*This restaurant is already closed*
The Italian Market is one of the newest restaurants in the mall, opening just last December 24, 2014. It boasts of Italian cuisine tweaked a bit to suit the local palate with a culinary team headed by Chef Dave Caci. The restaurant takes inspiration from the vibrant food scene at the South 9th Italian Market in Philadelphia.
The centerpiece of the restaurant is the humongous Ambrogi oven, specially imported from Italy. The oven uses 3 heat sources, wood, gas and charcoal that gives it a special blend of smokiness that it infuses into their dishes.
We started with a trio of appetizers; Steamed Mussels (P385), Spicy Shrimp Scampi (P320) and Panzanella Bread Salad (P295). The mussles and scampi are both conventional appetizers that I’ve had in other places. The salad was the interesting one, with hand torn pieces of bread to go with the assorted greens, ricotta cheese, salami and lemon oil dressing.
Being a Italian restaurant, you just expect to pizza and pasta to come next.
Pig and Fig (P390). This is one beautiful pizza that you can’t help but to look at. A slightly charred ring encompassing red beets, sliced apples (Granny Smith and Fuji), figs, smoked bacon, and arugula. Sweet, smoky and addictingly good.
The Clams and Calamari Pizza (P385) is another interesting creation. A bed of cream sauce, topped with battered clams and squid (usually seen in appetizers) and globes of cherry tomatoes. It’s the cherry tomatoes that will surprise you with their bursting sweetness.
Other pizzas you can try are the Timperoni Pizza (P390) and Earth Bread Pizza (P360). The timperoni is their version of pepperoni but with a spicy tomato sauce base which was too spicy for my taste buds. The Earth bread is an aromatic and earthy with wild mushrooms, goat cheese, arugula and truffle oil.
The Lobster Macaroni and Cheese (P590). Chopped buttered lobster sit atop baked macaroni with sharp cheddar and Fontina cheese. Sweet, indulgent, umami flavors meld with the gooey and cheesy flavors of the macaroni. A dish worth wrecking your diet for.
The Penne Lampredotto (P389) makes use of callos (beef tripe) and spicy sausage with mixed beans and peppers. The sauce is flavorful but callos is not something I enjoy eating.
The other pasta dishes we sampled was the Shrimp Aglio Olio (P385) and the Rib Eye Stroganoff (P680). I felt the use of the rib eye was unnecessary with the beef slices small. A lesser or cheaper cut would work equally well with the stroganoff.
The carbo loading continued with a duo of sandwiches; Open Faced Philly Cheese Steak (P590) and Tim’s Hand Carved Roast Pork Sandwich (P540). Both are hefty and are better shared between two people.
Pit Fire Porchetta (P475). A smoky piece of porchetta served with creamy polenta, roasted vegetables with honey and mustard glaze. The meat was pretty good but I have to rank it below the one from Il Ponticello. The surprise in this plate was the ramekin of creamy polenta that was wiped out in the blink of an eye.
Dessert was the tongue in cheek Humble Pie (P295) and Cannoli Sampler (P270). The humble pie is a peanut butter and chocolate pie with vanilla cream. The cannoli sampler has 3 different variants; Orange Chocolate Chip, Ricotta Honey Pistachio and Strawberry Amaretto.
The Italian Market is a nice, casual addition to the restaurant options in Resorts World Manila. It’s best to eat with a group as most of the dishes are generously sized and are meant to be shared.
The Italian Market2/F Resorts World Manila Newport Boulevard, Pasay City Philippines Contact No.: (632) 403-8926 Operating Hours: 11am to 2am daily
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