Balai Isabel

A lovely Italian dinner cooked by Chef Omar Ugoletti, and paired with Banfi wines

Last night, in Manila living a Travelife, I headed to the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel for an eight-course dinner prepared by visiting Chef Omar Ugoletti at Paparazzi, the hotel’s Italian restaurant.

The dinner was hosted by EDSA Shangri-la Hotel general manager Patrick Schaub, with Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno as the guest of honor.

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We were two tables of guests.

By a very lucky coincidence, I knew many people in both tables.

Arriving late, I espied a group of friends at one end of the head table, so a chair was kindly added at the very end to enable me to join everyone and catch up.


What an enjoyable evening this was in terms of the food, the wines and the conversation.

The gentlemen at my end of the table are among the most well-connected in our little society, so in about three hours I was completely updated on everything happening in this town.

The big talk at our end of the table was about a very prominent businessman who they all reckon has over-extended himself and is about to become very illiquid.

Unfortunately, that’s all I can say about the conversations last night.


As for the dinner, each of the eight delectable courses was carefully paired with Banfi wines, resulting in a most enjoyable evening.


My favorite dishes last night were the braised beef cheeks served with a Jerusalem artichoke soup and parsley sauce, which was Course # 4, and the braised wagyu short ribs served with endive, vanilla mashed potatoes and tomato confit, which was Course # 6.

And for the wines, I can tell you that I drank several refills of the Banfi Excelsus Merlot 2009 (cabernet sauvignon) and the Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2008 (sangiovese).

All in all, a truly enjoyable evening in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

Signature canapes
paired with
Banfi Le Rime, Pinot Grigio 2012

*    *    *
Terrine of foie gras and pear, jelly of beetroot, 
with moscato wine and green apple sauce
paired with
Banfi Florus, Moscadello 2010

*    *    *

Pan-fried turbot stuffed with lard and dill,
crust of flavoured bread and clams parsley sauce
paired with
Banfi Centine Bianco 2012
(Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay)

*    *    *

Braised beef cheek served with
Jerusalem artichoke soup and parsley sauce
paired with
Banfi Chianti Classico 2011

*    *    *

Homemade potato gnocchi with duck ragout,
tomatoes and Pecorino cheese
paired with
Banfi Belnero 2010
(Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon)

*    *    *

Braised wagyu short ribs 
with endive, 
vanilla mashed potatoes and tomato confit

paired with

Banfi Excelsus 2009
(Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon)

Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2008

*    *    *

Tube of cocoa 
with mousse of praline and ice cream of yoghurt
paired with
Banfi Rosa Regali 2012

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