Aria Cucina Italiana in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

I can still remember my first Boracay trip. It was the summer of '07 the same year was born. Paul and I went with my big big group from work. Finally after many failed attempts, I excitedly sat through our 50-minute flight to Kalibo where we had to take an hour and a half car drive to Caticlan and endure another 10 minute boat ride to the sunny island of Boracay.

"This should be worth the wait." I thought to myself.

From the moment we got to our resort at Station 1, I held my breath at the beautiful crystal clear water and white powdery sand. This truly was paradise. Definitely worth the wait, dear readers. :)

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As soon as we dropped off our bags and changed into our beach clothes, off we went in search for a good place to have our very first lunch. Following the lead of my colleagues who have been to Boracay more than I could count with my fingers, we headed to D'Mall. They told us this was the central, go-to place for all Boracay visitors and we took that information in mind. In front of D'Mall is a pretty Italian restaurant with wooden interiors called Aria and boy, was it jam-packed! We tried to wait for a couple of minutes but with our tummies growling loudly, we had to move to another less-crowded restaurant.

Still, the thought of those freshly oven-baked pizza and al dente pasta wouldn't leave my mind. Paul teased me that I'm in the beach and I'm still thinking of food. Why of course! What else would I think of? :)

Finally, after much prodding, Paul made reservations for us to have dinner at Aria and the server was kind enough to arrange a romantic place for us by the beach. Oh.. how I enjoyed my Salmon Carpaccio, Quattro Formaggi Pizza and Pasta while listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. I love the sight, the smell, the sound and definitely the taste of my food! Since then, Aria remains to be one of my Boracay favorites and go-to place as well.

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Just imagine how happy I was upon learning that Aria Cucina Italiana is finally coming to Manila! So excited I was that I headed to Bonifacio High Street Central on their first day of operation! This is located at the new wing adjacent to the Bonifacio High Street that we all know and love. It's also where Jamba Juice is located.

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Frannywanny with Paul, Pan and fellow blogger Az

So there I was with Paul and my sister last Saturday night. I'm glad that we went early as the placed quickly filled up just the same way it always does in Boracay. Pretty amazing given that it was their first day. Since they're on Soft Opening, we were told that some menu items were still not available. Shucks! Pan was actually looking forward to having some Gnocchi or Ravioli that evening.

Let me share with you what we ordered that evening:

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Boscaiola Pizza (Php. 525)
Initially, I was eyeing the Salmone e Pesto pizza as I love anything with smoked salmon. It was until our server recommended that we try Boscaiola as this is one of their house specialty that we decided to just follow her. She's right! I love how simple this pizza is yet it's bursting with so much flavor.

One our first slice, we enjoyed the gooey strings of cheese that just keeps getting longer as we pull our pizza slices higher. Yum! Our pizza is topped with sweet ham, mozzarella cheese and mushrooms. So light yet definitely a winner.

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Tagliatelle con tartufo, asparagi e prosciutto di parma (Php. 460)
I love how being a foodie has sharpened my linguistic skills! I can speak Italian, Spanish and Japanese quiet fluently provided it's all about food. I can talk all day long about spinaci or asparagi or lengua con setas but just don't ask me where the washroom is, I'll just give you a blank, confused look. haha!

This was my choice. As you know, I love anything with truffle oil in it and the mere mention of tartufo made me instantly point this out to our server. Sadly, I was quite disappointed with this dish. Sure the truffle was there and so was the prosciutto but the pasta was a total letdown. It wasn't al dente at all and after we have consumed the three thin strips of prosciutto, we were left with tasteless, flat and soggy noodles to consume. Nothing still beats the best truffled pasta from Va Bene Pasta Deli.

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Lastly, we had the Costicine di Agnello (Php. 980). We all love lamb and given that there were just two meat dishes in the menu that we can eat (pork or lamb), we went with the latter. This was the last that was served and I tell you it was GOOD!!

After being disappointed with the pasta dish, I'm so glad that Aria won us back with their perfectly grilled lamb chops. We got three generous slices which was perfect for our table of 3. The meat was very tender with a thin strip of fat that was really delicious too. Yes, I know.. I cheated. I ate a piece of fat. The only thing missing was the mint jelly which was not yet available that day. Too bad, I'm sure it would have made the lamb even more delicious with it.

We had a delightful meal with a few hits and misses in their service and food. However, we were pretty forgiving that day as we remind ourselves that it was their first day of operation.

I can't wait to go back and hopefully they'll have their raviolis, risottos and gnocchis ready for us by then!

Visit Aria Cucina Italiana at the Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

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