For a populace that that enjoys homey Italian dishes such as spaghetti and pizza, it is no surprise that those living in Metro Manila have a wide array to choose from when it comes to Italian cuisine. The degree of sophistication is quite impressive considering the number of expats (including expat chefs) here trails in comparison to other Southeast Asian capitals. One doesn’t have to look far for a decent plate of Risotto or a hearty serving of my favorite Italian dish, Osso Buco.
Despite the competitive scene for Italian fare, it’s always a breath of fresh air to dine at Paparazzi, EDSA Shangri-la’s Italian restaurant. Frequented even by Italians staying in Manila, I went for a wine dinner some weeks back to preview the new food offerings prepared by chef Marco Ghezzi who recently transferred to EDSA Shangri-la from Shangri-la Boracay. The idea of a wine dinner is to pair each and every dish with a specific type of wine. For this occasion, we were treated with the wines of Michele Chiarlo.
Our first course was the Red Snapper Carpaccio with pistachio and truffle oil. It was an excellent course to whet the appetite. The truffle oil, though sprinkled quite copiously on my plate, did not overpower the natural taste of the red snapper. Pistachio was an interesting topping and provided a slight nutty aftertaste to the dish.
Then came the Risotto! I have to say, this was my favorite dish for the night. The usual experience I have with risotto is that I get sated quite easily due to what is always a heavy cheesy flavor embedded into the rice. The Tagalog term for this is “umay” or “suya.” What was delightful about this Risotto with Treviso lettuce and cheese taleggio cream is that I did not feel sated even after consuming the entire plate. I still wanted more after gobbling the whole dish! Red rice was used for this serving – my first time to have this type of grain on my risotto.
Then came the Wagyu Beef Striploin. This, too, was prepared in a special way. The highlight was the usage of actual truffles on top of the slab. It was my first time to see real truffles used on a dish rather than the oil which is typically heavily concentrated. The natural truffle in itself was not as aromatic as the oil which allows the natural beef flavor to still stick out, along with the mushroom sauce.
We finished the meal with a hearty serving of Hazelnut Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream. Its appearance belied its interior, which was fluffy and light. The dish was served with the ice cream already melted to serve as a sweet liquid coating to the cake.
As of this writing, the prices of the new dishes aren’t out yet but I’m quite excited about the other new dishes on offer. The ones I got to try only served as a teaser to the restaurant’s new offerings. The wine pairings truly made the dinner a leisurely one – a chance to eat slow and really savor the flavors of each dish and nuances of each glass of wine.
Paparazzi at EDSA Shangri-la
1 Garden Way,
Ortigas Center, Manadaluyong City
Telephone no. : 633-8888