restaurants in Metro Manila

Menu, prices: Olive Garden in Metro Manila

Steph Arnaldo
Menu, prices: Olive Garden in Metro Manila
The menu is in! Check out the first look photos and prices of Olive Garden's first Philippine branch in SM MOA.

MANILA, Philippines – Olive Garden is finally here! The well-known US restaurant chain serving Italian-American favorites has made its way to the second floor of SM Mall of Asia’s South Entertainment Mall and will be open to the public starting Monday, September 12. Brace yourselves for the inevitable long lines!

OLIVE GARDEN AT MOA. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

If you’re deciding whether to check it out ASAP or patiently wait until the hype dies down, that’s up to you. Regardless, here’s what you can expect on your first visit – menu, prices, and photos included!

Ambiance, seating
BAR AREA. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

You can’t miss the distinct storefront of Olive Garden, plus a few tables, chairs, and a sofa at the front area. Instantly you’ll see the well-lit bar, which also has several bar stools for solo drinkers and diners. Don’t let the cozy welcoming area fool you, though – there’s waaaay more space at the back!

MALL SEATING. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Walk through the narrow hallway and a spacious dining area with family-friendly ambiance will welcome you. There are several group tables, family-style round tables, and even intimate booth seating, accentuated by Filipino design elements like native solihiya ceiling lamps, backrests, and chairs.

COMMUNAL DINING. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler
BOOTH SEATING. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler
SALUTE! Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler
SOFA SEATING. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The resto maintains its modern Italian bistro interiors, with warm and neutral tones like greens and browns. There are more group tables at the al fresco area out back.

AL FRESCO AREA. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler
OUTDOOR SEATS. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The first Philippine store is at 382 square meters and can seat up to 300 guests. Service is also friendly and attentive, aligned with the restaurant’s warm “welcome to the family” philosophy.

Menu, prices

We know you’re here for the main event, so let’s get straight to the menu of Olive Garden’s Philippine franchise. First up, appetizers!

SHRIMP FRITTO MISTO. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The Shrimp Fritto Misto (P625) was a good half-pound serving of bite-sized shrimp and veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant, hand-breaded and lightly-fried until browned and crispy. It’s served with marinara and spicy ranch.

STUFFED ZITTI FRITTA. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

There’s also the Lasagna Frita (P450-P795): parmesan-breaded fried lasagna with alfredo and meat sauce; Stuffed Ziti Fritta (P695); Calamari (P595); and Spinach-Artichoke Dip (P550).

LASAGNA FRITA. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Most dishes come in two sizes (solo and family). Heads-up: They’re really filling and heavy (especially since most dishes don’t hold back on the cheese and cream), so the dishes are best shared, especially for the quite steep price range and family-style servings with no-fuss presentation.

Each entrée comes with a choice of Never-Ending Soup or Never-Ending House Salad and Breadsticks. The breadsticks aren’t the fluffy, garlicky, herby kind, by the way – they’re firm and plain, served with three dips of marinara, alfredo, and five-cheese marinara. The simple salad comes with lettuce, red onions, raddichio, carrots, and croutons, tossed in a light viniagrette. FYI: Olive Garden’s staff will offer you a tableside grating of parmesan cheese on top of almost any dish.

SALAD AND BREADSTICKS. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler
BREADSTICKS. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

For the unli soups, you can choose between Pasta E Fagioli (white/red beans, ground beef, tomatoes, tubetti); Zuppa Toscana (spicy Italian sausage, kale, potatoes); Minestrone (tomato, spinach, carrots, zucchini, red beans, pasta, and tomato broth that could get a bit too salty); and the hearty Chicken & Gnocchi (heavy cream, roasted chicken, chewy potato dumplings, spinach).

MINESTRONE WITH FRESH PARMESAN. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler
ZUPPA TUSCANA. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler
CHICKEN & GNOCCHI. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Onto the entrées: The Tour of Italy (P1,245) is a heavy plate of chicken parmigiana, a small slice of lasagna classico, and fettucine alfredo in the center. You can get each individually, such as the Chicken Parmigiana (P675-P875) with a side of spaghetti; Lasagna Classico (P595-P795) with pasta, meat sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan. Eat it fresh and hot, as the cheese and breaded chicken can get a bit tough if left out cold for a few minutes. Feel free to ask for extra marinara sauce if you want it moister.

TOUR OF ITALY. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

I tried the Shrimp Scampi (P695-P875), which is light and a tad spicy – it’s juicy shrimp sautéed in garlic sauce that’s almost a bit creamy, with crisp asparagus, tomato, bell peppers, and angel hair pasta. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for something light!

SHRIMP SCAMPI. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Another light yet tasty option was the Grilled Chicken Margherita (P645-P845): grilled chicken breast topped with a fresh combo of cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, basil pesto, and lemon garlic sauce, with a side of parmesan-crusted zucchini.

GRILLED CHICKEN MARGHERITA. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Other items on the menu include Eggplant Parmigiana (P595-P795); Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno (P645-P845); Chicken Scampi (P695; P895); Herb-Grilled Salmon (P950); 6-oz Sirloin with Fettucine Alfredo (P1,295); Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara (P740-P940); Chicken Carbonara (P725-P925); and Chicken Marsala (P695-P895).

CHICKEN PARMIGIANA. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

You can also order the Stuffed Asiago Tortelloni Alfredo with Grilled Chicken (P695-P895) or a set of Never-Ending Soup, Salad, & Breadsticks (P495), if you’re just going for the appetizer staples.

CHICKEN ALFREDO. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

The “Amazing Alfredos” menu feature Olive Garden’s signature alfredo, made with parmesan, cream, garlic, and butter (it has a slight tinge of sweetness BTW). There’s the Fettucine Alfredo (P645-845); Seafood Alfredo (P695-P995); Shrimp Alfredo (P695-P995); and Chicken Alfredo (P725-P925).

CREAMY MUSHROOM FETTUCINE. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Olive Garden also offers a Create Your Own Pasta dinner size option starting at P745. Choose a pasta (spaghetti, fettuccini, angel hair, or ziti); choose a sauce (marinara, five-cheese marinara, creamy mushroom, or meat sauce); and toppings for an additional price (crispy chicken fritta, grilled chicken, or sautéed shrimp).

MANGO CHEESECAKE. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Desserts like Strawberry or Mango Cheesecake (P475); Italian doughnut Zeppoli (P395); Tiramisu (P475); and Chocolate Brownie Lasagna (P475) are also available for a sweet meal cap-off.

HIBISCUS-OH! Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Beautiful, whimsical cocktails are also made on the spot at the bar, like the Hibiscus-Oh! (P250) with rum and other boozy faves like Italian Margarita (P275); Olive Gin on the Rocks (P250); Italian Rum Punch (P250), Strawberry or Peach Bellini (P395); Amaretto Sour (P250) and more. A wide variety of red and white wines, liquors, beer, and sangrias are also available.

PURPLE-WHITE. Photo by Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

There are also refreshing non-alcoholic beverages like the Purple-White (P220) with guyabano and butterfly pea tea; Peach Butterfly Pea (P150); Strawberry Passionfruit Limonata (P195); Hibiscus Butterfly Pea Tea (P195), and more. For Never-Ending Refills, there’s the Raspberry Lemonade, Classic/ Peach Raspberry Iced Tea, and Mango Strawberry Iced Tea at P150 each.

Olive Garden at SM MOA will be open daily from 11 am to 10 pm on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Olive Garden was brought to the Philippines by The Bistro Group, who also recently brought in LA donut chain Randy’s Donuts in May. The local resto group is also bringing in Brazil’s famous steakhouse Fogo de Chão to the country in 2023.

The Bistro Group is behind other franchises like Denny’s, Texas Roadhouse, Hard Rock Café, Buffalo Wild Wings, Modern Shanghai, Fish & Co., Italiannis, and TGIFridays.

Olive Garden is one of the largest American restaurant chains that serves its own American take on Italian classics. It has over 880 restaurants globally, with its headquarters located in Florida. – Rappler.com

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.