Another invitation from OpenRice Philippines and I can't hide my excitement to take a look and savor the dishes of this restaurant that offers revolutionizing Filipino cuisine. Coming from San Juan City I stormed this place which is just a stone's throw away form Robinson's Galleria. Glad that I was not cauught in a heavy downpour. At the end of this review I hope you'll realize that our cuisine should be included among the famous Asian dishes that everybody loves and take pride. Made me more decided that our cuisine is also viable to be known in the international scene and could brave the competition with Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai cuisines and so on and so forth . Come join me and my fellow OpenRicers as I take you to another satisfying gastronomic adventure that you too will also enjoy and for sure will whet you r appetite. Who does not love Filipino cuisine with a twist?
By the way, Cafe de Bonifacio has only one outlet yet, situated in a high-end mall in the busy Ortigas business district, Podium Mall. It is just a small restaurant with some outside seating and with very minimal ornaments . Staff are handful yet very attentive to our needs. Lucky for those who were invited to meet Mr. Alfredo Wenceslao (owner) and Chef Rodrigo “Ogie” Reloj (Head Chef) who have been very accommodating with all our inquiries and they never forget to ask us from time to time how's our food. Presenting the dishes we gladly shared . . .
Ensaladang Talong (PhP 140)
An appetizer like this will surely sweep off your feet. Who would not? From plating to the palate acceptance , this ubiquitous and timeless eggplant steamed and mixed with indigenous ingredients that are always present in our kitchen put a smile in my heart. I eat veggies a lot so I have no allergic reactions when this plate wowed our table. What made me crazy over this was not just how it was plated but the itlog na pula wedge plus the vinegar mix that successfully made this dish appealing. Love its smoky taste and vinaigrette dressing. This perfectly stimulated my desire to eat Filipino food. Now I am so proud to tell you guys that Filipino dishes are never corny nor boring. I gotta do this at home and try to mimic the recipe so wish me luck!
These lumpia cups bare it all. Another appetizer that will tickle your palate. I am already full by just looking at them. Medium in size and truly affordable. I love this creation as the texture of the typical lumpia remains the same. Best eaten even without vinegar.
Sinigang na Tadyang ng Baka (PhP 385)
Not the typical baboy nor hipon in tamarind soup. My mother never cooked baka for sinigang dish yet so I did tell her about this in order to concoct her own and serve on our Sunday lunch. This beef stew has a sour taste that is so addicting and mind you it was freshly cooked. I mean you know when a stew uses a broth that is either instant or magic, this one from Cafe de Bonifacio was cooked from the heart really. I can't help but to have two small bowl of this enjoying every soup spoon and every tender short beef. Highly recommended especially now that rainy season sets in.
Crispy to the Bone Hito ni Ka Freddie (PhP 358)
Not a crumb will ever be wasted when you order this dish. I never liked hito or catfish because I learned when I was still young that this creature is dirty that you can even catch them in canals or estero. Since I grew up studying food and nutrition I learned to accept the fact that this fish I once disliked can be cultured and served cleanly so I was able not just to take a glimpse of this dish in which the recipe was created by the owner himself. This viand was cooked into the crispiest perfection with cubed and filleted fish nuggets on the side garnished with okra pieces added with a small cup of pinakurat. This dish is Filipino and so worth it to order. I love the local vinegar that comes with it. Uniquely cooked and served. Another notch higher for the Filipino cuisine.
Crispy Pata ni Ka Ojie (PhP 618)
Named after the chef, this crispylicious deep fried dish which is so popular among the guys should not be forsaken when you tried dining out at Podium. As dictated on the menu, this is already good for three heads but in my estimation my beau and I can finish plus plentiful of rice. PhP 60 for the unlimited rice just so you know and way better than the PhP35 per cup of rice ^_^ Sided with stir-fried kangkong in asian type of sauce makes it more of a healthy option than the fried pata alone.
I always believe that every meal no matter what time of the day should always be ended with sweet treats. That night we were given the chance to order Ginumis. I cannot really remember when was the last time to eat this dessert but for sure I know one when I see one. This one from Cafe de Bonifacio is a medley of sago at gulaman mixed well with coconut cream that is so luscious and topped with roasted rice crisps. An order is enough and extremely satisfying but here came another dessert plates. . .
You can order for this without ice cream for the price of PhP 145 but like crepes, roti is best served with any scoop of flavored ice cream for a more tempting look and desirable outcome. Ube and macapuno are both Filipino panghimagas so you have to try this plate as it was created with a twist of Asian goodness. Imagine two of your favorite halo-halo ingredients are sandwiched together in a thin bread cooked nicely and drizzled with caramel sauce. Heaven!
Mango and Latik Roti with 1 scoop of Ice Cream (PhP 170)
Same with Ube and Macapuno Roti you can order this with or without ice cream. Served on ala mode style this dessert can instantly call your attention. Mango is an ephemeral fruit so it was such an opportunity for restaurants to take advantage of their availability, and these slices go well with the latik. I'm sure you already got interested, right? It is but important to tell you that mango slices used were of highest quality - no off taste at all, just entirely sweet. Again plating racks up another points as it looks alluring, impressively good in portion size and taste so good!
Turon de Gregoria (PhP 140)
Startled when this arrived on our table. If there was no need for me to shoot before eating, I would've dig in for its aesthetic appeal. So this is their kind of turon. Very pleasant to look at and much more tastier than those which can be bought peddled on the streets. I bet you've noticed that there was just one ice cream flavor, actually you have the option to choose which flavor do you prefer to go with your dessert order and Cafe de Bonifacio will serve according to your liking and that the back of the house would be very glad to cater it.
Now, will you take a seat at this classy restaurant in the coming days? I am sure you will. Another place with unique Filipino cuisine infused with Asian flavors that is at par with radically good concoction.
CAFE DE BONIFACIO
The Podium Level 5
Ortigas Center, Pasig6361407