Glamorized Turo-Turo at Bench Cafe

by - Wednesday, January 24, 2018


Bench Cafe will officially be open to the public tomorrow! And we were lucky enough to be invited to try out their out the dishes they will be rolling out through a looloo rendezvous.



Bench/ Cafe is the newest concept from the Foodee Global Concepts. In collaboration with the Bench, this beautiful tropical, pastel-themed cafe can be found inside the multi-storied Bench Flagship Store along High Street in BGC. 





The original plan for Bench/ Cafe was a family-styled Filipino restaurant, where dishes are meant for sharing. But Ben Chan wanted it to be more pocket-friendly, which is why Bench Cafe will be serving inventive Filipino meals as a set: bento style (BENCH/TO), or what they describe as "glamorized turo-turo". 

APPETIZERS

Sisig Lettuce Cup

Crispy sisig served in a lettuce cup with calamansi foam. The sisig lettuce cup was inspired by the Chinese peking duck lettuce cup, except that this version involves sisig, which makes it way better. We all know that sisig goes best with rice, but hey, it's also good with lettuce, especially since their sisig is really flavorful. 

Tinapa Cones
Crispy lumpia cones filled with tinapa mousse and salsa. The tinapa cones tasted weird on the first bite, but you'll eventually get the hang of it once the realization on the idea behind the whole dish sinks in. It was also salty, so I don't think I can finish more than one cone.

SALADS

Pinoy Caprese
Salad of compressed watermelon, kesong puti, and basil with cane vinegar gastrique

Suha Salad
Prawn and pomelo salad with coriander and calamansi dressing

Binagoongan Caesar
Romaine lettuce with dilis and croutons in a creamy bagoong and queso de bola dressing

All the salads tasted good, and all had their Pinoy twist, but my favorite would be the suha salad. I just loved the acidity with the touch of sweetness in the calamansi dressing. The suha didn't taste bitter as well.

BENCH/TO

Dancing Fish, Crispy Dilis, Bench Salsa, Ifugao Rice
Salted Egg Chicken, Hipon sa Talangka, Bench Salsa, Atsara and Ifugao Rice
Inasal na Liempo, Gising Gising, Bench Salsa, Atsara, and Ifugao Rice
Upgrade: Tinolang Manok
(Upgrades available: SOUPS (changes daily) - Tinolang manok, monggo, sinigang sugpo and salmon belly, short rib bulalo, pancit molo. RICE - garlic rice, dilis rice, binagoongan rice or talangka rice)

My favorite from the bench/to meals would have to be the inasal na liempo. I first thought that it lacked the inasal flavor, but I finally got it after a few bites. It would have been better if the liempo was more tender, though. The gising-gising that came with it was also quite addicting! The salted egg chicken was also good, but I was more drawn to the hipon sa talangka that came with it. For the rice, I got to try all of them, and I would recommend either the talangka or the bagoong rice.

I love the bench/to idea! I always have a hard time visiting Filipino restaurants because of the large serving per order. With Bench/ Cafe, I can have my favorite Filipino food without spending too much (or taking home lots of leftovers). 

Silog

Tapa Silog

Adobo Flakes Silog
Bench/ Cafe also offers silog meals that come with garlic rice and egg. I liked the tapa better because the adobo flakes were a bit too tough or crisp for my taste.

Desserts

Ube Halo-Halo
Ube bingsu with macapuno, garbanzos, caramelized banana, leche flan, ube halaya, palm beans, nata de coco and ube ice cream

The ube halo-halo tasted good, although it didn't have the wow factor since it tastes a lot like the usual Filipino halo-halo you can easily buy.


Flan B
Baked caramlelized custart with macapuno.


White Halo-Halo
Coconut bingsu with macapuno garbanzos, caramelized banana, leche flan, nata de coco, and coconut ice cream.

The white halo-halo and the Flan B were my favorite desserts. The taste of the macapuno was very obvious in both of them, and I'm addicted to macapuno, which explains my fondness of these desserts. 

Drinks

Ube Tanglad Latte

Mindanao Hot Chocolate Latte

Pandan Latik

Otap Sesame Tsoknut

Sago't Gulaman
Alab ng Lahi
Circa 1987
Bench/ Cafe will officially be opening its doors to the public tomorrow, January 25, 2018! Make sure you line up for their opening promo! They're giving away 1 year supply of BENCH/TO meals to the first 100 customers!


Photo by: Sandy Peñalba

My Scores:
Pricing - 4/5
Service - 5/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Taste - 4/5



Hungry for more,


Address: 2/F B5, High Street, 9th Ave., cor. Lane O, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Budget: P250 to P500 per person 
Parking: BGC Parking
Facebook @BenchCafePH
Instagram: @BenchCafePH 

(Date of Visit: January 21, 2018)

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