Bench, a beloved Filipino fashion brand, has finally opened its first-ever homegrown food concept. Nestled in their three-storey flagship store in Bonifacio High Street in BGC is their retail shop, a salon, a barber shop, and the newest addition to their brand, the Bench Cafe. Bench Cafe is the product of a well-curated concept of representing Bench’s fashion style, the brand’s love for local and the idea of venturing into food. Since Bench is big in promoting love for local, Bench Cafe is all about Filipino food. The creative minds behind Bench’s gastronomic venture are, Eric Dee from FOODEE Global Concepts and their Executive Chef, Chef Carlo Miguel. Join us as we share with you Filipino Food Done Right at Bench Cafe- Bench Flagship Store, BGC. Enjoy!
The Bench Cafe at the Bench Flagship Store in BGC!
If you are in Bonifacio High Street, you’ll probably catch yourself looking at the massive building of the flagship store of Bench. Massive? Yes! Because this 3-storey building is a one-stop shop of anything about Bench. From clothing, to dining, all the way to grooming for both men and women. Bench Cafe is specifically located at the 2nd floor, just a floor up of the retail shop.
Their interior may not be associated with how Filipino restaurants are usually designed but we are sure that this stylish and colorful cafe will surely give a chill and relaxing ambiance to their diners. High-ceiling, pastel-colored hues, floral placemats, and modern decorations make Bench Cafe a chic and fab dining option.
Here’s a quick look at Bench Cafe’s must-try dishes!
With food ranging from 89 to 439 pesos, Bench Cafe stays true with its brand affordability and quality. They serve salads, all-day breakfast and merienda, and of course, signature Bench/to meals. Bench/to is Bench Cafe’s version of a Filipino bento. A complete meal, as it composed of a cup of rice, 1-2 viands, a veggie dish, Bench salsa and atsara.
Salads at Bench Cafe!
This watermelon and kesong puti salad with cane vinegar gastrique by Chef Carlo is a Pinoy version of the classic Italian Caprese Salad. The sweetness of the watermelon worked really well with the savory kesong puti and the sweet and sour taste of the gastrique. A refreshing start to a great meal!
Another classic salad dish turned Filipino! Romaine, bacon, and croutons in a creamy bagoong and queso de bola dressing. This was really really good! The Pinoy-style dressing and crispy dilis combination was perfection. This is definitely one salad that Filipinos will surely love. Well done, Bench Cafe!
Bench Cafe All Day Merienda!
One of our favorites of this EATSperience, the Tinapa Cones! Crispy lumpia cones with tinapa (smoked fish) mousse and salsa. One bite is all you need and the rest is history. If it weren’t for their other tasty dishes, we could have easily had like 5 of these babies, each!
Crispy sisig served with lettuce, chicharon, utak aioli, and calamansi foam. Yes, everyone’s favorite Pinoy dish has got an upgrade! Bench Cafe’s sisig was really crispy and creamy. It goes really well with the lettuce especially to those who are cutting down on carbs. TIP: They also have a sisig skillet. All you need is a cup of their Dilis or Talangka rice and you’ll be in foodie heaven!
Bench/to Meals at Bench Cafe!
Sulit na sulit meal! The inasal na liempo was AMAZING. Yes, it had to be all caps because it was so good! The gising gising was so delicious and extremely spicy. If you are a lover of really spicy food, the gising gising is the one for you! Both viands in this Bench/to meal goes perfectly with their crispy dilis rice. Remember to avail of this upgrade, okay?
Another sulit meal! Bistek, being one of the most commonly home-cooked Filipino food was taken up a notch by Chef Carlo Miguel. The tender US Angus short rib and the balance of sweet and sour flavors from the sauce of the bistek made us scoop a lot of the talangka rice. You got that right, we upgraded our rice to their talangka rice and it was the bomb! And the Inihaw na Pusit was grilled perfectly with a refreshing surprise from the stuffing. This bench/to meal will surely make you eat lots of rice!
Bench Cafe’s Drinks and Dessert!
Of course, a cafe that serves Filipino food will not be complete without the Filipino-inspired thirst-quenchers. The refreshing Sago’t Gulaman and the creamy and sweet Pandan Latik were perfect to gulp down all the tasty and savory dishes that we had. And for dessert, the Flan B. Chef Carlo Miguel inherited the recipe of this famous dessert from his grandmother. And on our first try, we understood what he was talking about. Smooth and creamy flan with a perfectly cooked caramelized syrup topped with Macapuno, just the way lola made it. It was truly heavenly!
New ways. New doors.
New ways. New doors. It’s great that the brand Bench is still living its advocacy of promoting local. Thus, opening a cafe that serves up Filipino food is a new way for them to open new doors for their patrons and for those who are into Filipino food, Filipinos or foreigners alike. And with this new way, they are planning to open not just one but a few more stand alone Bench Cafes and Halo-halo stalls at selected Bench stores. So if you are looking for a cafe that serves Filipino food with a twist and that is budget-friendly, visit Bench Cafe and try their mouthwatering dishes. That’s it for this edition of EATSplorations, ’till next time!
Second Floor, Bench Flagship Store, Bonifacio High Street, 9th Avenue Corner Lane O, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
11:00am – 10:00pm (Mon-Fri)
11:00am – 11:00pm (Sat-Sun)
Budget: 700 php for two