It’s very rare for my family to go out for dinners during the weekdays; we prefer staying home after a hard day’s work. We do get the urge to break the routine once in a while and go somewhere else. Such was the case when my parents and I met up with my brother and sis-in-law at Serendra in Taguig on a random Monday night. It’s far from where we live, but they wanted us to try an Italian restaurant located in the area. They’ve already been there before and said that the food and service was superb. They wanted us to be able to experience it first-hand.
Balducci Ristorante & Deli is a part of the L’ Opera Group.
Unlimited complimentary bread was served while we were waiting for our orders. Their breads were served warm and tasted delish! Everyone was really glad with this.
The breads were served with some spreads: butter, a type of pâté and another one which was similar to salsa. The one with tomatoes was hands down my favorite for that evening.
We made sure Dad was able to order his Caesar’s Salad (Php260.00). The salad was topped with crunchy croutons and fried Italian pancetta. I didn’t get to try this but my Dad said that it was really good.
Dad also ordered a serving of Minestra di Pesce alla Balducci (Php395.00), which he loved! He couldn’t stop raving about the soup and said that it’s worth every cent. This soup had prawns, lobster and all sorts of shellfish in it. He was already full by the time he finished all the seafood and had to stop because he wanted to leave a bit of space in his stomach for the rest of the meal. :p
My brother ordered a serving of Pescatora Pizza (Php460.00) for everyone to share. This had so much cheezy and seafood goodness on it that it’s very hard not to call it a winner. I really, really enjoyed this and would not hesitate to order this again. We were lucky that Balducci was having a promo when we were there and we managed to avail of this pizza at 50% off the original price! 🙂
Dad’s favorite pasta is aglio olio, but he couldn’t find it in the list of pasta dishes. One of the great things about Balducci is that you can tell them what you want and they’ll whip up the dish for you even if it’s not on the menu! They made sure they delivered Dad’s Spaghetti Olio Seafood (Php400.00).
My brother went with a serving of Spaghetti alle Vongole in Bianco (Php380.00). I initially thought of ordering the same dish, but decided not to so that we could all try different dishes. He liked this very much, although he noticed that the sauce was a little salty when most of the pasta was already gone. I have to commend the amount of baby clams in a serving, though; Balducci definitely went all out!
Mom ordered the Lasagna Bolognese (Php420.00), which she, unfortunately, did not like. She said that the meat sauce tasted a bit fishy. I also noticed that there was a lack of nice presentation when this was served to Mom. 🙁
After much thought, I decided to go with a serving of Fusili al Pesto (Php370.00). This was just okay for me. It was honestly a bit bland compared to the other pesto dishes I’ve tried before, but I liked the fact that there were loads of pine nuts included in my dish. I rarely get to have actual pine nuts in my pesto when I’m dining out.
My sister-in-law ordered the Ravioli di Ricotta e Mascarpone alla Balducci (Php440.00). This didn’t look like much, but she confirmed that with all that cheese and cream, it was definitely very heavy. I was able to try a bit and it was nice too. I might decide to order this when I find myself in Balducci again.
We thought that Balducci’s service team was excellent and their level of service is one of the best we’ve seen so far. Our server for the night was very attentive to our needs and managed to do the things he had to without intruding our personal spaces. I could only wish that all restaurants would have the same level of service as Balducci’s!
True, the meal we had that evening had some hits and misses, but I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t go back. Since most of the entrees are good for sharing, it didn’t feel so bad even if they’re a bit expensive. We were the only ones who made the mistake of ordering one dish per person and ended up too full to even think about having dessert afterwards! :p The next time we’re there, we’ll try to limit the number of main dishes so that we’d have room for some sweets and post-dinner coffee! 🙂
** Balducci Ristorante & Deli is located at Serendra, McKinley Parkway, Fort Bonifacio in Taguig.