Amici and Cara Mia Gelateria at the Ayala Triangle Gardens
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Having the best of both worlds? Imagine your favorite Italian Trattoria and Gelateria in one place at the Ayala Triangle Gardens. What makes Amici quite unique is the history behind it. Fr. Gianluigi Colombo, a Salesian Italian priest was in charge of the printing press canteen sometime in 1994. Not only did the employees got to eat good food to satisfy their hunger but taste authentic freshly made Italian dish in a “turo-turo” setting.
Starting with Italian coffee and gelato, the canteen eventually introduced wood-fire oven baked pizzas and homemade pasta. By June 2001, the Amici di Don Bosco (Friends of Don Bosco) was legally established to serve the needs of the students of Don Bosco. News of the great Italian cuisine prepared and served by priests and “ordinary people” spread like wildfire from patrons all over Metro Manila.
With its success came the need for a more dynamic management system. The Salesians agreed to a complete buy-out of Amici di Don Bosco by Mr. Danny Moran and Mr. Iboy Pinga because management is not their expertise.
In November 2007, it was relaunched “Amici” under Amici Foodservice Ventures Incorporated. Today, it is still known for the Salesian legacy of authentic Italian menu at very affordable prices and now has seven branches all over Metro Manila.
I got to visit Amici and Cara Mia during a food tour of the Ayala Triangle Gardens last December. Specialties of Amici Mozzarella Fritto, Salsicce Italiana, Al Quattro Formaggi Pizza, Roast Chicken, Cannelloni Agli Spinaci, Spaghetti Red Vongole E Gamberetti, Spaghetti White Vongole E Gamberetti, Premium Ensaymada, and Langka Gelati, Espresso, Gelati and Profiterole with price range of 200 to 499 pesos.
Cara Mia , on the other hand offer Gelato Cakes, Affogato, Pastries, Gelato Shakes, Pistachio, Sans Rival, Strawberry Supreme, Cioccolato, Straciatella, Mint with Chocolate, Espresso, Choco with Nuts, Blueberry Supreme, Nocciola, Guianduia, Vanilla and Mango Classic
The oven uses firewood which reminds me of our bake shop’s brick oven. Breads cooked in this type of oven usually have a unique flavor. Amici pizza is unique in this sense because of how it is baked.
I sampled two variants: The Tutta Carne and the Quattro Stagioni
The Tutta Carne is indeed for the meat lovers. This meat lover’s delight is made of Italian sausage, ham of Pepperoni.
Tutta Carne ( 298 pesos)
My favorite pizza combination is the all time favorite of “Four cheeses”. The Quattro Stagioni is not the Four Cheese pizza but a combination of ham. mushrooms, artichoke hearts and Olive.
Quattro Stagioni (298 pesos)
Here is the menu for other pizza and pasta delights
The pasta dishes I tried are the Fetuccine at Tartufo Classico and Spaghetti ai Tesori del Mare.
Fetuccine at Tartufo Classico (244 pesos)
This Fetuccine has the scrumptious combination of truffle oil, button, and Shitake mushrooms.
Spaghetti ai Tesori del Mare (264 pesos)
For those that love a bit of spice in their pasta, the Spaghetti ai Tesori del Mare is mildly spicy pasta tossed in fresh tomatoes, scallops, clams, mussels, and chili oil. This is my favorite.
I am just saying that because I sampled two pasta dishes. Looking at the menu below, there are a lot more to choose.
More pasta dishes in these menu
What is pasta without dessert? Mango is always a favorite dessert and if you are like me, this Mango gelato with mango chunks plus graham crackers is a must.
Mango Symphony (95 pesos)
The Peach Walnut Passion is gelato cake too but it combines both the traditional cake with gelato in it.
Peach Walnut Passion (95 pesos)
Then we tried out their gelato. The difference between a gelato and an ice cream? The difference is gelato is made from fresh milk while ice cream is made from cream. The texture in gelato is also denser.
Don’t worry if you can’t get seats during weekdays. Make a date on weekends when there are less people dining (less working people on a weekend). Amici and Cara Mia is one restaurant with so many choices that will surely satisfy your hunger. I like that this restaurant has a larger seating capacity than most of the other restaurants. Chances are you will get a seat during weekdays.
Ayala Triangle Gardens
Ayala Avenue, Ayala Triangle
Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone Number: (63 2) 621-6128
Click on map below on how to go to Ayala Triangle Restaurant
Map via Click the city
Available parking areas for the Restaurants Ayala Triangle Gardens are the Gabriela Silang Parking which is along Makati avenue, corner Ayala avenue. Another parking area is the Basement parking of the Tower One & Exchange Plaza . The entrance is in front of Tower One and one can enter through the Makati Stock Exchange driveway along Ayala Avenue.