Aidan’s Birthday is on January 19– last friday. Coincidentally this falls always within the Sto.Nino celebrations which usually happens on the third Sunday of January. My little Sto. Nino is two years old already and I can’t wait to experience what they call the terrible two stage. We were planning a birthday celebration for him and we thought whether or not to plan a children’s party.
I liked last year’s celebration at Je Suis Gourmand — private and a time when our two families are together once again. I kinda like that setup at the moment, since I’m sure Aidan won’t still remember and appreciate a children’s party. We might just plan a grand celebration on his 4th or 7th year 🙂 I actually told my wife that I prefer to celebrate it with family and if possible to just travel during his birthday. When he is old enough to appreciate disneyland in HK, we might do that on one of his birthdays.
There were two choices for us, the new Tagaytay China Palace Restaurant in MOA or a Balducci Italian Restaurant in Serendra. I preferred the China Palace place but it would be far away from most family members and it was a little bit expensive. When we saw the second floor area of Balducci, we thought that this would be a nice cozy place for the family birthday dinner. A place where Aidan and his cousins can roam around freely without disturbing other customers.
We liked the golden chinese tseongsam that his Sachimpo gave last Christmas. It would have been perfect for China Palace but admittedly, Balducci is relatively cheaper than a chinese lauriat.
Overall, Balducci was not as great as we expected. It was OK for us and we loved the ambiance — very conducive for chit chat and group dinners
Happy Birthday to our Little Sto. Nino, Aidan!! Thanks to all the greetings!! One of these days, he would see and appreciate them. Here is a sneak peek of the Balducci Birthday Bash @ Serendra….
The Diaz and Uy Family. It is always a riot when we meet because of the kids. So it is tough to find a restaurant that is child friendly and won’t be frowned upon when the kids are playing around. And for the guests, their privacy might be violated by the kids.
Salmone Affumicato (Php 340++). We made a bad choice with this order. It was thinly sliced and yet so expensive.
Estiva Lattuga (210++). Summer Salad of fresh mixed greens, plump tomatoes, black olives & eggs.
Supposed to be the bestseller but we find it ordinary with a plan vinaigrette dressing.
Fettucine Marinara (P310++). Complete name is Fetticine all’uovo alla marinara con porcini. Seafood fettucine with porcini mushrooms.
We find this pasta dish malansa but we finished it anyway.
Ama, Angkong and Lola, Lolo of Aidan. Aidan would fondly call his lolo as “wowo” and lola as “wowa”. So far, his favorite is his wowo, and he always ask his momma, “Wowo” with the asking facial expression.
Gnochetti al Salmone con rucola (P360++). Gnocchi in Salmon sauce in arugula.
If you don’t mind the arugula, this pasta dish is one of the best. The creamy salmon taste is addicting that this dish was finished in a few seconds.
The spinach adds to its herby taste, but we would prefer Andok’s over this.
Carre d’ Agnello alla Griglia con salsa alla menta (P570++). French-cut rack of lamp, grilled, with our home made mint sauce, accompanied by roast potatoes, grilled vegetables and polenta.
Grigliata di pesce e crostaccei con insalata mista (P 580++). Grand seafood flatter fresh from the grill accompanied by fresh mixed greens.
This is one of the value for money and healthy food options in the menu. There is a lobster slice, prawn, squid, and tanguingue. It was grilled technically well and you can’t find any fault in this seafood platter. However, my mom was not impressed and just kept silent when I asked her how was the food. She would usually commend a good dish if it does meet her approval but I got none.
My sister-in-law, Claudette restraining herself from eating this carbo-rich pizza that taste great with the salmon topping.
Quattro Formaggi (P350++) Four cheeses.
One of their best pizzas because it was wiped out in seconds! Their pizza dough was also the bread served while we order our food.
Rustica-Mozzarella, funghi, cipolla, salsicia e rosmarino (P360++). Fresh white Mozzarella with mushrooms, onions, Italian sausage and rosemary.
I don’t think you can make a pizza taste good by giving it a lot of Italian names.
Napoli-pomodoro, Mozzarella, capperi, acciughe, etc. (P300++). Fresh Mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, capers with anchovies.
It is always very hard to make Aidan look directly at the camera. After a few shots, this was the only decent photo of Aidan looking at his uncle. I don’t intend to post family shots but I want Aidan to see this when he is old enough.
Of course, in the chinese tradition, we always wear red during birthdays.
A view from the top. It was nice to have this acoustic guitar player serenading the people.
Tel# 856-0676, 856-0865 for reservations