Linguini Fini Manila at SM Mega Fashion Hall

September 26, 2014
Linguini Fini, Manila is an Italian restaurant that hails from Hong Kong known for its farm-to-table and nose-to-tail concept. It is one of the newest additions to the ever growing restaurants at SM Mega Fashion Hall in SM Megamall. Serving artisanal food made from scratch using sustainable locally sourced ingredients, Linguini Fini Manila made quite of a noise since its opening early this month especially among Manila Food Bloggers.

Lingiuini Fini was brought here in the Philippines by the Moment Group (‘Cue, Manam, Burger Bar, 8 Cuts, and Phat Pho) in partnership with Todd Darling and Robert Spina of Homegrown Foods. To secure the success of its opening here n our country, Linguini Fini Hong Kong's Executive Chef Vincent "Vinny" Lauria flew in to personally run the kitchen at this early stage of Linguini Fini here in the Philippines.

Linguini Fini Manila at Mega Fashion Hall SM Megamall. Linguini Fini Philippines, Linguini Fini PH, Linguini Fini Review, Blog, Menu
I was dead set on trying out Linguini Fini upon hearing that they do serve fresh pasta from scratch. I am at a point in my life where making my own pasta from scratch is a normal occurrence at home and I have come to appreciate the innate goodness of it. Living in the countryside made me appreciate the beauty of farm-to-table concept.

Linguini Fini Manila at Mega Fashion Hall SM Megamall. Linguini Fini Philippines, Linguini Fini PH, Linguini Fini Review, Blog, Menu
Rarely do I go to the market these days to buy ingredients because almost everything is either available in our backyard or at the farm. I used to rant about leaving Manila to relocate in a far flung town but in reality, it has more benefits especially when it comes to reviving my love for cooking and my food philosophy in general.

That was the reason why despite the numbers of restaurants sprouting in Manila, Linguini Fini was one of those I would really like to try. So, despite swollen ankle brought about by some minor injury, I braved one rainy Saturday night to check out what Linguini Fini has to offer courtesy of the Moment Group.

Linguini Fini Manila at Mega Fashion Hall SM Megamall. Linguini Fini Philippines, Linguini Fini PH, Linguini Fini Review, Blog, Menu
My curiosity and excitement were taken a notch higher upon setting foot at Linguini Fini. I could not count how many times I have said here on my blog how I adore aesthetically pleasing interior designs. Linguini Fini is one of those restaurants which by appearance alone made me more excited to try the food. Seeing the chefs worked their wonders at the open kitchen, I knew it was time to dig in.

Side note: To those who love taking photos of their food, the place can get dark especially on dinner service. I was equipped with a canon speedlight and our table was fairly lighted but I still ended up with food photos darker than I liked. The dark hue of the ceiling also did not helped since I was not able to use it in bouncing the light from my gear. Nonetheless, I am a big fan of this kind of ambiance. If you aim to take a well lighted photos of your food, try visiting them during lunch time when light is ample.

Linguini Fini Manila at Mega Fashion Hall SM Megamall. Linguini Fini Philippines, Linguini Fini PH, Linguini Fini Review, Blog, Menu
There are plenty of enticing dishes on the menu that one can get easily swayed into ordering a lot. Maita of The Moment Group however informed us that the dishes can get really heavy so, she suggested that it is always smart to balance things out for maximum satisfaction instead of having to deal with uncomfortable degree of satiety by the end of the meal. Make sense, right? I have my eyes on some of the dishes which I would like to try, but I figured it is best to go for their recommendation instead.

While waiting for the dishes, a complimentary bread was set on the table accompanied by aceto balsamico and olive oil for dipping. Although there was nothing mind blowing about the bread, I thought these were way better than those which I have had in other Italian restaurants.
Linguini Fini Complimentary Bread
Panzanela is one one those salads which simplicity I fell madly in love with. It s one of those I usually make at home when I am craving for something simple yet satisfying. Linguini Fini's rendition of this simple Italian salad reminds me of summer when everything fresh and light is a beautiful ode to the season. I rarely use pineapple to my panzanella because I am not really crazy about this fruit, hence, making this Ananas Panzanella (Php255/small, Php345/large) a break from the usual.

Linguini Fini Ananas Panzanella
Based on what is written on Linguini Fini’s menu, the White Gold Bars (Php365) are herbed breaded house kesong puti served with marinara sauce. Judging from its texture, it kind of reminds me of mozzarella cheese more than anything. Nothing to complain though since these logs of cheese fried into golden perfection was pleasant addition to our feast. Best eaten when hot for that gooey flair but it also fairs well when eaten on room temperature, at least in my opinion.

Linguini Fini White Gold Bars
Most friends who have dined at Linguini Fini told me that I should not missed their porchetta since I am a big pork lover. So in the process of deciding our dishes for the night, we traded off pizza in exchange of porchetta.

Linguini Fini Porchetta

Porchetta at Linguini Fini is simply rubbed with fennel and then slow roasted. You can either have it served sliced with caramelized onion marmalade (Php595) or chopped with chili mostarda, fennel, and foccacia (Php485). We had the former which I enjoyed since I enjoy meat the most when coupled with sweetened onion.    

Linguini Fini Porchetta

There are also plenty of pasta choices on the menu. Since we were set to strike a balance between heavy and light dishes, we went for the seafood pasta, Bavette (Php495). Bavette is essentially made of fresh pasta made from scratch, fresh crab meat, aligue or crab fat, chili, mint, and dayap. Having the thought that this pasta boasts of crab may made one realize that it can be a tad heavy but I thought it has the right amount of lightness I needed since I was also feasting on the prochetta. I love the kick of the chili and the dayap that balanced the flavor.  

Linguini Fini Bavette Pasta

I admit that having tasted the pasta and the porchetta, I was already a happy camper.  Maita however was kind enough to share couple of slices of Linguini Fini's The Bronx Pizza (Php785) upon the request of another blogger. I thought it was a good pizza, which I expected since I've been hearing a lot of raves about it. The toppings which comprised of sausage, pepperoni, porchetta, mozzarella, and tomato were good but it was the dough which I found really impressive with its texture and flavor, a clear indication that it was freshly made just like the pasta.

Linguini Fini The Bronx Pizza
Linguini Fini Manila at Mega Fashion Hall SM Megamall. Linguini Fini Philippines, Linguini Fini PH, Linguini Fini Review, Blog, Menu

For the dessert, I decided to have their Hot Chocolate Affogato (Php165) since I love affogato in general. I have not had bad affogato in this lifetime as of yet and Linguini Fini's version of it I thought was one of the most awesome I had. The cinnamon crunch which are basically crouton-like chunks of bread generously peppered with sugar and cinnamon played a big role in giving flavor to the entire deal. But that is not to say that the milk affogato and the chocolate were less than stellar, because everything about this dessert was pure love.

Linguini Fini Hot Chocolate Affogato

I was happy with my affogato then I tasted Linguini Fini's Tiramisu (Php195). It was not as big as I hoped it to be but I am only complaining because it was so good that a serving or two will never be enough. If after all these years I still cannot stop raving about Amoroma's Panna Cotta Cioccolato, I can sense that I would feel the same way about this Tiramisu.

Linguini Fini Tiramisu

There are still a lot of dishes on the menu I would love to try at Linguini Fini, especially their line of pasta. Yet, judging from the dishes which I have already tried, I can say that I'm glad I braved that rainy night to check them out. I went back the next day with some friends, unfortunately, I was too famished to wait in line. Still, I am looking forward to visiting them as a regular diner and enjoy the items I missed on my first visit. 

Linguini Fini Manila at Mega Fashion Hall SM Megamall. Linguini Fini Philippines, Linguini Fini PH, Linguini Fini Review, Blog, Menu

Linguini Fini, Manila
Level 3, SM Mega Fashion Hall
SM Megamall
Edsa corner Julia Vargas Avenue,
Ortigas, Mandaluyong
Contact No.: +632-531-3302
Facebook: /LinguiniFiniMNL
Instagram: @linguinifinimnl

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