This pizzeria in Tibiao, Antique is run by Daniel Orsini from Milan. It is truly Italian because the ingredients in his pizzas (and I haven’t started to talk about the crust) are all from Italy — the cheeses (he has four in stock, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Gorgonzola and…I still cannot remember the last one). Not quick melt nor filled cheese. (I love Eden and Kraft, as that found on Love and Kisses pizzas). It’s when other pizza places pass them off as mozzarella that I dislike.
As I was saying, the cheese, the salami, capers, olives etc. ah, yes, Orsini even has Parma ham toppings. (That I have to try next time).
We ordered margherita, the classic Italian pizza of tomato sauce and cheese. To half of this Margherita, we added some salami topping. As my colleagues and I waited for our order, we wondered why there were no basil leaves on it. Guess it’s hard to come by in this part of Panay or perhaps that’s how this particular Italian cook wanted it.
Well, that was all forgotten when our piping hot, thin crust, cheese laden pizza arrived. For 300 bucks, we didn’t expect it to be that big. Just looking at it made us so happy. Off it goes into my happy memories list.
We’re finally having a taste of pizza done the Italian way. How sublime could it get? Eating real Italian pizza on the beach as the lovely Antique sun set on the horizon in a flaming orange ball that gradually dissipated to fill the sky in varied tones of red, orange and gold. (Sorry I’m not poetic at all. Literature teacher and good friend Rei Hontanar–that’s him on the right– should be able to give it justice. Kent Castor, on the left, can do perhaps a mathematical reading of this pizza. Lol).
I saw a Caucasian looking guy come out of the kitchen. That must be the owner. We took the opportunity to personally compliment him for our authentic and blissful pizza experience in this far-away coastal town in Panay. And that’s how I got to share with you the facts about Orsini’s Mamma Mia.
We were thinking of taking out a plate to bring back to Iloilo City but Mr. Orsini candidly advised that Italian pizza is best eaten hot. Now, that’s the mark of a true chef. Quality over money. Ah correction! He humbly introduced himself not as chef, but a cook.
(No need to point out where our pizza artisan is, no?)
Mm, if you are all eager to check out this joint, please allow 15-20 minutes for baking and 3-4 hours for travel by bus or van to… Tibiao, Antique.
P.S. Not to despair. If you can wait a little longer, Mr. Orsini might open a branch here in beloved Iloilo.
P.S. 2. It’s pretty cool having Italian pizza on the beach while witnessing the bewitching sunset of Antique . Just don’t mind, if they happen to be there– jolly locals singing karaoke in the background.