Pasta ni Annie

Pasta ni Annie. That’s where she came up with the name of her new baby, Pastanni. Makes sense, doesn’t it? It has recall as well. 

Serving cheap Italian street food n a mall.

From Spirale Damosa and Abreeza Mall, this chef (yes, she is a real chef) whipped up another surprise by taking her menu to the streets, Italian style. “While the scene in my two ventures is the bistro, Pastanni is street style,” said the chef and added, ““Pastanni is my way of reaching out to a wider market who craves for Italian food with an acceptable price range.” 

Good food with an acceptable price range.

True enough, the price may have been cut but not the flavors. As usual, Annie doesnn;t like compromising her cuisine. “ I make sure I deliver good food cooked well whatever the budget may be,” she said. That’s where her challenge lies and she meets it head on. With Pastanni, I will say she successfully created tasteful, filling dishes at a cost that’s easy on the pocket. 

Very welcoming.

Annie’s other challenge was how to make Pastanni’s “create your own cuisine” appealing to the Pinoy’s taste buds. So she tweaked he menu, made it a tad sweeter than her usual Italian preparations. As for the other ingredients, expect nothing less than her usual best—real tomatoes for her sauces, fresh greens for her salads, a good sprinkling of fresh herbs and spices that leaves her dishes with that distinct, flavorful oomph, and most importantly, she showers everything with her love, cheesy it may sound. And to prove her point, Annie said, “ I love what I do. I love cooking. It’s my life. Why else would I open these restaurants and still find the time to do catering?” 

Leek Soup & Chicken Terazzini Salad

And love is what brought me to Pastanni. “You will love my food, Jinggoy. There is something for you,” Annie said She knew I was on a very strict diet and went on trying to convince me to come to the opening, “ I only use olive oil, there is tuna, not fried, and vegetables. There is a good number of guilt-free items on Pastanni’s menu.” 

Choices that fit my diet. She said I will Pastani's food & she's right. 

Just like she promised, I did love the Annie’s opening day samples. From the menu board, Annie had me try the Leek Soup. It was delightful—no cream, just potatoes to thicken the soup stock of chicken (bones only), no fat. The Chicken Terazzini Salad was very good—olive oil only, and the Chicken Piada was very deliciously filling—grilled rolled thin dough with risotto, lettuce and fresh vegetables, cheese, chicken and dressing. Of course “ang pasta ni Annie” shouldn't me missed. I had the rich-tasting Roso—tomatoes and cream sauce—on my al dente pasta noodles. 

Roso Pasta & Chicken Piada

And now for the desserts, I am not new to Annie’s Chocolate Truffle Balls but I am glad that it’s readily available when I crave for it. What’s new (and good) to me are the Cannoli Chips. At first bite, I knew the dips (vanilla or chocolate custard) were not necessary to enjoy these munchies. 

Chocolate Truffle Balls & Cannoli Chips with choice of dip.

Did I feel guilty when I finished the desserts? Yes, I did. I know I just had to spend extra time with the hulahoops. I’ll be back for more of this kind of street food. Buon appetito!

Pastanni Istalian Street Food is at the second level of Abreeza Mall.

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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 10, 2013.

Seen at Pastanni:

Tofi & Marissa Tionko with Raffy Garcia; Mia Pineda & Tisha Dominguez

Abreeza's Ruby Ochoa; Melissa Suarez & Miggy Laurel

Ken Ong & Stella Estremera; Mateo, Karlo & Marga Nograles

GJ Romero-Salas, Joy Garcia, Annie Garcia, Baby & Jin Gallenero