New on the Menu: Morelli’s Gelato Caffe at Shangri-La Plaza East Wing, Mandaluyong

We scream for... gelato.

Morelli’s Gelato Caffe
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Bacio

 

(SPOT.ph) The crunch is missing. That is all it’s missing. Where most pistachio gelatos settle for a tinge, Morelli’s version takes a more noticeable green hue and bursts with a flavor so characteristically nutty that one expects that familiar crisp resistance between the teeth instead of the cool silkiness of Italian ice cream. Manuel Zubiri, vice chair of Global Restaurant Concepts which handles Morelli’s in the Philippines, once had the enviable task of sampling 50 varieties of the said flavor in Europe to see how the brand stood against the competition. And with its natural, unadulterated flavor, the pistachio is only one example of why the UK-based cafe is deemed by Conde Nast as the "Best Gelato in London."

 

The difference lies in the ingredients. Morelli’s, which has been churning out mounds of sweet frozen  treats since 1907, sources materials from abroad-lemons from Sorrento, hazelnuts from Piedmont, pistachios from Bronte. But that’s not to say local ingredients can’t make for good ice cream. The Manila Special (P450), a flavor specific to the Philippines and made with bananas and coconuts complete with a decorative palm tree and monkey, was launched with Morelli’s first branch in Power Plant Mall last year.

 

The ethereal Celestina

 

For their second store at the new Shangri-La Plaza East Wing, Morelli’s once again redefines the tradition they’ve set with innovative flavors, quirky combinations, and a menu that stretches to include sandwiches, antipasti, and beverages. Two such offerings are so smoking it’s hard not to take notice. The Vesuvio (P495), inspired by the volcano, comes with a fragrant fumes in between mounds of vanilla gelato, melting chocolate cake, chocolate sauce, caramelized almonds, and pop rocks for that explosive touch. The Celestina (P250) is just as magical: with an ethereal mist of its own, a gastronomic fairytale of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla gelato topped with chocolate sauce, fresh bananas, strawberries, and whipped cream.

 

But then there’s the Bacio (P550). No smoke, no mirrors; letting only the sinful presentation of melting chocolate, hazelnut and vanilla gelato, mouthwatering chocolate truffles, nuts, swirls of magnun chocolate, and more hazelnut sauce under a crown of fresh whipped cream do the enchanting. The presentation only paves the way to a rich decadence that comes quite close to what heaven must feel like.

 

Smoked Salmon, Creme Fraiche, and Rocket Leaf Salad

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There’s never been a pairing quite like the Gorgonzola and Honey gelato with the prosciutto and pesto antipasti. A sweet affair that’s as seductive as Pinot Noir and truffles, the pleasant pungence of blue cheese ice cream, a personal favorite of Product and Marketing Head Gino Soldan, wraps around the salty profile of parma ham and pesto crostini. Other antipasti options include smoked salmon with creme fraiche and rocket leaf salad; and honey roast ham with Emmental cheese, greens, and Dijon mustard.

 

The folks behind Morelli’s have been busy in the kitchen, what with new sundaes, savory dishes, and delightful treats like the irresistible gelato Bonbons and dainty fruit-mousse Delizie. While the new additions are well and good, they make what they’re cooking up next all the more exciting.

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