5.049 TERRP 20(1.17) Italianni's: Grilled Pepper Fish Fillet (with Spaghetti)

 -Cycle 5, Item 49-
23 (Sun) February 2014

Grilled Pepper Fish Fillet (with Spaghetti)


at Italianni's (Robinsons Place)

-Ermita, Manila-


Try Every Restaurant in Robinsons Place (TERRP), Phase 1.

In Manila through mid-April, living above Robinsons Place, I'm going to attempt eating my way through the mall.  As far as I know, nobody has ever done anything like this, so this could be my unique contribution to the food/blog scene of Manila. Given time constraints, I'll aim for the 36 establishments on the 1st floor (currently--down from the initial 40), working my way up.  

This is the 20th restaurant in the series, the 17th from the 1st floor.  Outer Midtown Wing.

Previously covered restaurants (see post 11(1.11) below for links to installments 01-10):

- 11(1.11) Feb 5 / Wendy's (American) (see 5.031 Baconator Mushroom Melt) / 1.0 / $

- 12(3.01) Feb 6 / Healthy Shabu Shabu (Japanese) (see 5.032 Fish Fillet Set) / 3.0 / $$$
- 13(1.12) Feb 7 / Classic Savory (Chinese) (see 5.033 Classic Chicken Combo B4...) / 2.5 / $$
- 14(1.13) Feb 9 / CHA-a (Filipino) (see 5.035 Rice + Fake Meat & Potato Stew...) / 0.5 / $
- 15(1.14) Feb 10 / McDonald's (American) (see 5.036 1-Piece Chicken McDo... Meal) (Filipino) / 1.0 / $
- 16(1.15) Feb 12 / Greenwich (American) (see 5.037 Garden Fresh Thin Crust Pizza) / 1.5 / $
- 17(1.16) Feb 13 / Soi (Thai) (see 5.039 Thai Kangkong) / 3.5 / $$
- 18(2.01) Feb 19 / Cyma Greek Taverna (Greek) (see 5.045 Spinach & Artichoke Fondue) / 4.0 / $$$
- 19(3.02) Feb 20 / Shanghai Cuisine (Chinese) (see 5.046 Seafood Chop Suey...) / 2.5 / $$

Prices are high, single portion pastas starting at over 300 pesos, some over 500, mains ranging from 500 to 800.

This kind of flatbread pizza seems to be very common in Manila, perhaps all following My Kitchen's lead, as the name of dish there would suggest (see generally 4.270 The Original - Verena).

Perhaps the first time in my experience that the actual dish looked better than it did in the menu photo. 

Italianni's is an Italian restaurant chain.  16 locations throughout the country, mostly in malls, including Robinsons Place.  Great corporate slogan: "Amore di Merrier."  While the website describes the food as "American-Italian," the menu looks to be Italian straight up, if rather mainstream--no meatball subs, no pineapples on the pizza, and what would be called "Spaghetti Marinara" in the States is appropriately referred to here as "Spaghetti al Pomodoro." 

The Grilled Pepper Fish Fillet was phenomenal, every aspect of the dish.  The fish was cream dory, grilled with a nice touch of char.  Further enhanced by the kick of black pepper.  Much creamier and tastier here than in prior encounters (see for example 5.032 Fish Fillet Set), making me wonder if perhaps it had been finished off in butter--exquisite as is.  Even better, paired with a luxurious tomato cream sauce.  Plus sautéed vegetables, including red bell peppers and shallots, and fresh minced scallions, all providing nice contrast.  And spaghetti to round things off--mashed potatoes available alternatively.  One of the best Italian dishes that I've ever had in my life.  

Totally worth 605 pesos.

Certainly the best meal overall of TERRP thus far, though Cyma's fondue was more interesting (see post 18(2.01) above).  Who knew that perfection could be had from chain restaurants in the mall?

 Then again, these Stuffed Mushrooms (1.5) were pretty crappy and absurdly overpriced at 495 pesos.

On the strength of the fish dish, I was impelled to buy into The Bistro Group Premiere membership.  For 2,400 pesos: (i) 20% off the bill every visit; (ii) 25% off the bill on my birthday; (iii) 30% off the bill every Monday; (iv) 1 voucher for 40% off the bill, up to 3,000 pesos; (v) 6 vouchers for free appetizers, up to 400 each; and (vi) free coffee or tea every visit, even without ordering anything else--good for 1 year.  Usable immediately, I saved 600 pesos on this meal.  Applicable at 11 restaurant chains around the country: Bulgogi Brothers, Fish & Co., Flapjacks, Italianni's, Krazy Garlic, Modern Shanghai, Siklab, TGI Friday's, Tonkatsu, Village Tavern, and Watami.  Italianni's and TGI Friday's (see generally 5.018 Filipino Platter) are the only ones in Robinsons Place.  But I'm sure that I'll recoup the investment soon enough, one way or another.

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