22 pasta dishes have turned Linguini Fini into every carb lover's dream
Pasta with adobo? Pasta with fried chicken? It's pasta everything at LF!
3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City
Contact: 531-3302, 0917-834-1493
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) We have to congratulate Chef Daniel Lachica (ranked fifth on SPOT.ph's Top 10 Hottest Chefs in Manila 2015) for making perhaps the most date-friendly squid-ink noodles ever. The tasty black ink is infused in the actual pasta, pumping that characteristic briny flavor into fresh and firm linguini, then highlighting it with rings of squid, a smack of lemon, garlic, onion, and pickled chili that makes makes every one of those elements pop. The Calamari Linguini Nero is one of Linguini Fini's new pasta dishes—one of 14—and, as they close out their first year, the Hong Kong-based restaurant's total pasta tally is 22. That's 22 reasons to love carbs—and we're not even talking about the pizzas yet.
Calamari Linguini Nero (P225/Lite, P405/Reg, P595/Grand)
The Moment Group, which brought over this Italian wonder to local shores, has been busy of late—opening 8 Cuts outlets left and right, prepping a new Manam at Bonifacio Global City, and, of course, setting up the first branch of Din Tai Fung, which is slated to open before the year ends. It's Linguini Fini's first anniversary and so far, it's been a year of developing a "usual," trying out their temporary blackboard specials, and saying good-bye to them.
Porchetta (P275/Lite, P495/Regular, P730/Grand)
Fried Chicken Alfredo (P280/Lite, P535/Regular, P785/Grand)
Chef Daniel assures us that the new pasta menu is here to stay. That's good to hear. His hard work and also his team's deserve a little more menu time and they've been busy dressing Linguini Fini's perfect al dente noodles in all sorts of fashions. There's one, the Porchetta, that puts together their gorgeous pasta with their bestselling roasted pork belly. Obviously, it's a double hit. The chicken in the Fried Chicken Alfredo is so potently seasoned that they should offer it separately. Tender with just the right amount of saltiness, it adds new excitement to this classic.
Birthday Bolognese (P250/Light, P410/Regular, P540/Grand)
It's come to a point where it's not just about presenting good food. Linguini Fini plays up sentiment, too. They have the Birthday Bolognese, an elevated version of sweet Pinoy-style spaghetti, truly something both kids and adults can get in on. Homemade sausage (reminiscent of a meaty longganisa) gives it that characteristic sweetness whittled down with basil and cheese (Grana Padano).
Baked Ziti (P250/Lite, P410/Regular, P540/Grand)
The Baked Ziti, more commonly known locally as baked "macaroni," is a trigger to happiness. The combination of bolognese, tomato sauce, and mozzarella is fool-proof, simple but effective and so nicely executed. Bread crumbs give it the texture that we often need in these kinds of cheesy dishes. Salami and mushrooms come together for a tasty affair in yet another crowd-pleasing combination. It's Linguini Fini's alternative to the amazing albeit temporary Fusilli with Sausage and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, and we say it's doing pretty well as a substitute.
Truffle Shroom Fettuccine (P280/Lite, P535/Regular, P785/Grand)
Linguini Adobo Gremolata (P165/Lite, P280/Regular, P405/Grand)
Order the Truffle Shroom Fettuccine and it'll take over the entire table. Maybe the next one over, too. The earthy smell is so intense, you already know it's good before you taste it. Mushrooms, as jelly is to peanut butter, are the perfect complement. This is what Linguini Fini does. You find something off left-field, like the adobo flakes-crowned Linguini Adobo Gremolata—innovative but with good flavors that could so be easily understood—but only because they know their classics so well.
Roasted Pepper & Shrimp Linguini (P250/Lite, P410/Regular, P540/Grand)
Lamb Rigatti (P225/Lite, P405/Regular, P595/Grand)
Bolder punches of flavor can be found in the likes of the Roasted Pepper and Shrimp Linguini, which flaunts a lovely level of heat, and the Lamb Rigatti. Sweet onion ragu is the proverbial icing on top of a proverbial cake.
Fried Risotto Balls
Chef Daniel is the carb king of the city. He makes a mean New York-style pizza (big and thin that you fold in your hands then eat) with perfect proportions of toppings. He introduces us to these addictive risotto balls (P190): tomato-ey on their own, made of soft, semi-mashed rice that's crunchy on the outside and zingy with marinara sauce. Delicious. Our takeaway, however, apart from a strengthened love affair with pasta? We've always known Linguini Fini was great with noodles, but those Fried Zucchinis (P145) with marinara sauce and garlic aioli? Perfect.
Read more about Linguini Fini.