Affordable is not the operative word usually associated with fine dining restaurants in Manila. Especially those which are housed in fancy hotels. Yet, such is no longer the case as Paparrazi Italian Fine Dining Restaurant of Edsa Shangri-La Hotel Manila offers an executive lunch set at an affordable price. Aptly called Pranzo Squisito which means "exquisite lunch", this executive lunch is a three-course set meal priced at Php550++ only.
A brainchild of Paparazzi's very own executive chef Roberto Cimmino,
Pranzo Squisito is perfect for people craving for a respite from the
usual fares that restaurants in the malls can offer. Appetizer, main
dish, and dessert comprise the lunch set meant to alleviate hunger and
satisfy the palate. The choices are different everyday depending on the availability of the ingredients. The comfortable and aesthetically pleasing ambiance
plus the five star service of course, are just added bonus.
There could not be more satisfying way to start our Pranzo Squisito experience than to indulge our senses with the downright palatable foccacia bread. Warm and crusty outside, while soft on the inside, it was a comforting piece of heaven that I could not get enough of.
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar could sure lend a different dimension in
flavor, but naked without these accompaniment, the utterly unadulterated foccacia bread was
beautiful universe on its own.
Aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, it sure was not. Yet, Robbie's Blend Mushroom Soup boasted of flavor brought about by different kinds of mushrooms such as oyster, button, shitake, and shimeji that spoke of earthly note which was beautiful beyond words.This mushroom soup was part of the choices for appetizers during our visit. To say that it was a good meal starter would be an understatement for something as heart warming and nourishing as this. Regardless of it being part of a line up meant just to whet one's appetite and does not hold the spotlight, it was a dish that honors the chef's belief the same way it honors itself.
Another part of the appetizers line up was Gamberri Arostiti or Roasted Prawns Wrapped in Bacon. The name implied a pretty straightforward combination of two things most of us loved. I could say that I have eaten this kind of combination before but the side dish it was paired with was a revelation. Thinly sliced cucumber drizzled with olive oil, herbs, and what I could deem as feta cheese played a significant role on this dish. This was not to say that the prawn and the bacon lacked in flavor, rather it was a dish wherein all element in one plate mustered the courage to shine on its own, but paved way to one another not to be overshadowed.
For the main dish it was the Porchetta di Maialio or the Roasted Pork Belly that piqued my interest. It was a sure win from the get-go. The pork was boiled, then marinated before it was slow roasted assuring the ineffable succulence anyone could ever hoped for.
The flavor was exquisite as expected. It leans on the smokey side of the spectrum with a hint of Asian flair of savory, sweet, sour note all rolled into one. This dish alone could mirror the chef's playful touch on Italian dishes incorporated with other type of cuisine's execution and twist altogether.
Other choices on the mains during our visit were Pasta del Giorno or Potato Gnocchi with Capers in Tomato Sauce and Filleto de Merluzzo of Pan Fried Cod Fillet.
I could have opted for Zabaione and Biscotti for my dessert but the Hazelnut Gelato beckoned in such a way that I couldn't quite ignore. Savoring the last spoonful of my cold dessert steeled my resolved that my decision did not induced any form of regret. It was by far the best hazelnut gelato I have ever tried.
Paparrazi Italian Dining Restaurant of Edsa Shangri-La Hotel may look intimidating at a glance. Yet, one would soon realize that at trip or two does not commensurate to filing for bankruptcy after.
Pranzo Squisito is available during weekdays lunch time and will last only until the end of September 2013. This three-course set meal priced at Php550++ includes a serving of coffee or tea.
Paparazzi Italian Fine Dining Restaurant
Edsa Shangri-La Hotel
1 Garden Way,
Ortigas Center, Manadaluyong City
Contact no. : 633-8888
Facebook Page: facebook.com/edsashangrila