Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I am actually very pleased with the way United Nations Avenue has been turning out lately. Aside from the horrific renovations done at the formerly sleek World Health Organization offices (below: the place now looks like the headquarters for space aliens - what the..?), the rest of the road seems to be sprucing itself up and reinventing itself as the new international cuisine restaurant row of Ermita.

The Manila Pavilion (formerly the Manila Hilton) has been bought by Waterfront Hotels and recently refurbished to the higher standards it was known for. I also hear that their 3 decade old fine dining establishment, Rotisserie, still serves a mean Prime Rib and has maintained it's original ambiance (complete with Federico Alcuaz paintings and velvet seating. The old Swiss Inn on the corner of Roxas Boulevard has also renewed itself and is now a three level mixed use establishment with balcony seating with Yellow Cab Pizza and Superbowl of China as the anchor dining establishments. But among all the worldly culinary establishments available on the road: Jade Vine for Chinese, Assad's Indian Mini Mart and Uncle Ed's Indian Grocery for Indian), it's the Italian CAFE MILANO that has become my default as of late. The place is cozy, the aircon works properly, and the food is as authentic as it gets. Their chef, Tiziano Cavalli, is more Italian than the sight of Luciano Pavarotti squeezed into a Ferrari car. Which, incidentally, both hail from his hometown, Modena. The soccer posters and alternative Italian pop music also add to ambience and their to-die-for Porcini and truffle Pasta and Gelato make it definitely worth the trek out from Makati or wherever. Definitely the perfect place for World Cup watching if only for it's incredibly reasonable Php300.00 buffet.

2nd Floor
555 UN Avenue corner Churraga St.
Ermita, Manila
Tel. 400-9991