Paparazzi in Edsa Shangri-la Manila (Philippines)

Time surely flies when you're having fun and if you're extremely busy too. Look at that, I just realized that September is over and October has just quickly rolled in. This just means that, in a few weeks, Paul and I will be celebrating our 13th year as a couple!

If you put things into perspective, 13 years is pretty much how long a student (at least in the Philippines) takes to finish his elementary and secondary studies. Why is it that 13 years seemed like forever when I was still studying and it has just zoomed so fast when it comes to me being in a relationship with Paul? OMG.

Anyways, I have been mentioning on and off here how terrible my backlog is and today I'm going to prove just that. Let me talk about that amazing romantic dinner that Paul and I had... last year. I'm really sorry! I can't believe it took me close to 365 days to tell you all about it. For something this good, I should have went straight to writing about it. Anyway, we were so lucky to be back in Manila to celebrate our 12th anniversary and our friends at Edsa Shangri-la Manila not only treated us to a nice staycation and a relaxing massage at Chi Spa but also to a delicious dinner at Paparazzi. 

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My family and I have been loyal patrons of EDSA Shangri-la Manila since it opened sometime in the 90s when we would frequent Summer Palace for good Cantonese dishes and dim sum creations as well as Harana which was an in-house Filipino restaurant but sadly that closed down a long time ago. It's funny that no matter how often we've been at the hotel, I don't recall ever dining at Paparazzi. My guess was because it's a fine dining Italian restaurant which isn't very kid friendly so this is probably why my parents never brought Pan and I here. As the saying goes, "there'll always be a first time" and mine happened a year ago as we were told that the Chef has specially prepared a delicious dinner set for us. That really got us so excited that we got to the restaurant at exactly 7pm in time for our reservation.

Prior to the start of our meal, Cath, our friendly server came over with a mobile bar where she made our drink by our tableside. It's a nice fruity mix of lychee and white wine which was very light and suitable for non-alcoholic drinkers like me.

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The service at Paparazzi was just amazing. Everyone from the Chef to the Restaurant Manager and to every single staff were just so friendly and helpful. No wonder Paparazzi has been around for decades. Good service is truly one factor in helping the restaurant gain loyal customers.

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For starters, we had the Vitello Tonnato (Php. 620) which is a lovely plate of thinly sliced cold veal drizzled with creamy tuna sauce and capers. It's an interested "surf and turf" kind of starter where you get the meat texture and bite from the veal and the seafood flavor from the tuna sauce. This is perfect if you love cold appetizers. However, if you want something more "cooked" then do consider something else.

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Since it was our special day, the Chef prepared a beautiful platter of assorted antipasto. I really enjoyed this a lot! Basically, it's a mix of burrata cheese, savory tomatoes, pesto cream, garlic herb croutons, sundried tomatoes, olive oil and a bit of salt too. So the Chef came over to teach us how to enjoy this. All you have to do is to mix and match whichever antipasto you'd like to have and top this on a slice of bread. It reminds me of a deconstructed caprese salad and it was so yummy!

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Moving on to our next course, we had the Caciucco, a classic Livornese Seafood soup.  I love seafood soup and this one was a really good one. It's not the kind that's overly loaded with seafood but Chef made sure that the flavor was so rich. Served with a piece of grilled prawn and toast, it's one comforting dish that got us so excited for the dishes up ahead.

For our mains, we had a choice to go with the Fettucini Verdi (Php. 690) or the Ossobuco (Php. 1,990). We couldn't decide who's getting what so the best solution was to share. We got both main dishes and asked our server to just place it at the middle of the table for sharing. I just love dining out with Paul as he doesn't mind sharing his food with me!

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The Fettucini Verdi was a delicious pasta dish made out of al dente spinach fettucini noodles cooked in creamy mushroom and parma ham sauce. It's very similar to the classic carbonara except for the absence of bacon and egg. I really like fettucini as the flat noodles gives a full bite compared to the thin spaghettini noodles. The creamy sauce was so yummy and it's kiddie-friendly too!

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While I was enjoying the pasta, Paul was happily digging into the tender Ossobuco. This was our second veal dish and this time, it's a huge piece of veal shank which was probably cooked for close to 12 hours and served with saffron risotto. The meat literally fell of the bone with a gentle touch of the fork. It doesn't have any weird gamey smell or taste making it even more delicious.

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For dessert, we had the Tiramisu (Php. 425) which is Paparazzi's signature dessert. Served in a nice mason jar, we loved the perfect balance of mascarpone cream, coffee, rum and lady fingers. It's very similar to our friend G's winning Tiramisu which we feel is the best here in Singapore. This could definitely be its Manila counterpart.

It was a fun and romantic dinner at Paparazzi. Everything was just so good and the service was top notch. Looks like our first visit will be followed by more succeeding visits in the future.

*photos by Paul Ang

Check out Paparazzi  at the Mezzanine Level (Tower Wing) of EDSA Shangri-la Manila, 1 Garden Way, Ortigas Centre, Mandaluyong City. Call them at +63 (2) 633-8888 ext 2922. 

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