Thursday, April 4, 2013

Italiano Perfecto y Cantina Sicilianita at Rex Bookstore


I say what?  Rex Bookstore?  Yes, you read that right.  It might come as a surprise to you guys that there is indeed an Italian place inside Rex Bookstore, "Cantina Sicilinanita" is what its called and they serve great tasting pasta creations and more.

At first I thought it was a joke that my friends were pulling on me, telling me "Hey let's have lunch at Rex Bookstore", I said what?  Are we having books to eat for lunch, if that is the case you can go ahead and I'll just skip lunch, haha as if that's happening.  

So my curious feet still followed and there right in front of me "REX Bookstore".

So it's confirmed we won't be having books for lunch, thank God!  Haha.  But what a surprise to see that inside Rex Bookstore is indeed a cozy Italian pasta place.  Cantina Sicilianita was conceived about a year ago, and has been gaining followers since then.


What conspired after was a waving of spoons and forks, and a stomach so full, I'm surprised it didn't even put a dent on my wallet.


For appetizers, my friend Fel, recommended for us Arancini (P145), which is Italian rice with meat sauce, at first look I thought I was looking at potato balls, but when I took one up and sliced it up in the middle, tells you a totally different story.


Saffron Risotto balls stuffed with pancetta ragu, fried to to a crisp golden brown.  The saffron risotto was just amazing, with every bite so soft, you could feel it melt as soon as it lavishes on your tongue, it was an exciting mixed feeling of good ol' Italian cooking, and a taste to be loved by Filipinos.


We then ordered some pastas to fill up our hungry tummies, we ordered for the Gamberetti Fra Diavolo (Spicy Shrimp Linguine) (P175), a hefty serving fit for a Godfather!  Made with fresh spicy shrimps with a secret Godfather's recipe, tossed in linguine pasta with a hint of red wine, sprinkled with parmesan cheese.  Spiced just right, you can taste the tomato goodness with a scent of spice to liven the serving and keep you up on your toes.


Another colleague of mine, Jess, took to the sea and ordered Vongole Con Pomodorini (Clams with Cherry Tomato) (P150), a traditional Neapolitan dish with cherry tomatoes, white wine, garlic, clams and parley sauteed in olive oil.  Full of flavor, every bite bursts out the freshness of the sea, perfect for the seafood lover in you.


Last but not the least, my order of Bolognese di Mario (P150), a creation from the Italian city of Bologna and perfected in Marky's kichen (who's Marky? I think he is the owner), is thick and full-bodied meat sauce made of red wine, fresh basil, and stewed tomatoes topped with a meatball.

I just love everything about my pasta, from the firm pasta noodles, spiced with loads of Parmesan cheese, and a serving of "Heavenly meatball".  I think I tasted heaven with that slice of meatball, the aroma and flavor that it oozes out as I devour it bit by bit, I tried to cut it in small slices, hoping my meatball serving replenishes somehow, but we have to accept the inevitable, I was bound to finish it all up anyway haha.


I also ordered as side dish Potato Wedgie (P35.00), they are indeed your tasty potato slices, but apart from being the potato that they are, is that these babies are not the frozen ones you keep in your fridge and serve when you want them.  These are fresh cut, native potatoes, and I just loved how it tasted, with sprinkles of Parmesan cheese to all more variety.

So what do I think about Cantina Sicilianita?  The word is priceless!  Never in my wildest imagination that pasta dishes that were this good would come at a price so affordable, I can eat for 5 days straight here and I'll still have change for P1,000. 


They also serves Panini, salads, Dolci and some specials such as Chicken Marsala (P230) and Crusted fish with lemon dill cream (P200), I will be back for you two.

Come visit Cantina Sicilianita at Rex Bookstore right at Shaw Blvd. in Mandaluyong City.  The are open from Mondays to Saturdays from 9 am to 9 pm.  It's a shame though that they don't open on Sundays.  I'm quite sure they will have a full house, with limited seats I suggest you come early.  Also please be reminded that they handle cash transactions only.

Cantina Sicilianita
Facilities Center Building (look for Babyland)
548 Shaw Boulevard, Pleasant hills
Mandaluyong City
(02) - 9642551

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  1. It's surprisingly affordable. It's near my mom's office pala, I might just bring her there. :)

    1. Yes they indeed are. You can even have a glass of wine for only P120.00, and if you order a panini, just add P10 and you a soup of the day! Now that's Affordable with a capital A.


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