A Taste of Sicily in Manila: Cantina Sicilianita

Have you ever tried eating in a bookstore? I did! Reading a book while eating is one of me-time activities.

Before you raise eyebrows, I know we're not allowed to bring in food and having a cafe integrated with the establishment allows its customers to eat in certain areas only.

But what if it's already inside?

I got a taste of authentic Sicilian cuisine in the most unlikely location. The front of the Rex Bookstore along Shaw Blvd. houses Cantina Sicilianita - a product of 3rd-generation family member Mark Buhain since July 2012. This quaint cafe is bits and pieces of Mark's travels to Sicily, Italy three years ago, inspired by his first Cannoli, mixed with his passion for Italian food.

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From tech-centric conversations, the mention of food made our stomachs growl~


I thought I was eating a potato ball as appetizer until somebody mentioned otherwise. Saffron Risotto (P145) has italian rice with meat sauce inside, fried to perfection. I know it tastes good but don't consume too many, you'll get full fast :)

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Polpette al Sugo

Another anti-pasti we tried was Sicilian meatballs with thick tomato sauce and special spices (P140). Pure minced meat, bursting tangy flavor.

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Vongole Con Pomodorini

This traditional Neapolitan dish, Clams with Cherry Tomatoes (P150), is cooked with white wine, garlic, and parsley sauteed in olive oil. The al dente pasta, flavorful spices and substantial amount of fresh clams is perfect for seafood lovers.

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For dolci (dessert), don't forget to order the house specialty: cream cheese-filled goodness Cannoli Siciliani with pistachio nuts! Try a piece with Caffe Americano (P115) or share with someone (2 pieces @ P140).



"Good food can be shared by everyone."

Address: Unit N, Facilities Center Building, 548 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City

Landmark: Babyland, Rex Bookstore

Website: http://cantinasicilianita.com/myblog
Facebook: Cantina Sicilianita
Twitter: @sicilianita
Instagram: #cantinasicilianita #cannolimanila

Open Mondays - Saturdays, 10:00 am - 9:00 pm


  1. The names of the dishes on their menu sound appealing (even when I can't understand the language). What about the prices? It might be good if you included an overview of the cost for value for us to better prepare denting our wallets a bit. :P

  2. whew. never knew there's this kind of restaurant that offers authentic Sicilian cuisine. anyway, love the laid-back and Grecian feeling of the restaurant. hope the food also taste delicious!

  3. Aldous Calubad (@team_aldous)June 2, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Wow, that Cannoli Siciliani just made me open my eyes so wide.

  4. Hmmm.. I wanna try that Vongole Con Pomodorini it looks delicious and nowadays, I'm always on the hunt for a different kind of pasta. I also want to try the Cannoli. ;)

  5. It's very unusual to see a restaurant inside a bookstore. LOL! Weird but great idea. The foods looks so yummy as well.

  6. Very new to me the place and the food name all sounds appealing. I wonder how it taste like.

  7. This looks like a really nice place to get some Italian food! It's my first time to hear/read about Cantina Sicilianita, but I'll definitely check the place out when I'm in the area :) More than the location and ambiance, I'm dying to try those scrumptious-looking food!

  8. I noticed na most of the newly opened restaurants are engaged in serving variety of wine. I'd love to visit this place someday. :)

  9. I love the Cannoli dessert, so yummy. I too love to read while eating, My kids loves Italian food, they gonna lie eating here.

  10. I would love to try this place. Foods are amazingly yummy. I'm craving for food naaa. :)

  11. their dishes looks so cool and yummy!! being a pasta fanatic, I am intrigued with Vongole Con Pomodorini...

  12. Nice place. I haven't really into Shaw area and this is new to me. I hope to be able to visit the place too. The cannoli looks delish!!


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