Bench Cafe is the “Love Local” Filipino Cafe of the Bench fashion house in partnership with Foodee Global Concepts. It specializes in Bench-to, a Filipino Bento version, and Halo-Halo plus merienda specialties.
Their flagship store is in Bonifacio High Street, and they recently opened their version 2.0 in Greenbelt 3. Here is the best of Bench Cafe in 2019.
Bench Cafe High Street
The Bench Cafe flagship store is hidden on the 2nd floor inside Bench High Street.
We asked our travel blogging friends during our recent trip to Czech Republic for the TBEX Ostrava conference on what are their best and most memorable restaurants during their trip. This is a collaboration post to help add to your foodie bucket list on our next trip to Czech Republic.
Here are the Best Restaurants in Czech Republic according to the World’s Best Travel Bloggers:
Coda Restaurant is an impeccable dining experience situated within (and above) the 5-star Aria Hotel, which is located in the heart of Lesser Town. They offer both traditional Czech cuisine as well as a refined international dishes as well as a tasting menu that can be paired with the perfect wine.
Weather permitting, I recommend trying to get reservations for the rooftop, which provides unprecedented views of Prague. From the creative dishes to the stupendous service and the romantic rooftop terrace, Coda is a symphony of excellence you will not soon forget.
Pikeperch with Shrimp in a cauliflower purée (760 Kč) with fermented radish, herbs and a Beurré Blanc.
The meal for two with appetizers, entrees and a bottle of wine and bottled water was around 3700 Kč ($165) with tip.
The best food I had in Prague would have to be during my stay in Aria Hotel Prague by Library Hotel Collection. I enjoyed every meal in their Coda Restaurant where you can dine on the top of the terrace with a 360-degree view of the entire Prague.
For lunch, I chose the traditional Czech Cuisine called Crispy Oven Roasted Duck (695 Kč) which came with Sauerkraut, Steamed Red Cabbage, South Bohemian Row Potato Dumplings, and fried onion. The duck had so much flavor without being too salty as many ducks often taste and not too oily being baked perfectly. The meat was succulently tender on the inside.
Last day in Prague I chose from the Lunch Menu called ” Symphony ” with an option for a 2-course experience which cost 490Kč or a 3-course experience for 590 Kč. I went for the 3-course experience.
For the starters, I had the Chickpeas hummus with Sun-dried tomatoes, green Cilantro, and Sumac. Such a nice a refreshing treat for vegetarians.
For my main course, I ordered the Chicken Supreme which came with Mush Potato, Sauteed Carrots, Leeks. It was probably the best dish I have ever had.
For Dessert, I tried the Chocolate Pudding which had coconut Tapioca, Raspberries, Cinnamon Biscuit. A dark indulgence that was worth the calories!
Camiguin is a small island off the coast on the northern side of Misamis Oriental. Second only to Batanes as the smallest island in the Philippines, Camiguin spans just 238 sq. km. At its longest, it is just 23 kilometers or basically the whole stretch of EDSA.
Despite its size, Camiguin is a trove for foodies. Most of the food is still hugely Filipino, but International influences are slowly creeping in. Thanks in part to the expats who settled in the island, and the growing tourist community with varying palates.
Here’s a roundup of our food finds at Camiguin:Read more
We were overwhelmed with the appreciation we got from Mezzaluna. They were thankful to us for deciding to celebrate my mom’s dinner a year ago in Mezzaluna and for the blog post I did during that night. We made sure that we celebrate my mom’s birthday on a different restaurant each year but this was the exception. On Mezzaluna’s first year anniversary, they invited the entire family to a Special Wine and Degustation menu celebration along with Mezzaluna’s loyal customers.
Mezzaluna attempts to make a dining experience truly pleasureable. Their formula for a superb and memorable meal consists of:
1. Delightful Service — The waiters should be attentive to your needs and always happy to serve you. You can request from the chef certain kind of food or style of cooking even if it is not on the menu.
2. Choicest Ingredients — It needs to be fresh, good quality and comes from a reputable and tested supplier.
3. The Fine Points — fine flatware, crisp linen, and fresh flowers are the finer details that makes restaurant a fine dining one.
4. Vineyard Selections — It should offer a good wine selection so that you can make the right wine + food pairing.
5. Dynamic Menu — The menu are inspired by changing seasons and shifting trends.
Here are some of the trend in restaurants that I’m seeing:
To Wagyu or Not to Wagyu — more and more people are now educated on what a wagyu experience is like. (see NY Times article Cattle Call for a definitive info on Wagyu) Food and Wine Pairing — I’m starting to get intrigued by what and how do you pair a food with a wine. The recent Toast is a testament to this trend and I decided to explore this area. Degustation Menu— 5 or more courses of small servings called tasting menu for a fixed price.
Perhaps, Mezzaluna’s strongest attribute which is a dynamic menu that changes through seasons and follows trends is also its weakness. It suffers from mixed reviews because of the inconsistencies of its food. If they can fix this, then it would really be awesome! You go to Mezzaluna to get a “superb and memorable experience” and don’t come with a cost conscious mindset. The promise is admirable and you should hold Mezzaluna accountable to it if you don’t get that kind of experience.
Mezzaluna is a fine dining restaurant that speciliazes in progressive European cuisine. Mezzaluna, the Italian word for “half moon,” is named after a chopping knife that has a curved blade with a handle on each end.
Our ingredients are bought fresh each day or ordered so that succulent Idaho pork or flavorful Australian tenderloin can be savored within a few days from the time they leave the feedlot.
They are principally the creations of the executive chef who brings with him 10 years of experience in award-winning restaurants in the culinary melting pot that is Sydney, Australia. Chef Carlo leads a staff of 10 with many years of rigorous training in the culinary arts. Mezzaluna 11th Street G/F Serendra Commercial Complex
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig Metro Manila [email protected]
For Reservations and Catering Call:
Chef Carlo Miguel, Executive Chef Mobile # (+63 928 502 3069)
Five Course Degustation Menu (1,500++) October 2007 Menu
The tasting menu offers a carefully-paced progression of flavors. An appetizer serves as the first course followed by a seafood or pasta. Two main meat entrees follow and are wrapped up on a sweet note with a dessert combination. The tasting menu, which changes every eight weeks or so, is a standard unique feature of the Mezzaluna menu.
Mezzaluna Main Menu Soup, Salad, Foie Gras, Home Made Fresh Pasta & Risotto, Pizza, Seafood, Meat & Poutry, Grill, Per I Bambini (For the children), Dessert. (October 2007)
More than just serving gourmet food and the right ambiance, these restaurants take the overall dining experience to a higher level Sunday Inquirer Magazine (September 16, 2007)
What makes restaurants awesome? One would say as long as it serves great food. However, “great food” is subjective and it varies with each person's experience and background. To be considered awesome, restaurants have to take the food and overall dining experience to a higher level. Food that leaves an indelible mark in your taste buds, experience that imprints lasting memories in your mind, and ambiance that carves a special place in one's heart for you to share it with every person that you meet.
Each restaurant is carefully chosen to be prestigiously included in this list. Each one serves gourmet food with the freshest ingredients. It combines nature elements, artifacts or a sense of history in its overall ambiance. Simply, these restaurants have a story to tell which spreads out via word-of-mouth. I can proudly say that you can only find these restaurants ONLY in the Philippines.
KUBLI SPRINGS @ KINABUHAYAN CAFé, DOLORES, QUEZON
The road to Kubli Springs is literally a road less traveled where you'll be glad you decided not to drive your sedan car. Flashlights, candles, mobile phones, and the moon are the only source of light. Occasionally, they would put up Christmas lights connected to portable battery source to make the place special. You will find yourself in the middle of the forest, with boulders as your neighbor. The spring water flows through your feet as you look up and appreciate a clear black sky with twinkling dots. You sit on rocks and make shift benches as you smell the steak grilled on the spot. Ah, this is the perfect time to play the acoustic guitar and sing with the barkada without shame and the fear of disturbing anybody.
For P500/ person, you get fresh salad with flowers, grilled steak, Jay's special rice and fruit platter. The meal ends with friendly Lambanog and special roast of Barako coffee. Water is served from a bamboo "faucet" with mineral water coming from the mountains. Drinking and taking a bath from fresh mineral water is one unique experience. Your dining experience is a mixed emotion of satisfaction, fear, and happiness. Somehow, you wished the night will never end.
Kinabuhayan Cafe Bed and Breakfast Tel (042) 565 6828 Jay +63 917 368 0054 Winston +63 917 327 1106
You'll get excited every time you enter the entrance doors of Antonio's. It is like entering a magical portal to a world where any of the food you choose is something worth raving about. The service feels like you are in a six-star hotel where you don't have to worry about anything. Even going to the restroom is a chance to appreciate nature and its beauty. The positive energy in the place encourages conversation and it bears witness to thousands of memorable life stories.
You don't mind waiting for your food because you know that it is being prepared to perfection. The real flavor of the meat and ingredients stands out without any of the sauce overpowering its taste. Any of the wine selections seems to match with the food that you order. My favorite in Antonio's includes the Salad with Foie Gras, the steaks or sea bass dish, and the soufflé dessert to end the night. I envisioned our silver marriage anniversary to be held in Antonio's because of the food, service and its garden.
It still continues to be a secret place in the Tiaong area because Ugu never advertises the place. There are no road signs that points you to it and even their neighbors never realized that such place exist. One of the amazing things about Ugu's Pottery Garden Restaurant is that the entire place is a labor of love of the entire family. They designed everything from the huts, layout of the garden, the pottery designs, and its food concept.
Ugu is known for his dishes namely, Kulawo and Lato. Kulawo is charcoal grilled banana heart with a smokey flavor taste and it taste like Tuna while Lato is seaweed in vinegar. Both are traditional Filipino dishes that you seldom find in Metro Manila. It is home cooked Filipino food artistically presented and served in Ugu Bigyan's signature pottery. I do hope it remains to be a secret.
Isla Naburot resort is like wine – the older it is the more exotic it becomes. Electricity is supplied by solar panels that can only support the incandescent bulbs in the room. Your mobile phone will be lucky to survive after one day because there are no charging stations nearby. All you have to do is swim in the clean beach, play sunka, and spend quality time with the family.
The main attraction is doing nothing and eating gourmet Filipino dishes prepared the traditional way. Fresh seafoods are patiently grilled in a way that their natural juices are kept intact inside the meat. You enjoy each meal with home made sinamak vinegar. Fruits are abundant specially the famous Guimaras mangoes. The taste of the food is enhanced by the fresh air environment and by the love of the people cooking it. It is a foodie heaven and I can’t wait to go back this summer.
Isla Naburot Mobile #: Ana +63920-9275372
LA COCINA de TITA MONING’S, MANILA
As you enter the gates of this old mansion, you can't help but be transported back to the Old Rich ambiance in the Malacanang area. You are welcomed with drinks and pica pica in the patio before starting with the mini-tour of the mansion. You'll be fascinated with the antiques and the old-fashioned design of the living room, bedroom and especially, the bathroom. The dining area is small enough for a big group to easily dominate with their presence and laughter.
It is a treat to enjoy Spanish food cooked from recipes handed down from generations. You will leave La Cocina raving about its paella and its bread pudding. The former could rival the paella’s in Manila’s Spanish restaurants. The latter tastes like milk bread leche flan that melts in your mouth. The service is slow but sure. What is important is that they serve you with a smile and put every effort to make the experience memorable. I never forgot our La Cocina experience ever since January 2005.