IF you’ve dined in Buenisimo by Café Ysabel at Eastwood Mall before and you’re missing it badly, you’d be delighted to know that it’s now open in its new location in the restaurant row of Tomas Morato Ave. in Quezon City. It’s a cozy and intimate dining place located along Scout Tuazon St. corner Scout Lozano, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City. With its grand launching at lunchtime today (December 14, 2012), Buenisimo is now again ready to serve diners who know and love modern Spanish and Italian food and Café Ysabel favorites.
Yes, Café Ysabel favorites! So you don’t have to go all the way to San Juan for your favorite dishes if you’re working or living in Quezon City. Buenisimo happens to be the brainchild and business endeavor of Chef Gino Gonzalez, the equally talented and hardworking son of celebrity chef Gene Gonzalez. Chef Gino, who serves as executive chef of Café Ysabel and culinary arts director of the Center for Asian Culinary Studies (CACS), has the blessings of his proud dad, who personally graced the grand opening of Buenisimo today.
Buenisimo had a quiet and simple launch, marked by the ceremonial ribbon-cutting rites and capped by a sumptuous buffet lunch.
Appetizers included Calamares with South Asian Dips (Gochujang mayo and Passionfruit mayo), Chorizo and Cheese Croquettes, Duck Rilettes (duck confit wrapped in puff pastry, both made by CACS students), and Truffle Fries Served with Truffle Mayo.
Oh, certainly, yes, truffle fries! Gourmet fries with exquisite truffle, and completing the double truffle is the truffle mayo dip. The good news is that it’s really good, and Buenisimo is probably the only place where you can order Truffle Fries.
Speaking of truffle mushrooms, well, Chef Gino also made sure guests had their fill of Buenisimo’s Truffle Pizza. It’s a generous mix of mozzarella, gruyere and organic mozzarella cheese with shredded truffle, of course, over thin-crust pizza. Simple but awesome. The truffle flavor bursts in your mouth as you take a bite, and it’s so addicting that you’d reach for another slice after you’re done with your first.
Another must-try, which was also served during the grand launch, is Buenisimo’s Hanger Steak with Cognac Demiglace. Café Ysabel-trained chefs have become such experts with steaks that you’d only get the best – and the right doneness – at the newly opened Buenisimo.
And don’t forget the Paella. Teeming with blue crab, clams, mussels, chicken, chorizo and wedges of boiled egg and lemon, the Paella at Buenisimo is all you need with your Truffle Pizza and Hanger Steak, and you’ll have the most satisfying meal ever.
If there’s still room for dessert, try the Banana Tatin and/or Vanilla-Strawberry Panna Cotta with Chocolate Cannoli. The Banana Tatin is a local version of the classic Apple Tatin. A signature dessert of Buenisimo, it’s Cavendish banana slices with ricotta cheese on a delightfully flaky crust. As for the Vanilla-Strawberry Panna Cotta, it makes use of real vanilla – as in vanilla bean, and not just vanilla flavoring or extract. The Chocolate Cannoli, too, should make a good meal-ender. It’s perfectly crisp, and the cream filling doesn’t give you an uyam effect. It’s not too sweet either.
Average check for a meal is Php400 per person.
(Buenisimo by Café Ysabel is located at 24 Scout Tuazon St. corner Scout Lozano, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City; right along the same road as Max’s Fried Chicken. For inquiries and reservations, call 410-5050.)