Va Bene literally means “Okay!” And to say their food is just okay is actually an understatement. I have to be honest I haven’t been to Italy, yet. But I have tried various Italian cuisines from various restaurants around the Philippines, and nothing comes close to Va Bene.
I first went to Va Bene upon the recommendation of my post-grad professor. I was expecting a fancy restaurant dressed in expensive Italian curtains and glasswares, but I was surprised to see metal tables and orange plastic seats. Curiosity hit me so hard I made sure we got seats despite the flock of people.
Braised Chicken Pansotti
The menu was kind of intimidating for the beginners as everything is written in Italian. I had their Braised Chicken Pansotti, ravioli in gorgonzola cheese sauce. This is my personal favorite, something I can eat every day without getting used to how great it taste bite after bite. I love anything cheesy, and this pasta dish sets the bar really high. The ravioli was cooked perfectly, the chicken is really flavorful and sauce has just the right amount of creaminess.
Black Ink Tagliolini
Rocky got the Black Ink Tagliolini, his all time favorite. It’s Lunga (long pasta) drenched in marinara sauce with light tomato cream, filled with generous servings of various seafood. This is probably one of the best seafood pasta we’ve had, ever! We were told an order serves two people, but we both had our own orders and finished everything.
On our third visit, we brought the whole team with us. Alison and Kim got Pappardelle, flat pasta with italian suasage, tried tomatoes and generous amount of 12-hour braised lamb shank all over the pasta dish! It was simply great! The servings were really generous they didn’t get to finish their plates of Pappardelle. Of course, we came to the rescue! The lamb was really tender and flavors burst in your mouth with every bite.
Lobster and Prawn Cappellacci
Kendell had the Lobster and Prawn Cappellacci. The time we visited, we were told there are no lobsters available so they’d just add more prawns. And God, it rained prawn ravioli on his plate! It was so good we were torn between the Black Ink Tagliolini and the Lobster and Prawn Cappellacci. But the Black Ink Tagliolini still won our hearts and our tastebuds!
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We also tried their pizzas, which looked and tasted fresh and authentic. It was thick and flavorful. It was nothing short of ingredients mentioned in their menu. So generous! I’m never having commercialized pizza ever again!
Though the dishes are a bit pricey at P300 to P400, they are all worth it! A serving can make you really full if you choose finish it alone. If you’re on budget, you can share a plate of pasta and an order of pizza with your date.
The owners, as I have researched, are Chef Massimo and Carolyn Veronesi. Hopefully I can stumble upon them on one of my visits so I could personally thank them for bringing real Italian flavors here in Manila. Truly, Va Bene!
Va Bene had its first branch at a gasoline station at the corner of EDSA and the Arnaiz entrance to Dasmarinas Village. Just recently, they opened a new branch at the Central Square in BGC (4th floor, enar the Cinemas).