As I was browsing through Anton Diaz’ blog on where to eat next, I decided to try Va Bene Pasta Deli, after seeing his blog about it. Two things that caught my interest & influenced my decision to eat there were: 1. It is a hole-in-the-wall type of restaurant, situated at Petron, Dasmariñas Village. 2. It serves authentic Italian food–those were enough to convince me that it was worth going to. So the next day, I went there for lunch & didn’t expect ALL the tables to have been reserved already! 😦 Despite that, Va Bene was kind enough to accommodate me, since most of their guests who reserved a table weren’t there yet. Unfortunately, during my 1st visit, I wasn’t able to bring my camera, so I wasn’t able to take photos 😦 After a very satisfying lunch, I told myself I would go back very soon, so I could try their other offerings & take photos of it for this blog 🙂 The following week, I went back for lunch, without any reservations, AGAIN 😀 It was a good thing I went there around 11:30, because there were only 6 vacant chairs left (6 out of 40–Imagine that!)! The waitress was kind enough to let me switch places with the one of the reserved tables, which had long, cushioned chairs.
The restaurant is relatively small, with a seating capacity of 38 to 40 pax. It would be better if the chairs & tables were all like the ones on the left. I particularly don’t like the peach, weaved chairs on the right, which leave nasty marks on your legs, if you’re wearing a skirt or a pair of shorts.
As soon as you enter the door, you will immediately see this book shelf on your right, which showcases an array of different celebrity & specialty cookbooks! From Gordon Ramsay to Mario Batali to Jamie Oliver. It is truly a treat for culinarians & foodies alike! 😉
Next to the book shelf are these shelves, which display items that are for sale 🙂 They have canned peeled tomatoes, wine, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, bottled pasta sauces, carrot juice, sparkling water & more [I will take a look at their items next time, when that lady isn’t sitting there anymore ;p Lol!–And yes, I plan to frequent this place from now on ;)]
They also sell an interesting variety of fresh pasta, of which they make everyday 🙂
Va Bene houses Paradis Natural Ice Cream, which offers Signature, Soybet & Traditional ice cream flavors 🙂 It’s too bad I wasn’t able to try this, because my son & I already ordered 2 different desserts. I will be sure to try this the next time I come back, & order the Thai Milk Tea variant 🙂
Prices are quite expensive. They obviously cater to the upscale market, especially those who live around the area, like at Dasmariñas Village & Forbes Park.
They can also make other Italian pasta sauces, not found in the menu, such as bolognese, carbonara, arrabiata, puttanesca, etc. 🙂 The appearance of the menu could be better, instead of a laminated sheet of paper.
I liked how it was presented atop a small, wooden board 🙂 The bread was perfect! I now understand how all the bloggers who have a post about Va Bene raved so much about this complimentary antipasto. The bread was crispy on the outside, yet perfectly soft on the inside 🙂 The salsa, which I’m guessing was a melange of diced tomatoes, white onions, basil, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper & olive oil, was also delizioso.
Despite precautionary pieces of advice, I started giving my 5-year old fresh orange juice even before he started eating solids. So I am not surprised how he has developed a fondness for it now. Unfortunately, most of the fresh orange juices in the restaurants we have had in the past tended to be sour. Va Bene assured us that their’s wasn’t. And they were right! This wasn’t sour at all. It was definitely fresh & you could taste the sweetness from the ripe oranges.
Chef Massimo, owner & Executive Chef of Va Bene Pasta Deli, was hospitable enough to approach me & explain how their pizza was different from the usual ones we have here. He said their square pizza is what you can typically find in the streets of Italy, where they are made beforehand, & then reheated for selling–thus the stale-like (makunat) texture of the bread. Nevertheless, it was interesting & unusual, in a good way 🙂 Though, I prefer the freshly-baked ones.
The best tartufo pasta for me was that of La Nuova Pasteleria‘s, which is located at San Antonio Plaza, Forbes Park. But just a few days ago, a couple of days to be exact, it was easily overthrown by Va Bene‘s Organic Eggs Tagliolini with Portobello Mushrooms, White Wine Cream Sauce & Truffle Oil! 🙂 It was truly VA BENE! Which means very good in Italian 🙂 The tagliolini alone, which was made with organic eggs, was absolutely delicious. It was perfectly al dente, which reminded me of the somewhat similar texture to Japanese soba. This dish was enveloped with the seducing scent of truffles, beautifully married with the creaminess of its sauce made with white wine & cream, topped with slivers of portobello mushrooms. This was absolutely DIVINE. A definite best-seller & favorite of food fanatics like me 😛
It was my first time to try gnocchi (pronounced as /nyoki/) & Va Bene‘s was soft & creamy. The wild nuts gave a beautiful contrasting texture to the creaminess of the Four Cheeses Sauce. However, I found the sauce a bit bland. The strips of arugula gave a freshness factor to this seemingly simple, yet comforting dish.
Va Bene‘s panna cotta made me forget about my former favorite panna cotta from Aubergine. The sweetness & creaminess of this typical Italian dessert was perfectly well-balanced and was complimented well with the sweet & slight sourness from the marinated mangoes. Another definite addition to my top 1 favorites! 😀
This was an interesting dessert, wherein all the components surprisingly went well together. The slight sourness from the strawberries, which were bathed in balsamic syrup, was toned down & balanced out with the sweetness & creaminess of the vanilla ice cream.
Just to include the pasta I had during my first visit, I had their Ricotta Pumpkin Ravioli with sage, lemon & Italian sausage with veal reduction. It was really good. You get to appreciate the dish all the more because of the perfect tenderness of the fresh pasta. The ricotta pumpkin filling was creamy, which tasted even better with the accompaniment of the Italian sausage, thinly doused with the veal reduction sauce. You could also taste a hint of lemon, which I liked.
During my first visit, I must say, the service was terrible. The waiters & waitress were not attentive enough & the food, including the bill, took forever to come. I understand though, because the place was really packed then. On my next visit, it was the complete opposite, & perhaps this was because there were only 4 customers at that time (me & my son, included). One of the waiters, I’m not sure if his name is Ehmz, took the liberty to suggest & explain to me what their Specials were, & even made a couple of recommendations with regard to the food items that are not included in their menu 🙂 He was very accommodating, & his knowledge was truly impressive! Unfortunately, one of the other male waiters was the complete opposite.
Overall, I had another happy & satisfying lunch at Va Bene 🙂 And for that, I give them 5 out 5 stars! 🙂
To ensure a table, make reservations ahead of time by calling:
Va Bene Pasta Deli
2/F, Petron Gas Station, Edsa Corner Pasay Road,
Dasmarinas Village, Makati City
Telephone: (02) 556-9442/ 904-6063
Mobile: (0917) 3456869
11:30AM-3PM & 6-9:30PM
(Late-night dinners after 9.30 are possible with prior reservation.)
Parking is available at Petron.