Monday, March 19, 2018

First Bite: Va Bene's Business Lunch Menu

We all have love-hate relationship with lunch break. We look forward to that one hour where we could get our fill and be energized to last us the day but at the same time, we never feel that an hour is enough for us to enjoy our meal. Thankfully, several restaurants saw it as a challenge and opportunity to develop menus that are filling, quick and more importantly, delicious, to help us get the most of our limited lunch hour. And a few Saturdays ago, I got to try out some of Va Bene's Business Lunch Menu dishes.

Hello, Va Bene Pasta Deli
Va Bene is consistently named as one of the best Italian restaurants in town. Known for its delectable pastas, it has been patronized by foodies all over.
Its interiors and furniture are not the usual you'd expect when thinking of Italian establishments, but its simple, no frills look made it warm and inviting. 
R and I started with some refreshing shakes. I had Lemon (PHP230) while R went with Orange (PHP250). Its muted colors would tell you that Va Bene veers away from using artificial powder for its shakes. And they don't go overboard with sweeteners as my lemon shake still had that delightful tangy taste. 
Before sampling its Business Lunch Menu, we were given some thin crostini paired with this light yet delectable tomato, cheese and oil dip to whet our appetite. 
First served from the Business Menu was Gorgonzola Polenta with sautéed mixed mushrooms and parmesan cheese
Its grainy texture would remind you of hummus. Though already good as is, it would also go great with some bread. 
Next up were greens. We tried two kinds of salads, one with slow cooked salmon and another with parma hamIt was hard for me to choose which one I liked better as I'm a big fan of salmon and parma ham. The former is tossed with mixed lettuce, arugula, oranges, semi-dried tomatoes and drizzled with lemon dressing and topped with parmesan cheese. The latter comes with Tomato Milanese, mixed lettuce, blue cheese and balsamic vinegar. 
If I really have to pick one, I'd go with the salad with salmon for it was more refreshing and felt lighter on the taste buds.

We also tried all three mains part of the Business Menu. 
If you want something bold in terms of flavor yet looking for a healthier option, I'd recommend getting Spinach Ricotta Raviolini Bolognese ragout and parmesan fondue. This plate of spinach ravioli covered in rich chunky tomato sauce and topped with parmesan is definitely filling. 
The lovely contrast between the sharp tomato flavor and earthy tones of spinach was great. And the best part is that I didn't feel so guilty munching on this dish thinking that I was still enjoying greens too. 
Another rich flavored dish I've had was Involtini braised pork roll in tomato sauce with creamy polenta and sautéed vegetables. I'd go with this one over the spinach raviolli because of the heavenly creamy polenta base. 
Want something light on the palate? Go for Three Eggs Fritata with Gorgonzola Dolce, Salami Milano and Roasted Potatoes. This was the lightest flavored dish I've had in Va Bene during this visit. However, if you have a big appetite, I don't think this will make you full. 
We also indulged in some other dishes not part of the Business Menu such as Spinach Raviolo (PHP380). This fragrant dish was love at first sniff! 
Yes, not even bite! One bite of this heaven made me smile from ear to ear with its creaminess. But what made me love this even more is that it was not cloying at all despite its rich taste.
For desserts, we had Sweet Mia (PHP240), Traditional Italian Tiramisu (PHP290) and some mini cream puffs with vanilla ice cream (which I couldn't find in the menu). 
I found Sweet Mia to be too sweet for my liking. But sugar loving R enjoyed it a lot. 
The cream puffs were good though there was nothing special about it for me to grab more. 
As expected, Va Bene's tiramisu was awesome. It was moist and had a lovely balance of espresso for contrast. And I think I got a hint of Kahlua too. I'd definitely get this again on my next visit.

Overall, it was a great meal. I'll surely swing by to grab its Business Menu one of these days. After all, for just PHP299 (one appetizer/main course), PHP499 (one appetizer and main course) or PHP499 (one appetizer/main course with a glass of wine), how can one resist? 

If you plan to grab this awesome deal as well, make sure to drop by from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m..

Va Bene is located at 3rd Floor, Central Square, Bonifacio High Street Central, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. It also has branches in Dasmariñas Village and Circuit Makati. 

Va Bene Pasta Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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