Located at Forbes Town Center, Forbestown Road, BGC, Taguig
I spotted Casa Italia when I was walking to one of my writing assignments in the area from the basement parking. This side of Burgos Circle used to be quiet, but now that its fully-developed and almost completely leased out, it houses some of the newest and most exciting eateries in the city.
Like this Italian, Singapore-based franchise that offers good coffee, multiple flavors of gelato, and simple Italian fare. The interiors are Instagram-ready to say the least- extremely photogenic, airy, and spacious enough. It's partly self-service, so place your orders at the counter before grabbing a table. A bulk of the seating area is at the mezzanine, which is quite a climb if you're with small children or elderly folks. But, if my toddler can do it, so can yours.
Once there, the staff will seat you and grab you a high chair if you require it. Wifi is free and quite fast, so Little Chi was perfectly happy watching her YouTube nursery rhymes while we had ourselves a late lunch.
Little Chi had some of the Spaghetti Bolognese, which was not your typical sweet, Filipino-style meat sauce but had some of that authentic tang you expect from tomatoes. It was oddly familiar, too- those born before 1980 might remember Choochoo Junction's spaghetti, Yes, something like that.
The Spaghetti Carbonara was also your usual, creamy affair- highly-edible with its mild flavors accented with crowd-pleasing bacon.
Matt had the smoked salmon panini, which was what you would expect from a franchise restaurant- just your run-of-the-mill, "beige" sandwich. For what Matt wanted at the moment, which was a low-calorie, filling lunch, it did its job.
You will surely find full, deep flavors, though, in their coffee. They call it Caffe Otto- "otto" meaning eight- since they only keep their coffee for eight weeks after grinding. What you get are rich, dense Italian coffee blends all the time. I had their Caffe Mocha and it was one of the better ones I've had- not too sweet, just a nice combination of chocolate and espresso toned down with milk.
The gelato selection has a good mix of traditional flavors- tiramisu, Chocolate Truffle, Pistachio- and some tropical ones. Their coconut flavor seems to be getting a lot of attention, so does their mango and avocado. I also spotted a melon gelato which I plan on trying next time.
We arrived at around 2pm on a weekend, which explains why we got a table quickly. But, soon all tables were taken by diners coming from neighboring establishments who have come to take their coffee anddesserts there. They seem to still be figuring out their ordering system, so try to avoid the crowds when you can.
By: Chinkee Clemente-Koppe
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