Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Salvatore Cuomo & Bar: Where Italian Food Rules

If youre looking for an Authentic Italian food and perfect Neapolitan Pizza, then its time to drop by Salvatore Cuomo & Bar where you could experience the taste of Naples (true Italian taste). The bonus is the waitstaff are all good looking and courteous enough for you to tip them big. I am wishing you could bump into Paul Basset though and tell me about your coffee experience.

Chef Salvatore Cuomo

I had a privilege of meeting World's Pizza Master, Celebrity Chef Salvatore Cuomo at his flagship restaurant Salvatore Cuomo & Bar grand opening on June 2.  I have been following his instagram account last year and was always salivating at his Neapolitan Pizza, pasta and all his star dishes. I got a surprise of my life when I found out he'll open his first flagship restaurant in Bonifacio High Street.

Salvatore Cuomo & Bar interior has high ceilings and exposed pipe for that industrial, millenial feel. I love that it has an open kitchen so you could see what's cooking and happening inside. I love how the chefs busily move around and speaks in Japanese. At that time, they are being trained by a Japanese team from the kitchen, dining, and barista/bar in Salvatore Cuomo Japan, who are currently in Manila to help with the opening.

Caprese di Mozzarella di Bufala php750

We started our meal with Caprese di Mozzarella di Bufala (Buffalo Mozarella Salad). I swear I could eat this dish all day, I love the flavor sweet and slightly salted, it compliments each other. This is my favorite!

Quattro Formaggi Php750. 4 Kinds of Cheese.

Next is the Neapolitan Pizza Quattro Formaggi with 4 Kinds of Cheese, it is best eaten with honey, this one tastes fresh and satisfyingly good, and perfectly baked.

Neapolitan pizza's description should be like this, crust is thin, dry and golden at the center; the edge is thicker, breadier and slightly scorched; the sauce is bubbling, but does not pool in the center; the cheese is melted and strings out as the slice is lifted. This is exactly what I devoured on!

World Champion Winner Pizza "DOC" PhpP820 with Mozzarella, Cherry Tomato and Basil.

D.O.C. (Denominazione Di Origine Controllata), an original pizza creation by Chef Salvatore that uses fully-ripened cherry tomatoes, a luxurious amount of bufala mozzarella, basil and a splash of olive oil layered on a delicate crust. Again,this one tastes great when you pour honey on top of every slice.

They only use bufala mozzarella and tomato sauce to their pizzas that is imported and proprietary to the company.

“We wanted to raise the bar of Italian food in the Philippines. We believe that Salvatore Cuomo would be welcomed by the more discerning diners in Manila who’ve travelled extensively and know what Neapolitan-style Italian cuisine is all about,” said Luigi Vera, managing director.

Tagliere di Affettati, 
This is a plate of traditional Italian cured meats sliced paper thin.

True to his Italian heritage, Salvatore Cuomo is known for his exacting standards in demanding the best raw materials and ingredients for his dishes. During the early stages of construction, Cuomo flew to Manila to check local sources and determine if these would pass his standards.

“Mr. Cuomo is extremely involved in food and menu development, and quite discerning in sourcing ingredients. He also cooked his signature dishes, and showed our local staff how he prepares them to make sure that Manila will be able to present the food as he does it,” said Richie Yang, director.

Indeed, getting the right ingredients is integral to the Salvatore Cuomo experience. All of their pizzas, for instance, only use bufala mozzarella and tomato sauce that is imported and proprietary to the company. They are baked in a custom-made oven shipped from Naples, Italy. The oven uses a combination of local beech wood and imported composite wood that gives the pizza its distinct taste and texture.

Neapolitan-style Fish Soup

Homemade Fettuccine with Scampi in Tomato cream sauce PhpP850 full size

There is of course desserts to wrap up your Neapolitan experience..
Amaretto Panna Cotta with Fresh Mango Sauce Php320

Torta Caprese Chocolate Cake - Php380
Tiramisu served with Pistachio Gelato Php380

Salvatore Cuomo & Bar serves Fresh Fruit Frozen, Tropical,  Martini and Standard Cocktails, Fresh Fruit Shakes for the non alcoholic. 

Coolness Pineapple- fresh pineapple with passionfruits liquer, fresh lime and grenadine syrup

Rooftop Blue Hawaii with Fresh golden pineapple,fresh lime rum, blue curapao

Passionate Rosso-fresh water melon, lemon,cranberry juice/syrup

Exotic Lover -Fresh Mango, Orange, and Mango Juice 

If you’ve ever been to Naples, Italy, you know that their pizza is decisively the best in the world. Yet even with an ostensibly simple recipe – just a handful of fresh ingredients composed of fresh dough, tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, basil and olive oil – a proper pizza Napoletana is just as hard to get in Manila.

“The ingredients are very important. We want to make sure we get the freshest and the tastiest products available to us. We spend years selecting and choosing, and even creating some of our ingredients to make sure they are the best. It took us maybe three years to get the perfect basil. This makes a big impact on taste and flavor, ensuring that we are able to serve premium quality pizzas and other dishes,” noted Chef Salvatore.

Thus, when the opportunity to bring a taste of true Neapolitan cuisine to Manila came up, Luigi Vera and Richie Yang of Am-Phil Group and their partners wasted no time making sure it will happen. On June 2, premium Italian restaurant Salvatore Cuomo & Bar finally opens its doors to guests, and will occupy an entire 475 square meters of space at the Uptown Parade in Bonifacio Global City.

The restaurant is part of a food empire built by Salvatore Cuomo himself, a celebrated Italian chef, restaurateur and a famous personality hailed as the pioneer of Neapolitan pizza in Japan.

After a hearty meal, Salvatore Cuomo & Bar serves specially imported Paul Bassett coffee. Paul Bassett, Australia’s famous coffee prodigy won the World Barista Championship at the age of 25. Paul Bassett sources coffees of the highest quality and have refined roasting and brewing techniques, which best highlight their intrinsic characteristics.

The Pizza Man and his empire
Having over a hundred restaurants to his name – from casual pizza and pasta restaurants to more premium dining outlets – says a great deal about Salvatore Cuomo and his food.

Described by friends and colleagues as larger-than-life and gregarious, Cuomo was born in Naples, Italy in 1972 by an Italian father and Japanese mother. At the age of 11, he trained himself in his uncle’s pizzeria and later on fine-tuned his trade in the kitchens of some of Naples’ finest pizza restaurants. He gradually learned how to blend the traditional Italian art of cooking with the Japanese art of perfection.

In 1984, he traveled to Japan with his father, who opened an Italian restaurant in Chiba. Japan didn’t appeal to the young Cuomo then, he went back to Italy and spent the next three years studying at a culinary school.  He returned to Japan at the age of 18.

After his father died, Cuomo was left with a bankrupt restaurant with no money and mounting debt. Nevertheless, Cuomo and his brothers made the decision to stay in Japan and subsequently worked in the Japanese service industry to survive.

During those days, Italian cuisine was just starting to get popular and Cuomo saw this as an opportunity to introduce Neapolitan pizza in Japan which nobody was making. The next couple of years were spent understanding the Japanese food mentality and researching the market before opening a new restaurant in Tokyo with what Cuomo calls "Original Neapolitan pizza."

It was a crazy, crazy place but one of most fun restaurants I ever had. We only did dinner, no lunch, no afternoon, only dinner. You had to book a month in advance and we had queues of 200 people going down the street. We had to choose who could come in and who couldn’t,” said Salvatore Cuomo in one interview.

Needless to say, Cuomo became known as “The Pizza Man” in Japan who catapulted Neapolitan pizza to fame. Shortly after, he started coming out on TV in Japan, making guest appearances in Iron Chef and Iron Chef Japan, hosting a TV cooking program, and writing cookbooks. He also began opening restaurants in key locations across the Nippon archipelago as well as in other countries, including Taiwan, China, Korea, and now in the Philippines. His empire of Salvatore Cuomo Restaurants, Catering Services, Cookbooks and Licensed Products is run by Y’s Table Corporation, owned and operated by Seizaburo Kanayama and Salvatore Cuomo.

“We want to be very transparent. Ten, twenty, thirty years ago, the Asian kitchen was closed and very private.  But we wanted to establish trust with our customers by showing them everything. I used to believe that if I showed people how to make my food, they would copy it. But I realized it is impossible to copy just like that. Our food comes from us being artisans, preparing it to perfection every time. You cannot copy the experience that goes into making that food, it takes years of training. I’m working very hard to educate our guests, but my staff I want to make sure they know about everything that goes into the pizza. For example, how the colour of the tomato affects the taste and how that makes the pizza better or worse,” he explains.

Even the glassware for cocktails were carefully selected, combining both function and whimsy, sure to delight guests. Plating is also very important to them as well. There’s a good number of interestingly designed plates used to serve the dishes, that results in an appetizing and beautiful food presentation.

Nothing is left to chance. Every ingredient in every dish is how it should be. Every detail is of high-quality. That is what makes Salvatore Cuomo, the man and the restaurant, a cut above the rest.
Italian food is best paired with good coffee after a hearty meal.

Uptown Parade Mall, 9th Avenue corner 38th St.
Telephone: +632 946-3072, +632 9463073
Facebook: Salvatore Cuomo Philippines
Twitter: @salvatore_cuomo
Instagram: @salvatore_cuomo11

No comments:

Post a Comment

TREALVA: Eco-Centric Living at Midlands West - Weaving Breathable Spaces in Harmony with Nature

Residential property developers are acknowledging the need to integrate eco-centric living in their masterplan, a concept that is emerging a...