Monday 29 August 2011

Simple yet thoughfully-cooked dishes in Va Bene Pasta Deli

I learned about Va Bene Pasta Deli while reading an in-flight magazine on the way to Boracay. Being the curious cat that I am, I searched for it immediately and saw that it's conveniently located in Petron gas station along EDSA (near Dasmarinas Village). It's right beside that huge UCC Express that greets you when you're North Bound from Magallanes. That place is soon becoming a happening place for gourmandes.

The restaurant is always full. All tables were reserved as early as 6pm.
Some of their magic ingredients are on this shelf

Anyway, C and I have been wanting to go here for the past how many months but for some reason we never got around to doing it. Ironically, when we were finally able to schedule it a week before this visit, we tried walking in without a reservation. Unfortunately, there was a function inside and we had to occupy the tables outside. We didn't really mind, except that after giving our orders, the waiter came back to us, informing us that our orders would take 40 minutes to arrive. So we had no choice but to find someplace else to eat.

A week later, we tried again, but we were smarter this time! We called in at around 5pm and got a reservation at 6! Even then though, the tables were all reserved already.

Around 5 minutes after we ordered, a wooden plate of crostini with salsa dip arrived. You know the food in a restaurant is good when their complimentary dish is already delicieux (or, well, delizioso in Italian).

Crostini with salsa dip
For starters, we ordered the Buffalo Mozzarella Salad. It was a simple, yet perfect combination of lettuce, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cubes, and I think I tasted some arugula, too. Another one of those salads that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Buffalo Mozzarella Salad (P310)
For entrees, we ordered an awesome twosome--the Rolled Spinach Canneloni and the Black Ink Seafood Marinara. The Spinach Canneloni was swimming in creamy tomato sauce and it was perfectly cooked to give that nice, soft, slightly chewy texture.

Rolled Spinach Canneloni (P 300)
The Black Ink Seafood Marinara was definitely the highlight of our dinner. I was pretty excited about this dish simply because it's black ink pasta. I love pasta and I love seafood, so this was spot on, but what made it more special was its simplicity and character, which you can taste with every spoonful (or forkful, rather). It was a very generous serving, too. Great for sharing :) As C said himself, "favorite marinara ever!". And that's saying something.

Black Ink Seafood Marinara (P350)
A salad and two entrees later, C and I had beaming smiles on our faces. We were so happy because in our heads, we were thinking that we just had one of the best meals we've had in a while. I definitely wanted dessert and I was already eyeing that yogurt place just below Va Bene, but the lovely waiter came up to us and offered dessert. We took that as a sign. We just had to try their dolci!

We chose the Home-made Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream and the Marinated Strawberry in Balsamico with Ice Cream. The strawberries were sweet and crunchy. Dessert heaven, indeed! And they get an A+ for presentation, too! How about I just let the pictures speak for themselves?

Home-made Profiteroles in Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream (P140)
Marinated Strawberry in Balsamico and Ice Cream (P180)
I believe there was a reason why I've been itching for C and I to visit this place. Va Bene offers an authentic Italian dining experience that, in my opinion, is pretty hard to find somewhere else. From its kind of modest hole-in-the-wall location, to the homey feel inside, to the lovely service crew, it's something I know would be unique to this place.

If there was something I'd improve though, it would be to increase the space. I witnessed the waiters having to politely shoo away a number of customers because the place was packed. I appreciate though that they were honest from the start. I guess they'd rather tell them upfront that they cannot be accommodated, rather than make them end up regretting their visit altogether.

Needless to say, we gave a very good tip to our server after our dinner :) Go ahead and visit Va Bene Pasta Deli, my dear gourmandes! It's an experience worth sharing with your friends and loved ones. Don't forget to make a reservation to secure your spot!


Va Bene Pasta Deli is located at the second floor of Petron Gas Station, Dasmarinas Village, EDSA cor. Pasay Road, Makati. Call in for reservations at 556-9442 or (0917) 345-6869.
Open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.


  1. everything's delicious! the black ink seafood marinara is my favorite. :)
    i have to agree with you. it's definitely an authentic italian dining experience.


  2. The seafood marinara is our favorite, too! I really think I'll go back soon to try the other dishes :)

  3. I've always wanted to try making lasagna but the complexity of it always scares me. I got inspired by this. Thanks! :)

  4. Hey Lynne! Check out the lasagna recipe that I attempted to replicate :D

    You'll find the link to the recipe there :0