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The Theoretical Cook

A FOODY IN THE THIRD WORLD

Friday, September 15, 2006

blah at cafe caruso


In the Philippines, despite the Anti-Money Laundering law, a ragtag group of Italian mafia has found away to legitimize their illegal spoils: by setting up Italian restos named after their well-loved musicians. So you have cafe puccini, cafe caruso, cafe, er, pavarotti? So their menu begins with a picture of the favored music person, including a short bio (1st page), Antipasti, Pasta (always home-made), Main Course, Pizza, and Dessert (always with tiramisu and pannacotta).
I'm not particularly fond of Italian food (see old posts). Nor of Italian musicians (not fond of music at all, since they leave me weeping, eg. Miles Davis' sketches of spain). But due to the ubiquity of Italian restaurants in Manila, I invariably end up eating in one, for reasons of mutual convenience, etc.
I was at Cafe Caruso yesterday night for a small get together for a cousin leaving for Dubai. The homemade pasta with porcini mushroom cream sauce was blah (the sauce was terrific but the pasta was way beyond al dente), so was the spaghetti with clams (pasta not homemade but infinitely better, but blah sauce). I mean, I could have concocted the same thing for 1/5 of the price. The pasta was so boring I almost slept on the table. It challenged me to make my own.
However, the pizza was terrific. I ate so much I could hardly breathe. I washed it down with gulps of SMB.
So, visit Cafe Caruso, in front of Alliance Francaise along Riposo St, and order seafood pizza. Worth every sumptuous bite.

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