CocktailsIf there’s anything truly unique in Bench/ Cafe, it would have to be this cocktail. I just have to call out the sweet corn cocktail called Alab ng Lahi (PHP 250). It’s made with toasted corn, panutcha rhum, chamomile tea liqueur, egg white, and salt. This Filipino drink is very well-balanced and the perfect sunset libation! Not surprised considering it was concocted by none other than master mixologist Khalel Demetrio who promotes local ingredients and Filipino culture.
Bench/to (Set Meals)Bench/ Cafe also has set meals inspired by the Japanese bento boxes. Each set comes with the Bench Salsa, atsara, and steamed Ifugao rice. We got to try some dishes that make up the selection of Bench/to’s. For me, the Bagnet Kare Kare with Bagoong could be considered one of the best in Manila. It’s perfect for people who prefer the sweet, creamy peanut butter version of the Filipino kare-kare.
Crispy yet tender, the fried Dancing Fish is served in escabeche sauce. The fresh Hipon sa Talangka is buttered with crab fat. The bench/to set includes Honey Patis Wings, which remained crispy despite the sweet-salty glaze.
All Day BreakfastBench/ Cafe also offer breakfast platters with generous servings at affordable prices like the Bonggalmusal (PHP 319). It’s got this calamansi foam on top that not only makes it aesthetically unique, but it also adds a subtle acidic note typically associated with the elements in this bonggaceous breakfast meal. Made up of US beef tapa, tocino, daing na bangus, corned beef, spam and eggs, this dish is easily good for 2-3 persons depending on their appetite!
Modern TwistThe Sinigang na Baboy sa Mansanas puts an interesting twist on the traditionally sour soup, using apples to turn it into something mildly pleasant. Made with chorizo patty and pandesal, the Chori Burger is also an enjoyable option for breakfast if you want a Filipino-American fusion.
DessertsBench/ Cafe is known for their desserts, most notably their Ube Halo-Halo (PHP 149), which uses ube pinipig shaved ice as the base. The Mais Con Yelo (PHP 89) also uses corn-infused shaved ice. It’s not unheard of, but the practice is uncommon, and Bench/ Cafe is one of the few places that has it. Chef Carlo Miguel believes in going against tradition, and there are practical benefits to this innovation: no need to chew unflavored ice.
The Flan B (PHP 185) is a B-shaped leche flan or caramelized custard topped with macapuno. The moist Ube Leche Flan Cake is also popular choice if you don’t want something cold! Location: Level 2, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Operating Hours: 11 AM to 10 PM Daily
Contact Number: (+63 917) 702-1133