travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz


Balboa Italian Restaurant

March 6, 2014

When my friend sent me a mobile message asking what restaurant should we try in Shangri-la East Mall – I replied Italian, Balboa; or Tonkatsu Kitchen or Woo Galbi. My friend picked my first suggestion reading me as someone who loves Italian food.

Balboa might be a weird name for an Italian restaurant – but Balboa could be a name of someone famous from Italy – probably, an explorer?

We were foodie explorer that evening as we tried the food in Balboa. I found my friends already enjoying the Spinach Artichoke and Sangria when I arrived while I feed my camera first with these photos before taking a sip of the Sangria..


The place is a bit small for me but I love the comfy couches and cushioned chairs. It feels like dining in the great hall of some great palace of a great country. 😉 There are, however, tables set up in the middle of the walkway that (I feel) may not be a good table for couples on a date. 😉

Our spread that night..

Click Read More to know more about the food in Balboa ..

We cannot miss the wine bottles on display

Love this bar

What’s for Eats?
The Spinach Artichoke is so good that we requested for additional bread. In which we were only served with two slices – of different type, which we found very weird – especially since there were
3 of us. Are we asking too much?  
Lemon Tagliatelle (Php 498) has a good balance of zest and flavor.
 The seafood is fresh and cooked just right. The serving is good for two pax. 

Spinach Prosciutto Truffle 12″ (Php 409)
Pizza size comes in 12″ and 16″. The crust is thin but it achieved the chewy feel on top with perfect toasted texture of the bottom pan. You might think that the toppings are not evenly distributed, maybe that’s the beauty and art of pizza-making in Balboa. It is good to be eaten well with a pasta.
Porchetta (Php 409)
To tell you honestly, we were a bit disappointed with this dish. It tasted like the usual Lechon Kawali (the one in Ice Bergs even tastes better), soaked in the famous lechon sauce. We, however, love the greens that go with it, but I would recommend ordering other dish than this. We are thinking of trying out the Steaks and other main dishes next time.
Sangria (Php 188/glass)

Sangria was my favorite that night! It is refreshing, but can kick your senses after hours. I love the sliced lemon that floats and seeps the alcohol in the drink. Since Mandaluyong is a plastic-free city, the straws used in the drinks are made of paper and can soften after a few sips.

We thought that we didn’t order enough food for the three of us, but we realized that what we had is just perfect and filling for 3 pax.


I am not certain how many months this restaurant is running, but staff training, attentiveness and sense of urgency can still be improved.

Total Damage:

Php2,340 including service charge. Main course starts at Php 400. Might need around 1,000 for a decent meal for two, or prolly extend the budget to Php 1,500 to impress your date.


Mall parking

Plastic Money:

Yes, they do accept credit card. Not certain if they accept American Express.


Mall washroom

Dress Code:

Come as you are. But it might be nice to dress for the ambiance. We were on our Sunday Day Off clothes that evening, but we still look decent.


Families, friends, and lovers. Just choose the best table so you guys can talk. There are tables that seem too “open” in the walkway.

The Verdict:

There are still a lot of food we need to try before I can give a good judgement, but the first dinner was good – could have been perfect. It is the service that can keep the guests coming back. The service is not bad (the staff is professional) but there is something about personalized service that most of the business always miss.

I will sure be back for more of Balboa. But I am still dreaming of the Frankie Tomato’s to come in Manila. 

 Have you guys tried the Balboa in Shangri-la East Wing? What dishes can you recommend?

4th Level East Wing Shangri-La Plaza Mall, 
Shaw Blvd. cor. EDSA, Mandaluyong City

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