Italian Street Food Has Invaded CIBO
Life requires us to have structure, anything to give even the slightest stability when combating the world's inevitable nonsense. It could be anything simple as a dirty Troll doll hanging from your knapsack to a something as profound as a Confucian philosophy that gets you through the toughest times. When it comes to food, one of the things that provides life with such sturdiness is Margarita Fores' 20-year-old CIBO franchise. In difficult circumstances you can count on the crowd-favorite pasta al telefono to get you going. When the industry is being dominated by dizzying over-the-top milkshakes, you can go back to the dependable uva nera shake.
CIBO is Chef Margarita's love letter to Italy. A staunch, enduring love affair that's so solid the menu's been revised only a few times—the last time was a few years ago when she launched a stunning lasagna—and gimmicks are kept zero. Changes and additions are only as far as new twists in their relationship.
For CIBO's 20th anniversary, Asia's Best Female Chef 2016 scales things back by introducing Italian street food on the menu, all the things she loves from the streets of Italy now on the halls or, rather, hall of the SM Aura branch. All in grab-and-go paper packets, it ranges from skewers of beef tenderloin (arrosticini) spiced with chili flakes to a hefty roast pig sandwich (panino porcetta)—everything easy to snack on and perfect for the branch's soon-to-open al fresco extension.
The risotto balls (arancini) from Sicily come in three flavors: a meaty Bologna-style beef, pork ragu, and mozzarella; a classic porcini, mozzarella, and gorgonzola; and an al telefono, a tribute to the eternal bestseller. The rice balls are solidly built, just as easy to finish as the Fritto Misto, a bag of deep-fried shrimp, squid, and zucchini.
But as far as Italian traditions though, there's nothing more convenient than pizza, here appearing as Pizza Fritta, folded pizza in the Neapolitan tradition but fried instead of baked like the calzone. Four-cheese comes are bel paese, mozzarella, and fontina dripping with groviera cream. Margherita is also represented but with smoked ham on top of the tomato, mozzarella, and basil. And, just because it's a classic, there's Nutella Banana, too.
The CIBO di Strada menu is available Monday to Thursday until July 27.