IMAGE Hans Fausto

This Creamy Carbonara Gives You All the Reasons to Embrace Carbs

Pasta lovers, you'll want to check out Salta! in Teachers Village.

Salta! Italian Rotisserie Chicken Bar
38 Mayaman Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City
Contact: 372-9177, 0917-830-9290
Open from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Tuesday to Thursday) and 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. (Friday and Saturday)

 

 


 

(SPOT.ph) In just a couple of years, the quiet residential street that is Maginhawa has completely transformed into a gastronomic strip. Meanwhile, its neighboring streets in Teachers Village, Malingap and Matalino, now boast several up and coming restaurants that are worth the visit. The latest addition to the list? Mayaman Street.

 


 

People started to flock the area when Merkanto International Street Food Fair first opened in 2016. Right beside the food-park-slash-car-wash is a couple of newly opened dining nooks, and one of them is Salta! Italian Rotisserie Chicken Bar.

 

Inside, you'll see brightly colored window panes painted with the Italian flag's colors: Green and red. Speech bubbles drawings dot the retsaurant's walls (in which one playfully reads, "I want my hot chick now!") making for an IG-worthy design. On the other hand, potted plants hang from the ceiling by their big glass wall, evoking a feeling you're dining al fresco. The modern Italian rotisserie bar can fit as much as 15 customers in its indoor dining area, and another 15 at their outdoor tables.

 

 

“Salta” in Italian means “to jump,” and that’s exactly what restaurant owner and manager Gem Tee did—motivated by Pappare Ristoranti regulars' requests, she jumped into the risk of bringing her homey Italian dishes to Teachers Village. Pappare Ristoranti is a little stall at The Food Hive in Quezon City that offers pasta dishes served in cool take-out containers.

 

Gem says the rotisserie bar’s entire menu was conceptualized in just under three months, but it’s no Herculean feat for the food consultant who, by profession, creates dishes for start-up restaurants.

 

Italian Rotiserrie Chicken

 

The main star of Salta!’s menu is part of the name: Italian Rotiserrie Chicken (P490). “You see Peruvian roast chicken, even Mexican and French, but there’s none that focuses on Italian-style chicken. You also don’t get to see a lot of casual grill bars, where people dine in to eat meals like roasted chicken,” Gem shares.

 

Cooked in the traditional rub composed of olive oil, Italian table wine, fresh herbs, and lemon zest in a charcoal brick oven for four hours, the chicken comes out fork-tender while its skin is golden, crackling, and just appetizing. The meat has a mild smoky paprika flavor infused with refreshing subtle hints of lemon. While the chicken skin is already irresistibly juicy, flame-torching it intensifies the flavor of the Italian rub.

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Brick Oven Porkchop

 

The rotisserie serves all kinds of meat—with pork, beef, and lamb among the choices. The minute you dig into their Brick Oven Porkchop (P205/with plain rice, P255/with two sides), you'd be amazed by its tenderness.

 

Italian Sausages

 

Don't leave Salta! without trying some of their handmade Italian Sausages (P165/with plain rice, P215/with two sides). This satisfying medley of brined ground pork is peppery and savory. It’s so good you’d probably want to bring them home (they're available in frozen one-kilo packs for P550).

 

BBQ Neapolitan Pizza

 

Sitting on a nine-inch brick-oven crust are the same garlicky handmade sausages that are also used as pizza topping, along with earthy shiitake mushroom slices. The BBQ Neapolitan Pizza (P220) is drizzled with a tasty sauce, a mix of balsamic vinegar, and hickory barbecue that, when combined, has a hint of sweetness and a surprisingly memorable tang.

 

Tender Balsamic Lamb Shank

 

The Tender Balsamic Lamb Shank (P450/with plain rice, P500/with two sides) stays true to its name, as it is fall-apart tender. Like the roasted chicken, it also comes with Salsa Verde, a creamy and rich garlic pesto sauce that will make you completely forget about chimichurri.

 

Assorted sides

 

At Salta!, there are six interesting sides to choose from to complement your meals: Rotisserie Cheese Potato (P50), Pesto Rice (P40), Salta! Fries (P35), Garlic Parmesan Foccacia Roll (P30), Tuscan Slaw (P40), and Sicilian Vegetables (P50).

 

Piadina Milano

 

If you need your veggies, the Piadina Milano (P185) panini is a hearty snack. It has fresh and crisp romaine lettuce, the signature Salsa Verde sauce, melted mozzarella, and juicy chunks of roasted chicken are a lot like a salad in a sandwich. Add some Italian prosciutto on a thin crusty pita, and you’ll have the perfect light meal.

 

Spinach, Mushroom, and Bacon Carbonara

 

Gem also brings the bestsellers of her first solo food venture, Pappare, to Mayaman Street. The Spinach, Mushroom, and Bacon Carbonara (P205) is a combination of all your favorite carbonara ingredients. It also comes with a perfectly cooked sous-vide egg for that added silkiness and richness.

 


 

The moment this pasta comes out, you’ll understand why it’s a crowd favorite. You get a whiff of the appetizing aroma of truffle oil immediately, while the bacon adds that distinct smoky taste and saltiness you'd want to have over and over again.

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This cozy eatery is one of the first food establishments on Mayaman Street. But more than its chill ambience and carb-loaded classics (that just screams comfort all over), it's a place that can capture a little bit of Italy's well-loved cuisine in every visit.

 

Photos by Hans Fausto

 

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