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The Manila food & dining scene is about to get more interesting in 2014.  

I met with Singaporean friends from Sphere Exhibits over a private dinner at Cibo d M, hosted by Marco Santos of Boomerang. Sphere Exhibits, who is looking to expand in Manila, runs the Asian Masters, Food of Asia, and Gusto Italiano Food Events in Singapore.

It was a recognition of sorts of the booming food and dining scene in Manila. They are not the first exhibit company from Singapore who want to expand here, however. Even our neighbors from Japan are starting to take notice of our exciting food industry.

It was my first time to have a private dinner at Cibo di M’s “ComMissary”. Check out this photo essay… 

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The ComMissary is located at Whitespace, which is like a big warehouse along Pasong Tamo Ext.

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You walk along the left side and go past the Manila Contemporary to arrive at the private dining hall.

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The setup is minimalist, with big paintings all around to give the effect of eating in a gallery.

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There’s a small gallery that leads to the private bathroom.

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I love the feeling of exclusivity and the idea of owning this place for the night.

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The table setting is simple with an organic feel.

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We even have our own private bartender to satisfy our alcoholic needs for that night.

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We started with Woodbridge Chardonnay by Robert Mondavi. 

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My favorite for the night was the Glenmorangie Single Malt from Scotland.

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We had a few drinks to break the ice and get us into a talking mood.

One of the things I like about Cibo di M is their signature pass-around antipasti, which uses local ingredients with Italian techniques and presentation. 


  • HOME MADE BAKED CHICHARON CURLS: with Garlic Mousse,  Pork Adobo Flakes, Capiz Fish Roe
  • BARQUILLOS CYLINDER: Chive Mousse, Duetto of Toppings, Salmon Roe, Ham Crisp
  • MINI VOL-AU-VENT: Kabute Mushroom & Kohol sa Gata, Ilonggo Style Chorizo, Kangkong Mousseline, Banana Heart & Queso de Bola


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The buffet spread featured Gaita Fores’ signature Italian dishes using local ingredients.


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✮ HAND MADE PAPPARDELLE with Onion Cream, Salted Red Egg, Asparagus Spears, Truffle Oil.

This was voted as the best dish of the night, not only because of the great handmade quality of the pasta with the truffle oil but most importantly, the addition of salted red egg, which gave it a different salted character. 🙂


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ROAST APAHAP WRAPPED IN PROSCIUTTO DI PARMA with Tagaytay Red Wine Tomatoes, Olives, Lemon Wege, Rosemary Perfume.

A nice combination of roasted fish wrapped in prosciutto with juicy tomatoes. 🙂


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Simple, but good. 🙂 


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First time I’ve tried this roasted sweet Batangus duck. I like the roasted muscovado flavor.

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SAUCEPANOCHA GLAZE & Lychee & RaspberrySIDE: RICE PILAF with Cashew & Dried Fruit & Nuts.


I wonder if Chef Gaita Fores has a 2- or 3-way version for this duck? 


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BEEF TENDERLOIN TAGLIATA with bignay au jus, kabute mushroom, & palm heart ragu.

At first it looks like an ordinary steak dish but the local bignay wine, kabute mushroom, and palm heart gives it an interesting texture and flavor combination. 


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This was OK. The crispy dilis and dalandan vinaigrette made it interesting.

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We had a nice spanish red wine made from Tempranillo, the top red grape of Spain. It comes from the Rioja region, considered the “Bordeaux of Spain”.

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It was the first time I’ve met Marco Santos, who was a very entertaining and funny host.

His profile photo in Asia On The Edge does not give justice to his personality.

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Each one was required to lead a toast throughout the dinner. 


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Everyone unanimously loved the dessert, especially our Singaporean friends. 🙂

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✮ SAN MIGUEL BULACAN PASTILLAS. Batangas Tsokolate Ganache.

It’s creamy pastillas with local cocoa!

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✮ TIRAMISU CROCCANTE with Dulce de Leche.

Tiramisu-inspired dessert with a sweet crunchy almond brittle in the middle and topped with yummy dulce de leche. 🙂

I was impressed. I didn’t know Gaita Fores could create such yummy desserts!

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It was indeed a fun night. Thank you to Anne Belmonte for inviting me to this lovely dinner. 🙂

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To end, we had the latest Piper Heidsieck Rose Sauvage Champagne!

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When it was my turn, I toasted to the biggest boom in history for the Manila food & dining scene! I’m thrilled and excited for 2014. 🙂  

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It was a great night overall. I loved the private and exclusive dining feel of The ComMissary and the Italian-inspired dishes using local organic ingredients they served us. The service was so good that we honored the staff with the group photo above. Thank you! 🙂

If you plan to have your own private dining at Cibo di M, don’t forget to include these favorites:

  • Handmade Pappardelle, Onion Cream, Salted Red Egg, Asparagus Spears, Truffle Oil
  • Muscovado Glazed Roast Organic Batangas Duck “PEPATO STYLE” 
  • San Miguel Bulacan Pastillas in Batangas Tsokolate Ganache
  • Tiramisu Croccante, with Dulce de Leche

Signature Caterer by Chef Margarita Fores

The ComMissary @ Whitespace
2314 Chino Roces Ave Extension, formerly Pasong Tamo Extension , 1231 Makati
Telephone: +632 729-0030 local 101
Mobile: +63917 5138945 Anna Lopez

Live an Awesome Life, 


P.S. Again, thank you to our host Marco Santos for the lovely dinner! 

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(L-R) Anne Belmonte, Philstar Online; Catherine Jalandoni, Smark Kids Asia; Lyndon Yeo, Boomerang; Elaine Ghia, General Manager, Sphere Exhibits; Marco Santos, Boomerang; Mandy Wong, Business Director, Sphere Exhibits; and Leonardo Arthur Po, Century Pacific Group.