Situated on the second floor of a Petron gas station (EDSA cor. Pasay Road), Va Bene Italian Deli is far from the usual diesel delight that truck drivers fancy. If any, it’s all that fancy which makes it the pitstop for anyone who enjoys authentic Italian fares. Harboring an atmosphere that closely resembles an Italian joint—with oranges in plain sight, ciao Italia—Va Bene might as well serve dishes straight from the kitchens of Italy, with its handmade tagliatelle and gnocchi to freshly concocted pasta sauces.
Fresh pasta is indeed for sale, like the pappardelle, olive fettucine and cappellacci, among others—a glorious catch for those who dabble in kitchen wizardry but as for yours truly, the menu holds the greater value.
The menu selection is not that vast, but contains enough to create indecision as the order of the day: a toss among Ricotta Eggplant Tortellini, Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce, Arugula, & Wild Nuts and Organic Eggs Tagliolini with Portobello mushrooms, white wine cream sauce and truffle oil. The last item won, on account of the mushrooms and yes, partly because of the truffle oil.
Complimentary bruschetta with olive-tomato salsa was served—another feast for the hungry. Crisp and light, it was a great opener for a grandioso Italian lunch.
Organic Eggs Tagliolini
The Organic Eggs Tagliolini came with a gorgeous whiff of that truffle oil-mushroom combination that could compete with the aroma of espresso anytime. The truffle studded presentation came to a close when hunger finally struck us to reality. Forking through the tagliolini was quite the experience— the chewy and freshly made noodles provided a filling and comforting sensation that shattered any other craving.
The sauce was exuding with the flavors of mushrooms and truffle oil, an organic eggs high was certainly inescapable. The exuberant flavor coupled with the satiating pasta made for a bellissisima meal, I could not ask for more—except maybe another visit to have a try of that ricotta eggplant tortellini which I heard was va va va bene!
Dessert was not to be missed with this triple threat: Prosecco & Raspberries Parfait with White Chocolate Mousse, Homemade Profiteroles with Caramelized Walnuts, Vanilla Ice Cream, & Chocolate, and Mango Pannacotta.
5 miniature profiteroles decorated the flanks of the plate, delectable and light. A charitable nature may concede to sharing but for the many, elude the generosity, quite understandably.
Sweet Mango chunks top the pannacotta which holds a pudding like viscosity that many may enjoy. Fans of its local counterpart the leche flan will love this cooked cream, but others may turn to the more solid desserts for that much anticipated crunch.
Prosecco and Raspberry Parfait
The Prosecco and Raspberries Parfait promised a white chocolate aspect, but the sweet section was drowned by the tartness of the raspberry layer, not to mention that generous drizzle of the prosecco. Fruit and wine dictated the overall flavor of the dish, coupled with the frozen punch that can relieve any warm day. A berry comfort for the forlorn with a bit of liquor to cap off a fantastic meal.
With this, Va Bene has become my next favorite Italian phrase, next to buon apetito! On warm days when a comforting meal is necessitated, Va Bene certainly pushes through with its gourmet Italian offerings. Tagliatelle, squid ink pasta and cannelloni—they’re all in attendance here. Magnifico!
I will never look at a gas station the same way again.
- J.Anne Gonzales