The Orgasmic, "Nose-to-Tail" Goodness of Linguini Fini Manila

Those who share with me an undying love for Italian food will surely find delight with this news: The Moment Group -- the empire which brought us 8 Cuts Burger Blends, Cue Modern Barbecue, and Phat Pho Manila -- has partnered with Homegrown Foods to bring something fresh to tease the palates of Manila diners with: Linguini Fini from Hong Kong!

I could practically see you rolling your eyes and collectively saying, “another Italian place?”, but before making any judgments, you might want to read on first. Indeed, Manila has seen a lot of the vineyards and checked tablecloths sprout and slowly blur and blend in with the rest of the food establishments, but Linguini Fini has something new up its sleeve: a mix of something we haven’t seen before, and something we have, but failed to convince us.

I read from their menu that once the last ticket of the day has been served and the last guest has gone,
all Linguini Fini staff gather together for some beer! SUPER COOL!
Their logo is a tongue ("linguini") in between the folds of a pasta machine--reflecting the way they make their pasta.
On September 8, Linguini Fini quietly opened its doors in SM Mega Fashion Hall—no wild gimmicks, no promos. What it did have though was a unique proposition: its “nose-to-tail” philosophy. No, it doesn’t involve smelling other people’s butts, but utilizing all parts of animal meat, from the head down to the teeniest tips, in the belief that marvelous flavors are hidden there.

It also carried with it its vibrant presence, which any passerby would instantly notice when he sees the funky walls and fixtures of this new establishment.

It's easy to forget you're inside a mall with an ambience like this.
Supervising Manila’s kitchen during the opening stages is Chef Vinny Lauria, the executive chef of Linguini Fini Hong Kong. He’s the creative mind behind the whole nose-to-tail, farm-to-table commitment of Linguini, believing that a perfect dining experience is achieved when the ingredients are fresh and organic.

Top: Chef Vinny Lauria leading his team of cooks. Bottom: Line cooks preparing dishes.
Linguini’s aim to combine Italian cuisine, New York spunk, and Filipino charm is instantly evident from its interiors: hipster details mixed with hand-painted illustrations from a Pinoy artist. The design itself is a sure source of lively conversation, but just wait until you have set your hands—and mouths—upon their food.

Linguini Fini loves animals. :)

Sarimanok VS "Manny Pacquiao"

Tamaraw, jeepney, Jose Rizal.
I wanted to steal these stools!
Like 8 Cuts, Linguini has a beautiful, well-put-together menu.
The open kitchen keeps things interesting as diners can watch the action going on—how pizzas are assembled, meats chopped, basically how their food is prepared, all from scratch. EMPHASIS ON “FROM SCRATCH”.

Linguini shoots for sustainable eating by sourcing ingredients locally whenever possible. Such is demonstrated by the White Gold Bars (P365). Like the interiors, this dish combines Italian and Filipino culture—which is shown by almost everything from their menu.

Linguini’s take on the omnipresent cheese stick utilizes kesong puti, a local ingredient made from carabao milk, cooked the Italian way. The White Gold Bars are enveloped in an herby breading and paired with some homemade marinara. The sticks are chewy, the breading delightfully thin and not oily, but I would have loved a stronger cheese flavor.

Another dish that’s a marriage of Italian and Filipino cuisines is the Longganisa & Scamorza pizza (P755). A 12-inch thin-crust pizza, loaded with smoked scamorza cheese, Filipino longganisa, chili leaves, garlic oil, and fresh basil. My basil-loving mouth had multiple orgasms just munching on one slice. I had four (So that’s quadruple multiple orgasms, LOL).

The longganisa is a bit garlicky, which I love, and came in generous dumps. When I asked Chef Vinny if the sausages were made in-house, he joked, “No, I’m not Filipino enough.” The brilliant combination is one that is incredibly simple but works amazingly. Even as I write this, I’m craving for more slices!

I had wanted to try Linguini Fini’s signature pasta dish, the Papardelle “Nose-to-Tail Bolo”, but my eyes flickered when I saw the word porchetta among the pasta selections. That’s how I met the Tagliatelle Porchetta (P395), the most interesting pasta dish I’ve had after 1,735 years.

It’s a simple oil-based dish made with red onions, basil, and porchetta: boneless pork roast stuffed with fennel and other herbs. The porchetta was flavorful and wonderfully fatty—and melt-in-the-mouth. This was quite an experience for me.

The porchetta is also available as a separate main dish -- make sure you order that!
Even their house blend iced tea is really good.
Suffice it to say that I never wanted to get up from my seat and just wanted to keep on devouring these delicious cubes of pork until I faint, get a heart attack or something. The weird thing is, no part of the porchetta felt sinful—it tasted amazingly clean.

For dessert, I got the classic Tiramisu (P195). The coffee gelato was superb, the cake crumble sweet but not cloying. I just thought maybe this would’ve been more interesting if the cake was warm, like a lava cake.

With a devotion to provide fresh, delicious food, and a cool ambience that’s ideal for relaxing and sharing, Linguini Fini definitely shook the food scene a bit and raised the experience of dining out a notch higher. It’s the type of place I would take my family and friends to, one I could easily get lost into, and one that is absolutely worthy of repeated visits. 

Congratulations to The Moment Group for another well-executed concept! Oh, and in case you thought I turned into a total moron ... no, I DID NOT forget to take a picture with Chef Vinny. LOL!

With the young, dynamic chef, Chef Vinny Lauria!
With Ms. Maita Quesada of The Moment Group and Yohanne of Posh Themes Design
Thanks Ms. Maita for inviting me!
And by the way, just so you know, all servers were good-looking.

Linguini Fini
Level 3, SM Mega Fashion Hall, Edsa cor. Julia Vargas Ave., Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
Operating Hours: 10:00am - 10:00pm
Menu: click here
Facebook: LinguiniFiniMNL
Twitter: @LinguiniFiniMNL
Instagram: @LinguiniFiniMNL
Budget: around PhP500-PhP700/person – food is best for sharing

Have you tried Linguini Fini? What do you think of their food? Would you like to attack the place and share some porchetta with me? Buzz off in the Disqus comments section below!

My meal was sponsored by Linguini Fini Manila. All opinions, however, are my own.

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  1. I loved the light and witty approach! Wala feel ko lang magcomment. Miss u!

  2. Hahahaha! I miss you too! I'll treat you at Linguini when you get home!


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