During one of our Southern sojourns last year, we had a chance to try out Bamba Bistro in BF Homes Paranaque. I had already noticed in one of our previous food trips in the area because of the interesting name and color as we passed by the place. Chef Tina Legarda is the chef owner of Bamba Bistro, she’s worked in The French Corner under Chef Billy King and Mario Batali’s OSteria Mozza in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
I did not realize how quaint and beautiful Bamba was until we stepped inside the al fresco area for smokers or those that want to have their meals with a cool little breeze during the cooler months. The main dining area is small and cozy and feels like eating in someone’s home more than a restaurant. There’s also a another area perfect for afternoon snacks of coffee and cake and serves as their little deli of sorts. This is also where you’ll find Chef Tina Legarda’s side business, Amuse Bouche Novelty Aprons.
Chef Tina had invited us to try out her place and she met us with her boundless energy and infectious passion for her craft. I was expecting to try a few dishes only but Chef Tina sent out plate after plate after plate for us to try, a mix of new and classic stuff on Bamba’s menu.
The first dish to come out was the Artichoke Crostini (P290). It was a stunner that made everyone reach for their cameras and phones to take a pic. Two artichoke flowers sit on top of a crostini that’s been smeared with ricotta cheese and basil puree. A balsamic reduction is drizzle on top and toasted almonds strewn over it.
Chef Tina gives the usual French fries a twist with the French Fries Moderne (P190). Feta cheese, fried rosemary and honey drizzle give it a Mediterranean leaning flavor.
Pan-fried Scallops (P590). Three pieces of scallops atop spinach, and sweet corn puree with romesco on the side. Truffle, a beautiful quail and breadcrumbs complete the dish. A thicker piece of scallop would have made this dish much better. The spinach and sweet corn puree were both nice touches and paired well with the tasty scallops.
The Le Cochon Sliders (P350) are a beautiful sight. Crispy pork belly with red cabbage slaw, sweet eel (unagi) sauce and wonton chips. Lots of fun textures and flavors at play in this Asian leaning appetizer. I just wish the pork belly was a little thicker.
Huevos Flamencos (P210). A cazuela full of the good stuff, chorizo, ham, beef cooked in tomatoes topped with a runny egg. Served with bread that I guarantee you’ll be using to sop up everything. Rice would also be a good choice to pair with this, spoon in a generous amount, mix and devour.
After the plate after plate of appetizers, we had some salad to rest our palates for the main course, at least that was what we though would happen. First up was the T.A.S or That Awesome Salad (P495) with assorted greens, marinated salmon, fig, balsamic cream and potato strings on top. Impressive and indulgent, makes me want to eat more salad. I felt the potato strings on top were a bit excessive and the salad would still be great without the added texture.
The next salad was the Apple and Fennel Salad (P420). A crunchy and sweet salad balanced out by the salted and sharp anchovy-date dressing and goat cheese.
The last salad we had was the Foie gras Salad (P590). The richness of the foie gras was tempered by the tarty raspberry demiglace, and vinaigrette cream with sauteed peaches and ricotta cheese to finish it off.
After the salad trio, we had another trio, this time of pasta. A classic Bolognese (P260), Cacio e Pepe (P420) and the Duck Ravioli (P495). My favorite of the three was the duck ravioli, creamy porcini mushrooms sauce with raviolis filled with flavorful shredded duck meat and a hint of truffle that served to heighten instead of diminishing the dish.
I was not able to taste the Surf n’ Turf Tacos (P595) because it was the one and only request of Jana. The surf taco had lapu-lapu and prawn pieces, watermelon salsa, garlic aioli, alfalfa sprouts and eel sauce. The turf taco was filled with grilled tenderloin, red coleslaw, Sriracha aioli, salsa verde and cheese.
On to the main dishes starting with the Grilled Prawns (P695). The prawns were big and grilled to a nice char that released it’s juiciness. Paired with a smoky tomato risotto with goar cheese berlinoise sauce and drizzled with reduced balsamic vinegar.
The last savory dish was the Porcini Crusted Steak (P995). Angus ribeye that’s not too thick considering the price tag, with a surprising spicy kick. The arugula salad on top added another peppery touch to well prepared steak. Duckfat corn kernels served on the side.
By the time we reached dessert, I was almost bursting so I just tried a little of each one. We had the Pizzookie (P230) with Vanilla ice cream and Salted Caramel sauce. Relive your campfire memories with S’mores Dip (P250), graham crackers with warm milk chocolate, and torched marshmallows. The final dessert was the Warm Apple Pie (P165) served with vanilla ice cream and a slice of Gouda cheese. I enjoyed the apple pie the most but skipped adding the cheese since I felt it was a bit weird.
Bamba Bistro by Chef Tina Legarda is a restaurant that stands out in the BF Paranaque eating scene. Beautiful plating and cozy ambiance with a chef that is contagious enthusiasm makes for a great dining experience.
Bamba Bistro55 Aguirre Ave. cor. Arsenio Luz BF Homes Paranaque Philippines Contact No.: (632) 519-7097
Facebook Page: Bamba Bistro
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