When in Manila, do not just settle for spaghetti and pizza if you find a craving for Italian food. If you know who to ask and where to look, you just might stumble upon a genuine Italian dining experience like you’ve never had before. It happened one night for me and my best mates when we decided to try out Cantina Sicilianita in Shaw Boulevard, arguably the place that best represents Italian cuisine this part of the Metro.
We reserved a table during rush hour after work. Knowing how busy the roads of Shaw can be, entering the café was like walking through a portal to another plane of existence. The sights and the aromas immediately greeted us with fervor, a gracious invitation to sit down in anticipation of the dining spectacle about to happen.
Owner Marky Buhain was on hand to answer some of our queries regarding the menu, and he was gracious enough to guide us in coming up with good selections. Each member of our group ordered according to the items that piqued our curiosity, whether it’s a familiar term or a similar dish from another establishment.
He then shared with us his time spent in Sicily, and how it inspired him to try out methods and ingredients for the Philippine market. Thus, you get to feast on authentic Italian dishes, the preparation of which is similar to how it is done in Italy.
Marky learned from the chefs themselves during his visit, and it all started with a sampling of local Cannoli Siciliani from a café in the small town of Erice in Sicily. This also led to the creation of one of our relished flavors of the night.
During his time in Sicily, Marky also learned the value of picking out fresh ingredients and spices, and he applied this commitment to his approach in preparing the dishes.
Right after you taste a mouthful and savor each bite, the subtle textures of cheese, tomatoes and other spices make you look forward to the next one.
During the course of our dinner, Marky was busy being an animated host to every table, happily engaging customers in conversations about wine and Italian culture.
To cap off the night, Marky served a round of homemade limoncello for each of us. The intriguing mix is native to Italy, and it definitely left us wanting for more. Cantina Sicilianita is a worthy attempt in creating an Italian dining experience for Filipinos, so make sure you arrange for reservations soon.
Address: Facilities Center Building, 548 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City
Telephone: +632 570-2905
Facebook: Cantina Sicilianita
Operating Hours: Mon – Sat: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Cantina Sicilianita: A Taste of Sicily Along Shaw