manila: lunch at cibo.


hm. let's see. i'm avoiding wheat, pizza makes me crazy, pasta is out of the question, i'm particularly feeling my lactose intolerance today, and i'm with someone on the atkins diet. where to eat, where to eat? i know! an italian café specializing in sandwiches and pasta! aaaauuuugggggh


we went to cibo, an informal yet highly stylish italian café chain an italian caff that is very, very, very orange or very, very, very lime green depending on which branch you visit. moment of madness, perhaps, maybe just looking for a challenge.

cibo tea

we started with iced tea shakes (just iced tea blended up with some ice, but very refreshing), spiked with a fresh mint syrup. ah.

cibo insalata pacifico

moved on to the insalata pacifica--mixed greens topped with a generous amount of fresh shaved tender hearts of palm and parmesan cheese, and dressed with the house vinaigrette. is it me, or are most salad dressings in manila really sweet? even the vinaigrette. not sure i cared for the sweetness of the dressing as the hearts of palm were sweet enough, but at least it wasn't doused with the stuff. next time i'll ask for the dressing on the side.

cibo porchetta

we ordered the three non-carby items: a lemony roasted chicken (pollo arrosto), osso buco with gremolata (braised beef shanks--as joey points out, veal is difficult to find in the philippines--with a pungent garlic lemon parsley sauce), and porchetta, roasted pork marinated in garlic, rosemary, thyme, and sage (pictured above). i had the porchetta, which came with a very mushroomy long-grained rice, a fresh tomato sauce, an herby brown gravy, and a surprisingly good, very tasty fresh apple compote with mustard seeds. not a particularly large meal, as you can see, but it was really a wonderful group of flavours--the melting, sweet, tender, rosemary-infused pork, the earthy shiitake and eryngii mushrooms, the sweet apples lightly tangy with mustard, and the sweet tomatoes. i ate every bit of it. i assume the chicken and beef were equally as successful, as my companions fell silent, refused to let me taste any of it (in all fairness, i hoarded my meal as well), and finished every last morsel.

i have no idea how the pastas, pizzas, or bruschettas are. i'll let you know.

phase 1, promenade, greenhills

and various other locations throughout the city


"an informal yet highly stylish italian café chain"

Do I detect ad copy?

oooh, cut. i take it that's a polite way of telling me to quit with the clichés. hey, i was tired, aiiight? i'll fix it.

Nae leave it, it was so stunningly unbanana I thought I was going to win first prize in TSOGB's new spot-the-subliminal-adman competition.

PS is that Oslo Foodie standing behind you there?

Cibo! It's okay. Not great, just okay. I like their Tomato Soup and their Pasta Marinaio. I'm not sure I spelled it right. I hardly go to Cibo though because even if it's been about half a year since I last ate there, I can still taste the flavor of the food in my mouth. Parang nakakaumay pa rin. You know what I mean? Ah, I'm sure you do. Hehehe. But the porchetta sounds good so maybe I'll give that a try next time... maybe six months from now. :D

nth what are you on....

hi toni! yeah, i saw some of the pasta dishes and they didn't look promising. didn't see anyone order a sandwich, so can't comment. i wasn't expecting much from them, but i was pleasantly surprised.

Everything does look good.. Santos...! and yes.. i find the salad dressing too sweet too..! and like you .. i've learnt to ask them for a side dressing.. instead of having it in my salad. :)


hi big bok! in the philippines, the dressings are extremely sweet, almost like a dessert sauce. yuck!

anthony--well, get a move on, they'll be needing to blow out the candles soon.