If there’s one thing that’s absolutely certain about Linguini Fini’s food, it’s that the ingredients are made 100% fresh. This Hong Kong-based restaurant, which opened last year in SM Megamall, was brought over to the country by the Moment Group, also responsible for bringing in restaurants such as 8 Cuts and Manam, among others. Two more people you can thank for bringing this Italian-American restaurant here in the PH are Chef Vinny Lauria, the executive chef in their Hong Kong branch, and Todd Darling, the founder of Homegrown Foods, also known as the company that owns Linguini Fini.
Aside from being all-natural, Linguini Fini also promises to use locally-sourced ingredients for their food.
Interior. The walls are decorated with Philippine pop cultural/historical icons.
Menu: Antipasti (LF Wings, Homemade spicy pork sausage, ‘Nduja sundried tomato and basil dip, Artichoke roasted pepper and gorgonzola fonduta), Insalata (Ananas panzanella) Pasta (Classic LF, Bavette, Aligue cream linguini, Fusilli, Spaghetti arabiatta, Shrimp and clams fettucine, Arthur Ave. linguini and clams), Pizza (Diavola, Vongole, Putana), Contorni, Porchetta (Served sliced with chili mostarda), Virgins & beers.
Fried Calamari with lemon and a pickled chili aioli dip. The squid pieces were quite chewy, and I usually prefer my calamari thin. I loved the dip and the crispy breading, though.
Pappardelle “Nose to Tail Bolo”, Linguini Fini’s signature dish with pork testa, veal & oxtail ragu, sprinkled with Parmigiano Reggiano. Mind you, this isn’t just any typical store-bought pasta – As mentioned earlier, all of Linguini Fini’s pastas are made from scratch, ensuring absolute freshness. One bite and you can tell that this pasta is made from high-quality flour and rolled using imported La Monferrina pasta-making machines. It does have a tendency to clump/stick together, but I didn’t really care—This is one of their must-try dishes, in my opinion.
Manila Caprese for our pizza. This one is topped with cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, kesong puti, and olive oil. Pizza served in fast-food restaurants, such as Pizza Hut, Shakey’s, and S&R still occupy a special place in my heart—But the Manila Caprese is just pure, brick-oven goodness.
Mom had the Linguini Tinapa “Gremolata”, with lemon zest, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, toasted garlic, and topped with tinapa flakes – Like my pappardelle, this dish is also created in the Linguini Fini kitchen.
Thanks to Linguini Fini, I don’t think I’ll be able to look at plain, store-bought pasta the same way again. There’s really a huge difference when it comes to the taste of fresh pasta and regular pasta. I just hope that more Italian restaurants that specialize in handmade pasta would open up in the metro so people can try out some hand-crafted goodness.
Food: 5/5 (taste), 4/5 (presentation)
Linguini Fini is located at 3/F SM Megamall, Mega Fasion Hall, Julia Vargas Ave cor EDSA Wack Wack, Mandaluyong. Tel no: (02) 531-3302.