Another Sunday family dinner brought us to the much talked about Amici Restaurant along Tomas Morato in Quezon City. It was the 24th of August, my first time to visit the place (Yes, this post is long overdue…). A lot of people say that the place served good food and my family and I went there to give it a try. Amici was originally the canteen for Don Bosco in Makati, and then was bought by the former owner of Red Ribbon Bakeshop (now handled by the Jollibee group of companies).
Anyway, let’s go through some of the dishes my family and I had that Sunday evening:
Cannelloni Agli Spinaci (Php180), pasta dish consisting of spinach and ricotta cheese.
Spaghetti alla Pescatora (Php190), pasta dish made up of shrimps, mussels and squid.
Fruitti di Mare (Php270), seafood pizza. (I was only able to take a photo of one slice, but all of Amici’s pizza are served whole in 12″ circular pans.)
Amici’s food, in general, didn’t measure up to the ruckus they’ve been getting, but I won’t say that they tasted bad. I would have to say that out of the five dishes, the Cannelloni and the Ai Quattro Formaggi are my favorite, something I might probably order again. The one that didn’t quite appeal to our taste buds was the Spaghetti alla Pescatora.
For dessert, my Mom had a slice of Brazo de Mercedes (Php40 per slice), while my brothers and I had a cup of gelato each (sorry, no pictures here!). I had Mint with Chocolate, Mons had Cioccolato, and Pointyman had the Mango Jubillee. Each cup costs Php45 to 50, depending on the flavor. The gelatos were also sold by kilograms.
There’s also something you have to remember: Amici is purely self-service, which means that you have to stand in line to order your food, get your own utensils and condiments from stations scattered in the restaurant, and have somebody from your group literally sit and wait at your chosen table while you order lest you want your seat to be taken by somebody else. Kind of like how Sbarro works, but Amici doesn’t quite match Sbarro’s style.
While a self service restaurant isn’t necessarily bad, we were able to take note that Amici could use a bit of improvement in this aspect of their operations. We were lucky that my brother, Mons, have already dined at Amici before, so he knows what to do upon arriving at the place. However, confusion about the procedure was prevalent in the faces of their other customers, especially for those expecting otherwise.If the idea was to continue with the school cafeteria feel (especially at lunch hour), then I think they were right on, everything from the noise levels to the lack of organization was perfect.
Overall, the food and the price would probably get the rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars, but Amici could definitely improve on the food presentation and their staff could use a bit of training in terms of customer service.Mons and I were taking a look at the desserts when one of their staff snapped at me, telling me that I should form a line in front of the cashier so that other customers won’t get confused.What irked me was (1) we weren’t ready to order yet, Mons and I were just browsing the goods; (2) the girl who was supposed to attend the cash register was still refilling the gelato freezer/display and not ready to take any orders yet, and (3) there was a “Next Counter Please” sign right in front of the cash register where the irate staff wanted me to form a queue.It was sad I didn’t catch that staff’s name.She wasn’t wearing a name tag like all the other servers.
One other improvement that would probably help Amici would be changing their menu from a single sheet of almost crumpled photocopied paper to something a little more presentable. Maybe to a laminated version, with the words and prices printed more clearly. With a little bit of extra work, Amici can become better and another Italian place worth hanging out at. 🙂
***Amici Restaurant is located at 243 Tomas Morato cor. Fuentebella Street, QC. They are open 11a.m. to 11p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, and 10a.m. to 12midnight Fridays to Sundays. Word has it that they’re opening branches at Greenhills and at SM Megamall.