Their big day is fast approaching and we can feel the excitement (more of it coming from us) and the tension (more from them). However, knowing how organized my friend L is I'm sure everything will go as planned and I can't wait to witness their special day. It's amazing, we began double-dating just around the same time T was courting L and Paul was courting yours truly. Later on, we became a couple two years before they did (obviously, my friend L was really hard to get! haha) and imagine our excitement when L told me that they're engaged just a few months after Paul and I tied the knot! We really are soul sisters as we seem to be celebrating the same milestones in life almost one after the other. Now, why do I have a very strong feeling that L and I might even get pregnant and enjoy motherhood probably at the same time? :) Crossing our fingers!
It took us one whole hour to get to Makati from Mandaluyong. Blame it on the rain, the slippery dark road and the chaotic EDSA traffic. Add to the fact that Paul decided to just be a passenger and to rest thus forcing me to go behind the wheel.
Luckily, the restaurant was not full where we found L and T already waiting inside. The menu was quite simple as it had just a short list of pasta dishes, soup, salad and some appetizers. Should you be craving for some meat feel free to ask the server and they might have this available for you.
We started off with a platter of complimentary toasted crostinis with homemade salsa. I loved it! It was not very sour and the addition of Parmesan cheese gave it a nice touch. The crostinis were bigger than normal and should you want more, you can order for just a minimum price.
I love how the restaurant was able to fill one side of the wall with bottled sauces, dips and Italian ingredients. It truly was a mini deli. What caught my attention though was the glass chiller containing trays of handmade pasta noodles. This made me more excited to try their pasta as I loveeee handmade noodles.
Since it was raining that evening, we had a half an order of Mushroom Soup (Php. 290) each. From the moment the server placed our bowls in front of us, I can immediately smell the aromatic scent of truffles. Peering at my bowl, you can see how generous they have added the truffle oil in. Mmmm... I happily slurped my soup and loved the chunky texture brought by the chopped up mushrooms. This was really delicious although I'm glad we decided to share to make space for our filling dishes ahead.
We took the server's recommendation by ordering our first pasta dish -- Black Ink Home Made Spaghetti with Seafood Marinara (Php. 390). He told us this was one of their best-sellers and so we just have to give it a try. I love the light marinara sauce that had around 4 medium-sized shrimps, a few squid and fish fillet. Though, I was a bit too engrossed with something else that I failed to notice if they have added clams or mussels in. The noodles didn't leave any stain on our teeth unlike how the Spaghetti al Nero would. However, it was not very al dente for me.
Next we had the Organic Eggs Tagliolini with Portobello Mushrooms, White Wine Cream Sauce and Truffle Oil (Php. 380). This was my choice and for those who knows me well would instantly know what got me interested in this pasta. Wanna make a guess? :)
It was the truffle oil of course! I love creamy pasta and the addition of truffle oil just simply sealed the deal. Just like the Mushroom Soup this was the most fragrant dish on the table. I loved every bit about this pasta and I'm very happy with my choice. The noodles was very al dente, the sauce not too creamy and rich, I love biting into the chopped mushrooms too.
What surprised me though was Paul, who is totally a tomato-sauce pasta lover, enjoyed this one as well. He even couldn't get over it that he just kept on telling me how delicious the Tagliolini with Truffle Oil was as we were driving home that night. I was really surprised as he would never have cream-based sauce pasta before and now he told me this was his top choice for the evening. Definitely a must-try!
Our last dish was chosen by L, we love ravioli and gnocchi that we would even share a huge plate of Portobello Mushroom Ravioli from CPK when we were both still in college. Sadly, I've been pretty unlucky with gnocchi in the past that I've stayed away from it for a while.
However, given how popular Va Bene has been with their pasta, I agreed to get their Potato Gnocchi with Pumpkin Bacon Sauce (Php. 390) that night. Crossing my fingers that this could be THE one.
It came with very thick orange sauce and I took a few pieces. First thing that I noticed was the pillowy soft texture of the gnocchi that for the first time, didn't make me cringe. It was de-li-cious!
I love the pumpkin bacon sauce that tasted like my favorite Pumpkin Soup with a few bacon bits on top. It was yummy and well-created. No umay feeling even after a number of bites.
Our plates were wiped clean as we all enjoyed our three pasta dishes. Va Bene Pasta Deli is truly promising! How I wish they'd expand soon. I love the open kitchen where you can see the kitchen staff working briskly like busy bees. The serving for all pasta dishes are good for 2-3 to share.
I was really in truffle oil heaven that evening. Up until today, I daydream about that delicious plate of Organic Eggs Tagliolini with Portobello Mushrooms and Truffle Oil and I'm glad I have my husband to share this dish with. ♥
It may be a bit out of the way and may be quite a challenge to get there but believe me, Va Bene Pasta Deli is worth the travel. The place is quite small so be sure to reserve especially when you're a big group.
Truly, the name Va Bene is an understatement for the experience that you'll get after dining here. It's definitely way more than being....Va Bene!
Va Bene Pasta Deli is located at the 2nd level, Petron Gas Station, EDSA corner Pasay Road (in front of Dusit Thani Hotel), Makati City. Call them at 556-9442.