Cucinino Pasta ETC.
It’s been a while since I last updated this blog, I was busy stuffing my face and eating out that I literally did not have enough time to write about it, so now I have so many places to tell you about, but let’s start with my experience at Cucinino Pasta ETC.
Next to Japanese cuisine, Italian is my favorite cuisine, I just love pasta, pizza and of course calzones! Yum! So when I had the chance to dine in Cucinino Pasta ETC, which is a fairly new Italian inspired kiosk in Porta Vaga, I didn’t pass on the chance to do so.
Cucinino Pasta ETC is owned and run by 20-something year old couple, TJ Tagasa and Celine Latonero. I felt so old standing next to these two very young and successful entrepreneurs. They’ve started this specific business back in 2009, and 3 years later, they’re still around, obviously people love the food that they serve.
Cucinino in Italian translates to Little Kitchen, and they chose the name for the very reason that Cucinino is literally like a small kitchen, smack right in the middle of the mall lobby. As mentioned earlier, they serve Italian inspired dishes, using fresh local and imported ingredients.
Now, you know I am not much of a salad fan, but I do like it if it’s made with fresh veggies and an awesome vinaigrette. Cucinino’s Fresh Garden Salad was to die for! You can tell how fresh the veggies were by how crunchy the lettuce was and how juicy the tomatoes were. I am not a fan of olives, except in a Martini, but I loved them in this salad. If you want a light but filling meal then this is something you should try out. It’s also very affordable, only Php55 per serving.
If you’re looking for more than just salad, then I recommend the Full Combo. You can have a choice of Pasta, Grilled Chicken or Sausage with Garlic Basil Toast. In this Full Combo, we were served Spaghetti Bolognese with Grilled Sausage and Garlic Basil Toast. You can have this for only Php85, it’s so affordable right?!
As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m not a fan of olives, so it really surprised me that I loved their version of Aglio Olio. It’s entirely made of olives, olive oil, herbs and spices. It was surprisingly light, not at all oily, despite it being made with olive oil, I’ve tried other versions of this one and it turned me off because of how oily it was and how overwhelming the olives were, this one however was just perfect. Super yummy! Thinking about it makes me drool, out of all the things that we were asked to try out, this was definitely my favorite.
My sister is a fan of Pesto, and I couldn’t stop telling her about Cucinino and their very affordable and very yummy pesto. Pesto is one pasta dish that is tricky to make because if you don’t do it right, it might end up with too much garlic, or too much basil, and the end result, a bitter after taste, which is not fun. Cucinino’s Pesto is done just right, definitely something I would recommend, and at only Php65, you’d be crazy not to try it.
Fresh Pasta + Fresh Tomatoes + Herbs and Spices + Olive Oil = A really good Pomodoro Pasta! Priced at Php65, it is a definitely drool worthy dish!
Next up is the Triple Treat. It’s a sample platter with 3 different types of pasta, Pesto, Aglio Olio and Pomodoro. I suggest you go for this one if you’re really really hungry, however, remember that pasta can be very filling, 3 bites into this and I was already full. If you want to sample several pasta dishes of Cucinino, then this is the one to try out. Only Php87.
Everyday Cucinino offers a Special for the Day and you can check it out on their Facebook Page. During my visit the Special for the Day was the Chicken Alfredo, which I absolutely loved, the chunky chicken mixed with the creamy white sauce is so yummy. The Special of the day is changed everyday, so that diners won’t get tired of the current menu, so be adventurous and take your taste buds on an adventure.
If you want a light but filling on-the-go snack, then try a Panini, or two. This Ham and Cheese Panini is only Php48 but I guarantee that you will get your money’s worth. I love Panini! Try out their other flavors, they’re very affordable and I’m sure very yummy.
Needless to say, my stomach was very happy after all that food tasting. The meal will not be complete without drinks of course, we were served Orange Mango, Raspberry and Honey Mint Ice. You know I went for the Honey Mint Ice because I love anything with Mint!
Orange Mango Php18, Raspberry Php20, Honey Mint Ice Php25
I was amazed at how affordable the prices were, at these prices, you’d think they’d scrimp on the ingredients, but that’s not the case here, the serving size is just right for an average person, it’s definitely filling. The food is better than Cantinetta and more affordable too!
In terms of the ambiance, they can definitely do better, perhaps upgrade from a kiosk to a full restaurant, but according to the young couple, if they did that, they’d have to charge more and they’d probably lose some of their regulars. Cucinino Pasta ETC caters to mostly students and working people who are usually in a hurry, which is why their kiosk is right smack in the middle of the lobby in the mall, you basically eat-and-go. I didn’t mind that it was just a kiosk, their food is awesome, and I would brave the crowd and conquer claustrophobia just to get their pasta, panini, salad and etc.
Baguio Bloggers with Tj and Celine of Cucinino Pasta ETC
Cucinino Pasta ETC
3rd Floor, Porta Vaga Mall
Session Road, Baguio City