Local fashion and lifestyle powerhouse Bench ventures into the food business with the opening of their first Bench Cafe located inside their flagship branch in BGC High Street Central. The cafe is in partnership with Foodee Global Concepts who operate Mesa, Pound, Foo’d, Tsuta Ramen and other successful restaurants. Foodee takes care of the food operations while Bench is in charge of creating the style and ambiance. Bench Cafe’s menu is Filipino with a modern twist, crafted by new corporate chef Carlo Miguel.
Pinoy Caprese (P149). Mixed greens with compressed watermelon, basil, torched kesong puti and drizzled with cane vinegar gastrique. A good balance of flavors and textures that has the touches of Chef Carlo Miguel all over it.
Tinapa Cones (P129). Tinapa (smoked fish) mousse and salad stuffed in crispy lumpia shells. These 2 bite appetizers are refreshing with a smooth, creamy and smoky punch from the tinapa. Reminded me of the similar appetizer from Mesa but the presentation is superior.
Shrimp Suha Salad (P239). Prawn and pomelo salad with coriander and calamansi dressing. The creamy calamansi dressing is a refreshing contrast to the crisp greens and prawns but this dish relies on the sweet and juicy pomelo to tie it together. I’d suggest not serving it unless the fruit is in season else it will just be an unwanted part.
Sisg Skillet (P189). Pork mask and belly with 62° egg and topped with calamansi foam. Mix and crush everything together before enjoying by the spoonful or over a cup of hot white rice.
Want to add some green to your indulgent sisig, get the Sisig Lettuce Cup (P239).
There’s never a wrong time for breakfast food with the all day selection of silogs at Bench Cafe. If you can’t which one to order just get the Bongalmusal (P319) for a little of everything to satiate your appetite.
The centerpiece of Bench Cafe’s menu are their selection of 10 Bench/To (P239-439) options, their take on the bento, a complete meal in one tray. I tried the B10 (P439), US angus short rib bistek with inihaw na pusit and gising gising, salsa, atchara and Ifugao rice. Good flavor on the bistek but I think it’s a bit of overkill to use angus beef. The inihaw na pusit was perfectly done, good charring and not overcooked which keeps the squid soft and juicy. I found the serving size to be generous enough to share especially if you’ve over an appetizer or two and plan to also order dessert.
You’ll be surprised to find out that Bench Cafe also serves cocktails like this one above called Circa 1987 (P150) named after the founding year of Bench.