Next on the list in the newest restaurants to open at the Eastwood Mall is Buenisimo by Cafe Isabel. Of course, Cafe Isabel is one of the institutional restaurants in Manila, owned by Chef Gene Gonzales. Their new venture is located at the 2nd floor of the Veranda in Eastwood Mall. The place looks expensive, so we were apprehensive at first. But when we entered, the place actually felt homey, sans the clientele who are mostly executives from the offices nearby.
I was confused at the menu that they served. I thought Buenisimo offered Spanish or Italian cuisine, but turned out, it presented a whole range of dishes, from pasta, to Filipino favorites, to those normal continental ones. We were given freshly baked foccacia bread with plain butter.
We ordered the Calamares (P198) to start. It was firm, not too tender. But the breading was packed, and it held on to the squid. Two sauces were served with the Calamares. One was a garlicky cream sauce, and the other one (red) tasted more like an Asian dip. I like the red sauce (not tomato though, sorry for the lack of description). It had a unique taste. (please remind me that type of sauce).
My friend ordered the Pasta Ysabel (P298), which was a cream based penne creation with mixed seafoods and topped with dried seaweed. It was nothing spectacular, but I like the freshness of the seafood. I think it needed more seasoning.
Finally, I had the Grilled Lapu-Lapu. I was craving for fish, so I ordered the safest. It came out great. The fillet was excellently cooked, not too dry and not too flabby. I remember that it had a weird ingredient, but I didn't taste that flavor distinctly. The fish was served on a bed of a tomato relish, like a pomodoro. There was also a cream sauce that blended well. Over-all, I liked my dish.
I totally forgot the descriptions of our dishes, since I was eating in several new restaurants. It's so hard to keep track. I give Buenisimo good ratings, for its ambience and dishes. They were uncomplicated, but flavorful and surprisingly unqiue.