Saturday, October 13, 2012

Unforgettable gnocchi at Oakwood Joy Nostalg

Just before leaving Manila for Japan, on another round of a never-ending TRAVELIFE earlier this month, I dropped by the Oakroom restaurant of the Oakwood Joy Nostalg in Ortigas for a pasta lunch.

Oakwood had just launched a pasta promotion called Pasta e Basta with about 12 different kinds of pasta, and we wanted to try it out. It's still ongoing until November 10, by the way.

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at Oakwood Joy Nostalg
Oct 1 to Nov 10, 2012
11 am to 11 pm

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Oakwood Joy Nostalg is across town from where I usually work and hang out, but I really like going here when I can get away as the restaurant itself offers a soothing and calm environment amidst the frenetic city of Manila.

Lunch began with a delicious and thick minestrone soup

There were all kinds of pasta to choose from, from their menu, but I settled on a sampler that included a gnocchi with walnuts, a seafood pasta with black fettucine noodles, and spaghetti in an arabbiata-type sauce.

Seafood with black fetuccine noodles

Spaghetti in an arrabiata sauce

My orders came in one plate, so prettily arranged, and I didn't know where to start. So I thought I'd begin with the gnocchi, as I assumed it had the faintest taste, being cream-based, and so I could go from weak flavor to strong flavor in order.

Oakwood's delicious gnocchi


Wow. That basically ruined it for me. Oakwood's gnocchi was absolutely delicious. No kidding. And this is how delicious it was: I ate my own gnocchi and I got the gnocchi of the person on my right. That made two orders of gnocchi.

Then, when the guy on my left offered me his gnocchi -- I'm guessing he did so out of politeness -- I actually took it and finished that as well.

I was pretty apologetic afterwards as I'd deprived two people of a very delicious dish. I said: "I'm so sorry for taking your gnocchi. But it's too good to pass up."

Besides I was leaving for Japan the next day and so it was really a sayonara to that gnocchi, I thought, whereas they could always go back and have the gnocchi again on some other day.


Frankly, Oakwood's Oakroom is not a specialty Italian restaurant so I didn't really have heavy expectations on their pasta. But that gnocchi left me speechless, and all the other pasta I tasted were pretty good as well.

I asked the waitress: "Did your chef study Italian cooking?" I know he's French and he's good, but being able to make good pasta is a different story. She didn't know, but lots of the pasta is definitely made fresh on-site everyday.

So this pasta festival is going on until the first week of November. If you're a gnocchi fan -- and I wasn't until I had this gnocchi at Oakwood -- then you should go and give yourself one delicious treat.


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