Dinner at La Tegola – Going Italian in Cebu

Before we ended our brief vacation in Cebu, we had to try one of the places that kept popping up while we were researching online about places to eat.

The name is La Tegola. They have several branches in the city, but we only saw the one at the Ayala Center, and so just before we crossed to the other side of Mactan Strait for our flight back to Manila, we went back to the mall.

As their sign says – Cucina Italiana, they cook Italian food. While we Filipinos might say we’re well acquainted with food from the land shaped like a boot, finding food prepared the way Italians do it could be a challenge here. Spaghetti with tomato sauce and ketchup or pizza smothered will also sorts of meat don’t count of course, and especially not once you add pineapples.

The interior of the restaurant gives a good attempt at mimicking an old European kitchen and dining room. From the dark brown wooden walls and furniture, the subdued lighting mimicking illumination from candle light, to the pots and pans hanging on a bare stone wall, it feels like your being taken to the middle ages. I don’t know if it’s exactly Italian (haven’t been to Italy), but unless you look outside, you could forget you’re dining in mall. I’d give the place an A for ambiance.

My wife had the Spaghetti Pomodoro, while I had the Seafood Risotto (both these dishes had Italian names on the menu, which I can’t remember. To simplify life, allow me to use the most commonly used English names for the two).

The Pomodoro is right up there with the best we’ve had, and can stand on its own vis-a-vis similar offerings from the likes of Italianni’s or Amici in Manila , well worth the money. As for the Risotto, it’s actually the first time I’ve tried risotto anywhere, so I shouldn’t be one to compare. I enjoyed it though, and despite their large servings (seriously, they are), I managed to finish all of my risotto, no sharing =)

The Pomodoro

The Risotto

So, does the place represent Italian cuisine well? We only had two dishes, and we didn’t have any pizza or ravioli. But judging on those two, I think it can acquit itself in this aspect. And it’s certainly more Italian than Pizza Hut or Shakey’s could ever hope to be.

With its generous servings, good ambiance, reasonable price, and most importantly, good food, this place earns my recommendation.

* all photos taken with Olympus E-420 and Zuiko 14-42mm f3.5-5.6

We dined here July 2010

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