Va Bene Pasta Deli
2nd floor Petron Services Corp.
EDSA corner Pasay Rd
www.vabenepastadeli.com (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 Dasmariñas 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.
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.
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.
Our other choice was the Roasted Eggplant and Ricotta Tortellini with Arrabiata Sauce and Pecorino. It was a little bit spicy and quite good.
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.
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.