amici & the sinfully wonderful deserts at Cara Mia.
While looking at the menu I noticed that Amici actually uses a wooden brick oven. They say that using it will bring out the flavors of the food. That explains why Amici’s pizzas are so good. On the picture below, just jook at the chef checking on the pizza that he was cooking. It’s just so old world Italy almost when you look at the setup that they have. You can even see all the wood at the bottom there. Now that’s authentic style pizza if I ever saw one!
Let me share the menu items that we tried out. The flavors in each dish were distinctly different. This was the 2nd restaurant we visited at Ayala Triangle Gardens. I was actually starting to get full hahaha!
- Spaghetti ai Tesori del Mare (Php 264)
This was basically a seafood pasta dish that has scallops, clams, mussels with chili oil and fresh tomatoes. I didn’t like the scallops but the pasta tasted great! Seafood pasta is usually a great order especially at an Italian or Mediterranean restaurant since their seafood dishes usually are very delicious. I must admit that the pasta was really done to perfection, cooked al dente, and that the chili oil provided that wonderful essence of deep and spicy flavors, and yet it was so very subtle too. It was a simple dish with garlic and tomato and that chili oil and seafood incorporated into it. The problem was that the scallops wasn’t really all that good, and I’ve had some of the best scallops at other restaurants, and this just didn’t make the grade.
- Tutta Carne (Php 298)
I’m a meat lover so out of the 2 pizzas served to us. I immediately tried Tutta Carne. This pizza has Italian sausage, ham and pepperoni with the usual cheese and dough. With the brick oven, I wasn’t surprised really just how tasty the crust turned out to be. I love how everything about this dish felt so authentic. And did I mention that each bite that I took also seemed to have so much flavor, from the seasoning to the sauce, all the way to the dough.
- Quattro Stagioni (Php 298)
Cheese lovers rejoice for your pizza is here! It seemed that everyone wanted to try this out as soon as it was served to us. And I wasn’t surprised because it really did look so delicious with all the four cheeses being incorporated into that pizza like that. I even heard one of the bloggers say that it was better than what Yellow Cab pizza serves. Again, all that flavor not only comes from the seasoning and the sauce, but that wooden brick oven really has to have so much part into creating their pizzas. That wooden brick oven must really be their secret to success! And lastly, I’m really glad that the dough wasn’t too thick which can sometimes be the case with other types of pizza out there. The dough is soggy and sometimes not cooked all the way through. Just because it’s not thin crust pizza doesn’t mean that the dough has to be anything other than just how Amici served their pizza..
- Fetuccine at Tartufo Classico (Php 244)
basically a mushroom pasta with button and shitake mushrooms. This was definitely tastier and yummier than the seafood pasta. I really loved the simplicity of this dish. Because I honestly believe when it comes to pasta, the important parts of cooking it is having the pasta still firm but not too well cooked. Then seasoning the sauce to perfection, and adding ingredients that compliment the pasta very well. With Amici, I think they did a tremendous job in providing that delicious simplicity with this dish.
What I also liked most is that the Fetuccine at Tartufo Classico is one of the chosen products by Amici where each order of this menu item will have Php10 donated to Tuloy Foundation (a charity group for street children). It was definitely nice of Amici to think of this. Not to mention, their dishes are actually cheap and very affordable!
Now, as much as I love Amici’s pizzas and pasta, their desserts are just the winner for me. Last year, they actually formalized it and created a brand for their desserts. It’s now called Cara Mia.
Cara mia serves gelato, gelato cakes, usual refrigerated cakes and pastries. I’m sorry but my eyes were just fixed on their gelato which had been my favorite ever since it was served at Amici. See my happy face beside the gelato selections. I was trying to hide my excitement! hahaha!
I was also pleasantly surprised that they serve gelato cakes! I was like wow, that’s new! It’s basically like an ice-cream cake but Cara Mia’s version is different.
So we asked, what’s the difference between a gelato and an ice cream? And they shared with us that the only actual difference is the type of dairy product they put into each one. Gelato is made from fresh milk while Ice cream is made from cream, it was that simple. I learned something new that day. Well that definitely explained why gelato has smoother texture and taste better. Now we know 😉
- Peach Walnut Passion (Php 95)
This is bascially peach gelato with walnuts! Oh my golly! heavenly! I noticed that it was not really pure gelato cake but it was a combination of the traditional cake but it has more gelato. Awesome creation. Amici really does know that we always come back for their gelato! 😀 I mean, who wouldn’t? Their gelato is truly something that you have to try out for yourself to really get the idea of why it is so popular!
- Mango Symphony (Php 95)
Mango gelato with mango chunks plus graham crackers. If 1 slice isn’t enough for you, you can order the whole cake which is priced at Php 690. I’m also glad that I was able to try this out. Again, it may seem like the ordinary mango refrigerator cake, but what always separates high end restaurants and desert places is how they take it one step further. First they use premium mango gelato, add those chunks of mango, the little crumbs of graham crackers too. And that mango sauce on the side, it’s simple, but it’s that added simplicity that really make Cara Mia stand out. And don’t forget the taste, in all honesty, this was one of the best mango refrigerator cakes that I’ve tasted.
- Pistachio Gelati (Php 70)
Everybody just couldn’t wait to sample the gelati/gelato. I didn’t have enough time to take picture in whole as they took quite a few scoops of it already hahaha! Well, it’s fine. You get the point right? It was that delicious! This green gelato was pistachio. Yummeh!
- Sans Rival Gelati (Php 70)
Sans Rival gelato is definitely new and I was pleasantly surprised as to how delicious it is. It will now be one of my favorite gelato flavors in Cara Mia. You must try this if you haven’t done so. I just can’t believe how great they were at this, imagine taking delicious sans rival and making it into gelato form! Brilliant! I’m now interested as to what other flavors they will be able to come up with next! And yes, they took a few scoops of it too before I was able to take a picture. Must not let people wait for Cara Mia’s gelati!
I really enjoyed my time there at Amici/Cara Mia considering I was with my mom and ninang! They met for the 1st time! My mom was my official photographer hahaha while ninang Noemi is a fellow blogger.
I’m definitely glad that Amici has become a full-service restaurant. I will definitely be back as Ayala Triangle Gardens is just near my work place. Cara Mia Gelato, I will be back for you!
Amici & Caramia
Restaurants at the Ayala Triangle Gardens
Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati City