There is an extremely detailed disquisition by The Theoretical Chef on how to quantify value-for-money in a restaurant. Me no understand but it looks nifty.
Anyway, earlier this week accompanied a cousin, his wife and son to Amici along Tomas Morato.
There’s something ironic about a self-service cafeteria-style restaurant that has valet parking.
It’s a large, bright, place, pretty full at the time, but there seemed a bit of confusion on our part as to overdering procedures. And what is it with security guards doubling as waitstaff? There ought to be a law! Between security guards in charge of ashtrays at Starbuck’s, handing out trays at DeliFrance, and handing out menus at Amici, this is not part of their job description and it shouldn’t be condoned.
Asked what the Minestrone was like, and my cousin laconically replied, “filling.”
And I asked my nephew what the Panini was like, and got an equally laconic answer: “Mmmkay.”
Did not venture to try to extract an opinion on the pasta.
This, and the next two dishes, are what I actually got to eat. The (Rosemary) Roast Chicken (170 pesos) was, indeed, “baked to perfection” as the menu promised, the vegetables not mushy, which was all good, but the chicken was rather flavorless. Not bland, but, lacking in flavor, somehow. I personally think it has to do with the chicken being your generic farm-raised Magnolia type, which leads to a predictable but not particularly flavorful, on its own, chicken. The most unremarkable dish of the trio I tried.
The Canneloni Agli Spinaci, on the other hand, was a triumph. No scrimping on either the spinach or the ricotta cheese, not drowning in tomato sauce but not overcooked and leathery, either, not too fatty. A great combination of texture and flavor and at 180 pesos, actually probably a nice dish for one person, but I had to share it and so it served as our appetizer.
Doc Emer on Twitter sang the praises of Amici’s pizza, and he was right. Nice, thin, Italian-style slightly flaky crust, this was the Tutta Carne, Italian Sausage and Cooked, Spicy Ham (not spicy at all, and slightly, it seemed to me, more along the lines of generic cold cuts -read, “Spiced Ham” for baon sandwiches- than a real ham. But, filling, with a good combination of real cheese and an apparently non-canned sauce. Good for two but not more than that.
This is really a place for marauding gangs of friends or large families, but this isn’t a place with big share-with-the-world servings.