Edi Tekeli makes good on a prom­ise to re­turn to Manila and brings with him a true taste of La Bella Italia with Ris­torante Pa­per Moon, writes Marga Man­lapig

Philippine Tatler - - CONTENTS -

Ris­torante Pa­per Moon, Edi Tekeli’s lat­est im­port, gives lo­cal din­ers the mag­nif­i­cent flavours of au­then­tic Ital­ian cui­sine

Turk­ish en­tre­pre­neur Edi Tekeli is best known to Manila’s fash­ion­able denizens as the man re­spon­si­ble for bring­ing brands like Guess and Mango to the field of Philip­pine re­tail. How­ever, not many are aware that he has an­other ace up his sleeve: one in­volv­ing a love of great food that he wishes to share with a coun­try that has long claimed his heart. True to form, he has re­turned and has brought with him a new sen­sa­tion to tickle the fancy of the din­ing public: Mi­lan’s famed Pa­per Moon.

A le­gend in its na­tive Italy, Pa­per Moon be­gan as a hum­ble trat­to­ria along Mi­lan’s Via Bagutta back in 1977.

Pio Gal­li­gani and his wife, Emilia Del Rosso, wanted to serve fresh and au­then­tic food in a place where pa­trons could re­lax and en­joy a dis­tinct culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence. Gal­li­gani’s idea was a suc­cess and the trat­to­ria be­came a favourite stop for tourists seek­ing real cucina Mi­lanese.

In the decades that fol­lowed, Sig­nora Del Rosso and her daugh­ter Ste­fa­nia con­tinue to hon­our Sig­nor Gal­li­gani’s legacy through Pa­per Moon’s ex­pan­sion into the global din­ing scene. The restau­rant has made its way to Is­tan­bul, Beirut, and Doha, which also has La Spiga by Pa­per Moon, a smaller bistro that of­fers lighter fare for quick lunches. Pa­per Moon in Manila is the restau­rant’s sixth branch and the very first in South­east Asia.

Manila’s Pa­per Moon is a bright and spa­cious eyrie perched on the 65th floor of the Knights­bridge Res­i­dences in Makati.

In­side, por­traits of Ital­ian film icons run the length of the restau­rant. The mu­sic in the back­ground calls to mind Ital­ian sum­mers as it ranges from clas­sic Si­na­tra sin­gles to more up­beat Latin-in­spired tunes.

A mas­ter­piece in wood and glass, the restau­rant’s lay­out fol­lows the curve of the build­ing, mak­ing it an el­e­gant half-moon in keep­ing with its name. High ceil­ings add to the spa­cious, airy feel and panoramic win­dows feature the most breath­tak­ing view of the greater me­trop­o­lis spread­ing out be­low.

Din­ers can choose to sit at ei­ther plush ban­quettes or el­e­gant club chairs in white or tan leather. Ev­ery ta­ble is duly draped with creamy white linens and set with chic porce­lain, sil­ver, and glass.

There are two bars in­side the restau­rant, but one has the added ca­chet of let­ting din­ers watch as the res­i­dent piz­zaiolo pre­pares crisp piz­zas in a til ed oven right in the mid­dle of the bar.

Chef Fabrizio De Togni, who opened the Pa­per Moon branches in Beirut and Doha, rules the Manila kitchen. He has brought its de­li­cious sig­na­ture dishes to Asia, in­clud­ing

six kinds of pasta all mad e in-house and bread baked fresh on site.

Au­then­tic flavours are all in play thanks to the best Ital­ian in­gre­di­ents pos­si­ble. Filipino gourmets will be held in thrall by the rich, earthy flavours of ten­der fourcheese ravi­oli dressed in white truf­fle cream, evoca­tive of the Pied­mont or the ever-pop­u­lar pap­pardelle Pa­per Moon with its semolina noo­dles en­robed in a lux­u­ri­ous tomato sauce en­riched with cream and smoky pancetta.

Those seek­ing more ro­bust dishes may or­der the clas­sic Bat­tuta di manzo alla Pa­per Moon: a ten­der pail­lard of beef pan-fried in olive oil and given savour by a tra­di­tional mix of gar­lic, chili, and fresh rose­mary. More ad­ven­tur­ous din­ers can ex­pect to en­joy a dish in­spired by the in­de­fati­ga­ble Mr Tekeli him­self: Pizza Edi which puts a spin on the stan­dard tomato-moz­zarella combo with the ad­di­tion of spicy beef pep­per­oni, sweet onions, and chili.

con­vivial spa­ces The cor­ner bar is airy and per­fect for light drinks; Re­tail master Edi Tekeli; Tonno caponata al ver­dure; Cos­to­letta di vitello

BRAVO, SIGNORE Re­tail king and now restau­ra­teur Edi Tekeli

spe­cial­ità dela casa (Clock­wise from be­low) Chef Fabrizio De Togni; Spaghetti alle Von­gole; Ti­ramisu

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