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Food

A Fusion of Italian and Spanish Cuisine at Toni and Sergio

After watching Eat Pray Love I started dreaming about living in Italy. After overdosing from Latinovela when I was kid, I started dreaming about learning the Spanish language. I’m not sure how this is going to work, but at least with Toni & Sergio Gastro Italiano, the combination does work. Toni & Sergio is an Italian gastro pub with a Spanish twist and it is one of the restaurants that you can check out when you visit the Grand Canal Mall in McKinley Hill, Taguig.


I joined my friends Michy (Dekaphobe) and Jerro (Gour Manila) in this food adventure. If you are curious who Toni and Sergio are, well they are brothers. Toni Iapino is a businessman who owned a few restaurants and pubs in Italy while Sergio Iapino is a popular TV director in Spain, Italy, and Argentina. The brothers’ love for Italian and Spanish cuisines were the inspiration for the T&S’s fusion concept.

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T&S is established by Toni’s son, Giulius Ceazar Iapino, president of Eatalian Inc. It follows the success of one of their other business ventures, Parmigiano Ristorante Pizzeria at Resorts World Manila.

“We are targeting to expand our market. In Parmigiano, we serve business executives and families from the upscale homes. Here, we aim to please the middle class and their families who deserve good food and drinks while having good times with each other. We will be serving quality dishes that are affordable, but without any shortcuts,” said Giulius.

I haven’t been to Parmigiano, but who cares? I went to Toni & Sergio with an empty stomach, a clear indication of my excitement to sample their dishes. Here’s a rundown of the dishes that I’ve tried.

Black Ink Paella


We all know paella, that Spanish rice dish with all those toppings you could think of, sometimes chicken or beef, most of the time seafood. Whatever toppings it has, the first thing you would notice about the rice is that it is covered in red sauce. That’s good but it’s boring, so how about trying the one with black sauce? That’s right, black. T&S uses the black ink of squid for Black Ink Paella (PHP 425-USD 9.04). Not only does it look interesting, it is also exquisite. The consistency is not as sticky as the red paella but for me, it tastes better. The calamari was a delightful addition, but the cut was slightly smaller compared with those shown in the picture below. By the way, make sure to squeeze the lemon over it because it does wonders to the flavor.

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(photo courtesy of Toni & Sergio)

Paella dela Casa


But if you prefer the traditional then you would love their Paella dela Casa (PHP 445-USD 9.46). It has prawns, mussels, boiled eggs, clams, chicken, chorizo, marinated artichokes, and black olives.

toni&-sergio-coffeehan (4)

T&S Chicken Wings


That 24-hour marinating process may be the secret, or maybe it’s the spicy aioli bleu cheese and marinara that go with it. Whatever it is, it sure worked because T&S Chicken Wings (PHP 285-USD 6.06) doesn’t disappoint. It is served with coleslaw, some mayo and pesto.

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Pizza Gamberetti con Rocula


They offer brick-oven pizza and if you like them thin and chewy, you will appreciate T&S’s version. The Pizza Gamberetti (PHP 380- USD 8.08) is perfect for you if like veggies on your pizza. It is made with red sauce, topped with pieces of shrimp, shreds of mozzarella cheese, and leaves of rocula (salad rocket).

5 Cheese


If you like it simple with lots of cheese, then try their 5 Cheese (PHP 380- USD 8.08) pizza, that’s right, not three, not four, but five types of cheese: gorgonzola (veined Italian blue cheese), mozzarella (southern Italian cheese), pecorino (a hard and salty Italian cheese), parmigiana (a.k.a. parmesan cheese), and scamorza (Italian’s cow’s milk cheese). You may have it in white sauce or red sauce; we tried the former. According to one of the staff, he liked the red version better. Something to look forward to next time.

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One thing I noticed about their pizza is that it tastes good regardless if its hot or cold. We weren’t able to finish the pizza so I had a takeaway. Some pizza don’t taste as good if you eat them the next day, but not T&S pizza. Just put them in the oven with a cup of water and they’re as good as newly cooked.

Espresso


When you’ve had your fill, why not order a cup of joe? I don’t drink my coffee black but I’ve had a small sip of it sans the sugar and milk and it was awesome.

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Iced Ciocolacino


Better yet, why not try their iced coffee especially now that the weather is oppressive. Iced Ciocolacino (PHP 120-USD 2.55) is basically iced coffee infused with chocolate. The flavor is not as full-bodied as those you can find in more popular cafes, but it was good enough to merit a suggestion.

toni&-sergio-coffeehan (5)

Tiramisu


Still have room for desserts? Try their cakes-in-a-jar. Tiramisu (PHP 260-USD 5.53) or that traditional Italian dessert of layers of mascarpone cheese, lady fingers, and espresso and cacao powder is a good option. Most of the tiramisu I’ve had tastes more coffee than cacao. Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee, but there’s a reason we mix them with water you know. But on this one, the combination of the two flavors was impeccable.

toni&-sergio-coffeehan (8)

Panna Cotta


But if there is one dessert I’d endorse it’s the Panna Cotta. T&S’s version is so far the best one I’ve ever had. Once you have a spoon of it, you wouldn’t want to share. It’s practically a jar of happiness; fleeting but memorable.

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There are over 70 Italian and Spanish dishes on their menu but for the first-timers, they recommend that you try their brick oven pizza. I say don’t just stop with pizza, try their paella, try their chicken wings, and most of all, try their pannacotta for that complete T&S experience.

 


Toni & Sergio Gastro Italiano
G/F Venice Grand Canal Mall
Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Telephone nos.: (+63) 922-7547743/916-7221997
Email: toni.sergio.ph@gmail.com
Facebook: toni&sergio
Twitter: @toniandsergio

 

 

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Comments (23)

  1. blackprinceramen
    blackprinceramen

    nice and simple blog,,i like it

    Reply
  2. Indrani
    Indrani

    Great mouth watering spread, paellas my favorite. I had black paella in Barcelona… pity we don’t get it here in Bangalore. Unless I collect the ingredients and prepare some for myself I will have to wait to have it again. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Arni
    Arni

    I have always wanted to visit Grand Canal in McKinley Hill. Maybe one day during a stop in Manila. A combined Spanish and Italian cuisine sounds divine. I am up for Paella anytime. Both the black ink paella and paella del casa look mouth watering!

    Reply
  4. Teresa Dumadag
    Teresa Dumadag

    I love both cuisines! I’m so happy to discover this resto through your blog. 🙂 We were just at the Venice Plaza Mall recently. Now, I know where we would eat next time we visit this mall. 🙂 I will definitely try the paella!

    Reply
  5. Airina Desuyo
    Airina Desuyo

    Hmmn, I’d like to try that pizza! If you say that its still good after reheating then that’s great value for money 🙂 I noticed that it isn’t expensive too! Thanks for this 🙂

    airinaapril.blogspot.com

    Reply
  6. Brenda
    Brenda

    Oh gosh! This just made me so hungry! That 5 cheese pizza looks amazing!

    Reply
  7. Sally
    Sally

    Spanish and Italian are two of the best cuisines! Why not together! The paella looks delish!

    Reply
  8. Psychic Nest
    Psychic Nest

    Hi Marge,

    Tiramisu and the chicken wings are my favorite ones so far. Spanish and Italian cuisine are amazing but unfortunately I haven’t tried many dishes like panna cotta. Such a delicious post, thank you for sharing!

    Zaria

    Reply
  9. Sunshine Kelly
    Sunshine Kelly

    The food look good, I would like to try their Black Ink Paella and 5 Cheese pizzas. So tempting and yummy kind of hard to resist.

    Reply
  10. kareenliez
    kareenliez

    This is the first time that I saw a black paella. But of all the food you shared here, what I want to devour is that tiramisu. So yummy yummy!

    Reply
  11. Dominic Barrios
    Dominic Barrios

    That Black Ink Paella looks really yummy. Looks worth it for the price. I would like to taste those Pizza Gamberetti and 5 Cheese but they look small. It’s good thought that they still taste yummy even after a day.

    Reply
  12. THEWOOMAG
    THEWOOMAG

    Italy and Spain are near , but their cuisines have some basic differences. It is an art to fuse two cuisines. I woul love to try the pizza and the chicken wings. yum yumm

    Reply
  13. Me-An Clemente
    Me-An Clemente

    The story on how the restaurant came to be is a good one. It’s an affirmation that in order for our business to succeed, we have to follow our passion and interests. Anyway, the food that you tried are great. I would personally like to try their 5 cheese brick oven pizza even if there are already several restaurants offering it. I would also love to have that Panna Cotta as dessert. I like Panna Cotta <3 Is the strawberry that they placed on top sweet?

    Reply
  14. Alison
    Alison

    I have never seen black ink paella before. That is really interesting. I love the desserts that they had there. First, the containers for the panna cotta and tiramisu were so darling! The presentation was beautiful! I love panna cotta so I know that would be top of my list.

    Reply
  15. Berlin
    Berlin

    Love everything that was served and love the most the china used to serve the espresso. Any meal, I believe, become extra special and delicious when the owners are tol passionate and involved in the business.

    Reply
  16. Johna
    Johna

    Wow!! Amazingggg. That paella thooo ??? looks so delicious. I’ve been wanting to go to the Grand Canal Mall for so long now. Definitely will go now!!!

    Reply
  17. Sabine - SofarsoSabine
    Sabine - SofarsoSabine

    I love paella. All kinds of Spanish food actually. I like to have sea food in it. The other food looks delicious also though. I had a panna cotta yesterday, and I could have that for breakfast even! =)

    Reply
  18. ROBERT LEE
    ROBERT LEE

    The paella look so enticing no? I would love to try that sometime soon. 🙂 I am not so much into Spanish cuisine but paella is one of those I truly enjoy.

    Reply
  19. Sally
    Sally

    Black ink paella sounds so yummy! I am actually reading some short stories inspired by Eat pray love at the moment.

    Reply
  20. Jerny
    Jerny

    You ate all of these?! I love your job, Marge! I should start food blogging too! Hahahaha! Thanks for sharing this wonderful restaurant. If my office is just nearby this, I’ll definitely try it sometime.

    Reply
  21. nonsoloamore
    nonsoloamore

    That’s a great story. I’m italian and this Spanish/Italian food looks really interesting. But I don’t think I will ever like Gamberetti on my pizza 😉

    Reply
  22. Voyager
    Voyager

    The spread looks colourful and lavish, though being vegetarian would not be able to comment on the flavour or taste. But the Espresso and the iced coffee look very refreshing.

    Reply
  23. Christina
    Christina

    I want to try all the dishes that you tried! Italian and Spanish food are two of my favorites. The spicy aioli bleu cheese and marinara sauce for the wings sound espcially good.

    Reply

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