After the success of their first branch within the flagship store of Bench Retail in BGC, Bench Cafe recently opened their second branch at the 2nd floor of Greenbelt 3, Makati.
I was one of the foodies invited to their exclusive media launch last December 15, 2018. We had the place all to ourselves, and I got to appreciate the ambience and beautiful interiors that gave a chill vibe. During that moment they were working on the finishing touches of the takeout/standout counter where the signature pinoy merienda snacks such as turon, banana-que, mais con yelo and halohalo will be served.
Inside the restaurant, the tables were all set. I can already imagine groups of friends or families dining here, I’m sure they’ll enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and pinoy comfort food. While we wait for the food to be served, Eric Dee, the owner of Bench Café shared with us how they came up with the concept for this branch. I’ve never heard of this cafe before (I’m such a south girl), so hearing his stories made gave me much excitement to try their take on the Filipino “turo-turo” with a twist.
Tinapa cornette – crispy outer shell, melt-in-your-mouth tinapa filling with diced tomatoes, onions & salted egg. Great starter!
Kinda like the Japanese bento. Each variant comes with a Bench salsa, atsara, and steamed Ifugao rice. We were served with the two best sellers: Bangus Bistek ala Pobre and Inasal na Liempo. Both had very rich flavors that may come off as too salty for some, but if paired with bowls of rice… I’m sure you’ll enjoy these Filipino favorites.
I love how you get the feeling of eating pinoy home-cooked meals, see the photos below. Such dishes are staples in most Filipino homes. One dish stood out for me though, the Pansit Sisig. Super sarap! And addicting! I never thought you could pair sisig and pancit…Bench Cafe nailed it!
The sweet-tooth in me was excited. They have the typical pinoy desserts – leche flan which they call “Flan B”, and the Turon ala Mode. But it was their one-of-a-kind cakes that made my tummy happy! One of them is the Bibingka cheesecake where sweet and salty flavors married well in my mouth. The Ube Leche Flan cake did not quite impress me, maybe because of the many flavors that did not seem to compliment each other. The Caramel Bukayo cake was another unique flavor, I love anything with caramel and this one is just okay for me. My favorite out of all the desserts they served was the Dark Tableya cake – a rich, thick slice of chocolate cake that is not at all sweet yet satisfied my craving for chocolate.
It was indeed a party in my tummy right after this foodie event. Will I recommend it? Of course. I have yet to try the other meals they have in their menu, and I look forward even more to try their halo-halos! I’m definitely bringing my family with me next time. I’m sure the desserts and snacks will be a hit for my kids too!
Click the first Zomato link below (with rating and votes) to view more about Bench Cafe!