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Va Bene Pasta Deli-Makati

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Va Bene Pasta Deli

2nd floor Petron Services Corp.

EDSA corner Pasay Rd

DasmariƱas Village


556 9442 (coming soon)

As a westerner living in the Philippines there are times when I can simply take no more rice. When I first arrived I was very curious about this rice thing and I would ask people if they ever get sick of it, eating it 2-3 times a day. Now I know better.

This particular night was a much needed break from rice so we settled on Va Bene.

Va Bene is a small casual Italian restaurant and pastaria with a very peculiar location sharing a building with the Petron station just outside DasmariƱas Village at EDSA and Pasay Rd. I was happy to see given its location it was still mostly full on a weeknight and had a good energy.

Chef Massimo Veronesi and his wife Carolyn own and operate the restaurant. When we were there Massimo was on the line and came out to ask how our food was after our meal. It has long been one of my biggest criticisms of restaurants in Manila that with so many chains they often lack soul and personality. Chef Massimo has created a noteworthy exception.

Chef Massimo spent five years at the Manila Peninsula as chef of Mi Piace Italian. Also on his resume are the Ritz Carltons of Naples, Florida and Dubai.

Chef Massimo watches every plate leave the kitchen

His food at Va Bene is centered around fresh pastas and he also offers a daily special menu. His northern Italian roots are reflected in his cooking style with lots of stuffed pastas and in our raviolo with its brown veal reduction sauce.

We shared several dishes and were quite happy with each one.

We started with the Seafood Salad, which was very fresh and simple.

Seafood Salad

We tried two different pasta dishes. First was the Chicken and Egg Yolk Raviolo with Braised Veal Cheek. I firmly believe the cheek of any animal to be the tastiest part of the whole beast. This large raviolo is stuffed with shredded chicken meat and topped with an egg yolk so that it oozed out when its cut. This dish made me happy.

Chicken Egg Yolk Raviolo with Braised Veal Cheek

Look at that damn sexy oozing egg yolk!

And again but in Instagram, fuck yeah!

Our other choice was the Roasted Eggplant and Ricotta Tortellini with Arrabiata Sauce and Pecorino. It was a little bit spicy and quite good.

Eggplant and Ricotta Tortelini

We finished with the cheese plate which was a steal at 250 pesos. It consists of four Italian cheeses, topped with honey and crushed walnuts with a dollop of fig jam. I’ve seldom finished a meal with wine and cheese since leaving Europe so this was a joyous moment.

Got my Taleggio fix right here

For killer Italian food in Manila to me there is only one choice now. Look past the gas station location to find a true gem.


  1. joey says:

    I have been wanting to try this place! Will do very soon…love the look of everything you ordered!

    I agree that the cheeks are on of the most delicious parts…whether it’s veal, pork, or fish (fish cheeks = love)! :)

    • Jeremy says:

      It’s a great place to share a couple pasta dishes and a cheap bottle of wine. You should check it out!

  2. Katrina says:

    That raviolo looks ravishing! I really need to return to Va Bene soon. The first time I ate there, the place was so tightly packed that my friends were, at first, quite turned off. But the chef and his wife were so friendly and gracious (they gave us a free bottle of wine to assuage our discomfort), and the food was of such good quality, that we were quickly appeased. I’ve been trying to go back, but both times I had a chance, it happened to be a Monday, when they’re closed. I MUST try that raviolo before the menu changes again!

    • Jeremy says:

      Yes! You should try the raviolo. I really liked these people because they are true restauranteurs. The fact that they were 1. on the floor managing their business 2. noticed your discomfort and 3. acted upon the situation. How many restaurants in Manila would be so responsive?

      • Katrina says:

        Very few. I often bemoan the lack of good restaurant service in this country. There are many factors, of course (such as the staff’s lack of training and poor pay), but at the higher-end establishments, I should be able to expect better treatment. Filipinos are pretty easy to please; just give us some attention and maybe a small freebie, and we’ll forgive most slights. We’re naturally a friendly and hospitable people, so it shouldn’t be so hard to apply that to restaurant service.

  3. Vince says:

    Better try this place next time I’m in Manila.

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