New Restaurant Alert: BB Brand Bakery Bistro at RCBC, Bonifacio Global City
This is Italy by way of Japan, now in the heart of Manila.
BB Brand Bakery and Bistro
2/F RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Tower, 25th Street corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City
Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Monday to Thursday) and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Friday to Saturday)
(SPOT.ph) A booming chorus of buongiorno is the first thing you’ll hear upon entry to BB Brand Bakery Bistro. This scenario is all too familiar—only normally, you get it at a typical Japanese restaurant and the staff would be yelling irasshaimase (“welcome”).
This is unsurprising. BB Brand, after all, is essentially an Italian food chain established in Japan. Currently, it has branches in Tokyo, Florence (operating under the Il Buttero Ristorante handle), and now, Manila.
The comparison, however, stops there. Everything else about the BB Brand experience is aligned with authentic Italian food fare—from the interiors that mimic an al fresco ristorante through use of natural lighting and landscape elements, to shelves lined with vino, to Chef Mogi’s culinary masterpieces. Each opus is a product of his training in Italy for over 20 years.
The kawaii-ness of it hints at the Japanese influence.
That is a real tree.
The burlap-like upholstery gives it a rustic touch.
Pink and white ladder!
A word of caution before perusing the BB Brand menu: There are so many variants to choose from (especially if you come in for their pastas) that you may need to seek assistance from your server for a recommendation suited to your liking. But know that regardless of your choice, the folks behind the bakery-bistro ensure that each dish is made using only the freshest ingredients.
Before diving into their huge selection of pastas, start your journey by sampling their appetizers. The Galantina Di Pollo (P330) is a fitting choice to prep your tummy, each bite light but bursting with flavor. For best results, each bite must be coated with either a pesto or crème sauce, and then topped off with some fresh tomatoes.
Other starters include the Bruschetta Al Pomodoro (P80), Frittata (P190), Cocktail Gamberi (P380), Insalata Di Lingua In Crema (P450), and Insalata Capriciosa (P280).
Galantina di Pollo
Don’t forget your main motive: Their pasta dishes (categorized as fresh or dry), which are the lifeblood of this gastronomic pursuit. Fresh pasta variants make use of from-scratch dough, while dry variants are those that seek a bit of help from trusty supermarket shelves. Servers recommend that pastas be consumed once served to fully enjoy each one’s distinct flavor.
Cannelloni al Gamberi e Granchio Con Salsa di Pomodorini
For their fresh pasta, they recommend the Cannelloni Al Gamberi E Granchio Con Salsa Di Pomodorini (P450), a mouthful to order, but a contender for one of the best pastas in the Metro. This particular variant, served through glorious wraps of seafood and topped with fresh tomatoes and some cheese, is consistently delicate from start to finish. Serving size is good to share with a friend, but we reckon that after the first bite, a double take is in order.
If you're into tomato-based pastas, make sure to reschedule a tasting of the Spaghetti Al Carbonara Rosaa (P280), Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca (P290), and Lasagna Al Ragu (P250).
Tagliatelle Alla Crema Di Salmone
For fans of white sauce pasta, the Tagliatelle Alla Crema Di Salmone (P290) is a fitting choice. Each forkful of this jumble (a play of pasta, white sauce, salmon bits, and spinach) leaves a sweet, creamy brush on your lips. You may also give the Tagliatelle Alla Panna Prosciutto E Piselli (P290) or the Tagliolini Alla Granchio (P310) a try if you are into pasta served with light sauce.
Mezzo Pollo Alla Diavola
Pair your pasta with a side of pizza, meat, or fish. BB Brand has no-fuss, fresh-off-the oven Pizza Al Taglio (P130/slice) in the following flavors: Onions and Anchovy, Four Cheese, Broccoli and Cheese, and Ratatouille. For the slightly more filling dishes, the Mezzo Pollo Alla Diavola (P580) or the Pesce Intero Al Mediterranean (P1,200) are highly recommended.
Before setting aside your napkins and utensils, have a look at their selection of breads and pastries. They have interesting variants including the Blueberry Twirl (P40), Sausage Bloom (P55), and Brioche (P45). Others with a slightly sugary punch include the Fresh Mango Mousse (150), Panna Cotta (P120), Mille Foglie (P120), and Chocolate Mousse Cake (P140). Their Mimosa Cake (P130/slice, P1,000/whole) is a crowd favorite, each feathery bite incorporating a marked balance of cream, milk, sugar, and mascarpone cheese.
All these are just a fraction of what BB Brand has lined up for the Manila crowd. There’s really no better way to tag its all-day dining spread than, well, speciale.
Photos by Jericho San Miguel