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The FHM Guide To Man Food: Treat The Girlfriend To A Fancy Italian Dinner At Balboa

Here's a nice place to take your girlfriend to on your special Christmas date!
by Gelo Gonzales | Nov 28, 2014
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The FHM Guide To Man Food is your source for the most tummy-bursting, jaw-breaking, tongue-searing, Instagram-worthy meals fit for a real man. In this regular feature, we'll brave the streets of Manila to feature some of the yummiest food around perfect for that weekly pig-out session with your bros, an awesome date with the girlfriend, or for some good ol' destressing-by-eating.

Yes, brothers, it's TIME TO EAT. Or rather, it is TIME TO SHOW YOU WHERE TO EAT.

Our target today: Balboa in Greenbelt 3, Makati, a classy Italian restaurant that aims to bring Italian dishes and flavors in their most authentic form to Manila. It's headed by Chef Giorgio Bucciarelli, who sees to it that their pasta, pizza dough, and sauces are made fresh dailyand served in a setting that's going to make you want to raise a pinkie finger while downing a bottle of wine with the girlfriend.

This is a place where you'd want to take your girl for that special occasion (or when you're feeling like a real winner and want to reward yourself with some really fine steaks). With all the Italian-isms in their menu though, it can get daunting to pick what to order. Fortunately, that's exactly what we're going to help you with today!


GET THE DATE STARTED WITH: Kale and Romaine Salad With Prosciutto, Figs and Walnuts

FHM Verdict: Why would a dude order some greens? First of all, since girlfriend is a girl, she probably likes salad. Second of all, this ain't no ordinary salad. It's salad with HAM in it, And not just any ham, it's a thinly-sliced fancy kind of ham called prosciutto. Seriously, the leaves were so fresh and the sauce certainly didn't feel like one of those fatty salad dressings that undermine what it means to have salad.

The Damage: P309


FOR HIM: Spaghettini Boscaoila

FHM Verdict: Boscaiola is a kind of pasta sauce made from combining tomato sauce and mushroom. Balboa's version is surprisingly creamy and filling, you'd want to twirl it all on your fork and eat in one huge bite. You're also going to want to ask for extra bread to sop up all that awesome sauce once you're done with the noodles. We mean, just look at all that awesome sauce pooling up on the side! Awesomesauce!

The Damage: P319

FOR HER: Fresh Lemon Tagliatelle with Shrimps, Spinach, and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

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FHM Verdict: For something lighter, this flat pasta with the long-winded name is the order of choice for the girlfriend who don't like that "Oh no, I've overeaten" feeling after a meal. It's filled with the good stuffspinach, olive oil, tomatoes, and lemoncombined to make for a really interesting flavor. Just make sure she isn't allergic to shrimp!

The Damage: P378


NO GRAVY NECESSARY: Buttermilk Roast Chicken

FHM Verdict: Our first thought: Finally, an item on the menu that we can read without consulting Google. Yes, it's your good ol' roasted chicken, but what's special about it are its aromatic flavors that have seeped deep into its flesh. Also, do you see that sauce all over its body? Do you think it's good? If you said yes, then you are correct, good sir. That milky saucea concoction made of the chicken's own fat and butterwas just the perfect thing to justify the relatively steep price.

Come on guys, sometimes we got to step up our chicken game from the typical Andok's and Mang Inasal we routinely feast on!

The Damage: P718


FHM Verdict: It's steak. And holy hell, is it good. It's "dry-aged," meaning the meat has been aged in dry storage for a length of time enough to make it extremely tender and flavorful. Balboa's specialty sauce is distinctly tangy, and we know we've been talking a lot about sauces in this article, but dang, dipping our steak into that sauce felt like heaven.

The Damage: P1,789


A "SIMPLE" ONE: Fennel Sausage Pizza

THE MORE "COMPLICATED" ONE: Spinach Truffle Prosciutto Pizza

The FHM Verdict: There are different ingredients on these two pizzas but one thing's constant: that perfectly-made dough. It has enough chewiness to make you feel like you're not biting through Skyflakes, and enough soul to make you forget about fastfood pies. The toppings used are Italian favorites. For a simpler flavor, go for the sausage pizza. For something that will tickle your taste buds more, go for the one with the truffle and prosciutto.

The Damage:

  • Fennel Sausage Pizza: P388 - 12 inches / P668 - 16 inches
  • Spinach Truffle Prosciutto Pizza: P409 - 12 inches / P709 - 16 inches



Just in case, you forgot where Greenbelt 3 is, follow the red dot!

Balboa is located on the second floor of Greenbelt 3, and on the fourth floor of EDSA Shangri-la's East Wing.

Operating hours: Monday  to  Sunday,  11:00  am  to 10:00  pm
Contact details:
(+632) 942-2844

You can also check out their Facebook and Instagram pages!

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