When we heard that Chef Gem Tee opened an Italian restaurant in UP Village, Quezon City, we immediately trooped to Mayaman Street to visit Salta! Italian Rotisserie Chicken Bar. Even though we didn’t have any idea about the food line-up because we haven’t even gotten a peek of their menu, it didn’t really matter. We wanted Salta! to surprise us.
The minute we got to Salta!, we immediately liked the simple exterior and the quaint interior. The black and white mural gave that playful vibe and the unfinished brick wall on the opposite side gave that hipster vibe. The place is well-lit and the big glass window helped in letting the light flow freely within the space.
After looking at the menu, we already know the dishes we’d like to try and the second we got our table, guess the first thing we got our hands on while waiting for the rest of our orders? YES. Their Red and White Sangria!
We believe that every hour is a happy hour. That’s why we started to happily sip our sangria at 11 in the morning. Of course we got both because we are fair like that. Their Red Sangria is mixed with Limoncello liqueur, orange juice, and fruits while their White Sangria is mixed with the same Limoncello liqueur, calamansi juice, and fruits. For the more thirsty ones, Salta! offers a single order of one liter of Sangria. Since we love anything citrus, most especially lemons and limes, we naturally gravitated towards their White Sangria.
2. Italian Rotisserie Chicken
The first dish that arrived was the whole Italian Rotisserie Chicken. We decided to get 5 of their side dishes— Pesto Rice, Tuscan Slaw, Rotisserie Cheese Potato, Sicilian Vegetables, and Garlic Parmesan Focaccia Roll.
One of the things we look for in a roast chicken is its meat’s juiciness especially in the breast part. And we’re happy to report that Salta! delivered. The chicken was flavorful, tender, and moist. You can easily cut into it. There’s also an option to get half or a quarter but we opted to get a whole chicken to share.
3. Brick Oven Pork Chop
We have to admit that we are not huge fans of pork chops but Salta! made us think twice about seriously giving pork chops another chance. Our knife glided effortlessly when we cut the meat and the perfectly-cooked Brick Over Pork Chop simply glistened. It was juicy, moist, and packed with that smoky herbed flavor. We ate it with their side of Pesto Rice and Tuscan Slaw and it was beautiful.
4. Balsamic Bbq Beef Ribs
There is so much win with this one. Sweet, salty, and smoky— our kind of beef ribs. One thing we noticed in all the meat dishes we tried in Salta! is its tenderness. The ribs were cooked well and when drizzled with their homemade pesto garlic aioli, it becomes more amazing! To make it more delightful to eat, we paired their Balsamic Bbq Beef Ribs with their side dishes of Rotisserie Cheese Potato and Sicilian Vegetables.
5. 9oz Angus Ribeye
One look at the ribeye, we already know that we’re in for a treat! Meat flavored with herbs and garlic always has a special place in our hearts (and our tummies). There isn’t a lot to say about this other that it’s a gorgeous dish. We mashed the whole roasted garlic and smothered it on our side of Garlic Parmesan Focaccia Roll. So good.
6. CRABonara™ Fries
Ah, the famous CRABonara™ from Gem Tee’s first baby, Pappare Ristorante. She came up with her own spin of the well-known Carbonara pasta dish using crab claw meat and crab fat sauce topped with 63ºC egg and bacon bits. It became so popular that she decided to use the same ingredients for Salta! but this time to put on top of hand-cut fries, poutine style. And the result— nothing short of delicious.
7. Tuscan Cheese Burger
This is not your usual cheese burger. It consists of a juicy burger patty topped with lettuce, balsamic onions, Pappare pesto, and cheese sandwiched between a homemade herbed brioche bun. The play of savory, sweet, salty, and herby makes this Tuscan Cheese Burger a must-try. We got some Sweet Potato Fries to go with it.
8. Piadina Milano
There is something simple yet satisfying about meat and vegetables wrapped in Piadina or Piada which is basically a thin Italian flatbread. Do not be fooled by its size because their Piadina Milano is totally filling! It has shredded Italian Rotisserie Chicken, prosciutto, and lettuce drizzled with pesto aioli. We paired this with their Sangria. Well, who are we kidding? We paired everything we ordered with Sangria!
By the end of what seemed like hours, we were full, satisfied, and all smiles. The trip to Salta! was definitely worth braving the notorious Metro Manila traffic for. We would’ve wanted to try more dishes but we want to save some for our next visit. And we’re sure to order our top 3 favorites again— Balsamic Bbq Beef Ribs, Crabonara Fries, and Piadina Milano.