Old Favorite, New Place: Va Bene Pasta Deli in Circuit Lane

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This week’s happy place is actually an old Happy Lab favourite: Va Bene Pasta Deli! Before they opened at BGC, we would regularly frequent the Pasay Road branch (read about it here, here and here). When we heard that Chef Massimo Veronesi was opening his newest branch last night, of course we had to go.

Located at the ground level of Circuit Lane in Ayala’s Circuit Makati, this branch may be a bit of a drive for us northern Manila folks, but it is definitely good news for those of you who frequent the Makati area.  The original Va Bene branch at the Petron Gas Station on Pasay Road will always have a soft spot in our hearts; the Circuit Lane branch, however, offers the same wholesome Italian goodness but with more elbow room and, more importantly, better parking!

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A view of the Circuit Lane courtyard from the restaurant

Unique landscaping along the Circuit Lane walkway

Unique landscaping along the Circuit Lane walkway

Of course, what we were really after was the food, and we were very happy to see all our best-loved dishes still on offer. All the items were served in bite-sized portions on opening night, so we were able to sample everything. As in ALL.

Clockwise: crispy polenta arancini; pizza prociutto; bruschetta trio (mushroom salami, salmon tartare with tuna sauce, pumpkin & ricotta)

Clockwise: crispy polenta arancini; pizza prociutto; bruschetta trio (mushroom salami, salmon tartare with tuna sauce, pumpkin & ricotta)

Black Ink Fusilli

Black Ink Fusilli

Ricotta Eggplant Ravioli

Ricotta Eggplant Ravioli

Duck Ravioli

Duck Ravioli

Mojitos!

Mojitos!

Basil Panna Cotta with Calamansi Sherbet

Basil Panna Cotta with Calamansi Sherbet

Mini Cannolis

Mini Cannolis

The Happy Lab contingent with Chef Massimo and Carol Veronesi

The Happy Lab contingent with Chef Massimo and Carol Veronesi

There were a couple more dishes that were served (profiteroles, mango panna cotta, among others) but we scarfed them down before we remembered to take pictures.

At the moment, the Circuit Lane branch will be open only for dinner starting at 5pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays, and lunch and dinner on Sundays.

Va Bene Pasta Deli’s third branch is at LC#106 G/F Ayala Malls Circuit Lane, A.P. Reyes St., Barangay Carmona, Makati City (Old Sta. Ana Race Track).  For reservations and pick-up orders, you may call them at 02-9609954/ 02-6241029.  

Other outlets are at the 2nd floor of Petron Gas Station on EDSA cor. Pasay Rd., Makati; and at the cinema level of Central Square Bldg. in Bonifacio High Street, BGC, Taguig.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers for Mom

Mother's Day

 

This pretty pair of pumps  is probably the next best thing to getting fresh flowers, don’t you think? Happy happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome moms and mommy figures in our lives, and to you, lovely mommy readers!

Ankle-strap pointy-toe pumps by Red Herring at Debenhams.

JC de Terry’s Vega Sicilia Dinner

Juan Carlos de Terry, importer of Spain’s most famous wine, Vega Sicilia, hosted a special dinner to showcase the range of wines produced by the wineries in the Vega Sicilia stable.

I arrived early and was greeted by a glass of silky Kripta Cava 2007 in the distinctive round-bottomed bottle. This went nicely with a generous spread of various nuts and cured meats include some excellent ham being passed around while waiting for all the guests to arrive.

Kripta Cava 2007

Kripta Cava 2007

Various cured meats for the cocktails.

Various cured meats for the cocktails.

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Hot Picks at Row 101 Summer Pop-Up

There are very few things that would make us consider moving a muscle on a Saturday (and in this paralyzing heat!), but we hear that the Row 101 Summer Pop-up happening tomorrow at White Space has some sizzling fashion and lifestyle picks in store!

 

All roads lead to Row 101 this weekend!

All roads lead to Row 101 this weekend!

 

Row 101’s Miel Villamor shares that they’ll be featuring a lot of exciting  indie and start-up brands that are creative, affordable, fun, and proudly Filipino. “What we try to do with Row 101 is that we really curate the brands we feature, because nowadays there’s just so many bazaars,” says Miel. Alongside big beauty brands like Benefit and Inglot, discover over 100 up-and-coming local brands, including: Abby Jocson, Eve & Kelly, Myrrh and Gold Manila, Abby Jocson, Everyday Love, Dolly Wink, Dirty Paws Apparel, Flex Apparel, Meta Footwear, Cuesee Creations, MDSN Manila, Shine Designs, One for the Road, Ink Scribbler/The Craft Central, Anma Lifestyle, Cocooni, Lulu Swing, Luang, Lumos The Label, Sparrow Fragrances, Honeycomb Children’s Clothing, Heart & Bolt accessories, and swimsuits by Sundae and Sirena Swimwear, and so much more!

 

Here’s a sneak peek:

Fab footwear by Eve & Kelly

Fab footwear by Eve & Kelly

 

Genuine leather  Sunday Tote in Fuchsia and Sunday Wristlet in Cream by Cocooni

Genuine leather Sunday Tote in Fuchsia and Sunday Wristlet in Cream by Cocooni

 

We hear that there will be fab freebies and prizes from beauty fave Benefit!

We hear that there will be fab freebies and prizes from beauty fave Benefit!

 

Get fabulously fit in Flex Apparel!

Get fabulously fit in Flex Apparel!

 

Irresistible tees for dog lovers by Dirty Paws Apparel (10% of sales goes to CARA Welfare to help support our furry friends!)

Irresistible tees for dog lovers by Dirty Paws Apparel (10% of sales goes to CARA Welfare to help support our furry friends!)

 

Crushing on that pineapple sling bag, backpack, and coin purse by Abby Jocson!

Crushing on that pineapple sling bag, backpack, and coin purse by Abby Jocson!

 

InkScribbler turns this beautiful quote by Albert Schweitzer into frame-worthy calligraphy! A great gift idea for a friend--or yourself!

InkScribbler turns this beautiful quote by Albert Schweitzer into frame-worthy calligraphy! A great gift idea for a friend–or yourself!

 

Check out these lovely lippies and other beauty must-haves from Inglot!

Check out these lovely lippies and other beauty must-haves from Inglot!

 

Pretty playsets. Want.  By Lumos the Label

Pretty playsets. Want.
By Lumos the Label

 

Catch Row 101’s Summer Pop-Up this weekend, April 16-17 at White Space, Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati. For more information, visit www.row101.ph or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/row101popup.

Oxygen X Billboard event at TriNoma

What are you doing tomorrow? A little birdie told us that there’s a fab fashion and music event happening at the TriNoma Activity Center at 4 PM!

Oxygen

 

Urban cool fashion brand Oxygen is teaming up with Billboard Music to bring you an exciting fashion show featuring the latest Oxygen x Billboard collection. Shop on the spot at the pop-up store, and catch musical performances by today’s hottest acts, including Never the Strangers, She’s Only Sixteen, Sam Concepcion, plus DJ Toby and Kat DJ spinning your favorite tunes. Do drop by, everyone’s invited!

Oxygen X Billboard

 

Inagiku Kaiseki

For our March event, the International Wine and Food Society Philippines Branch had a Kaiseki dinner at the Shangri-La Makati’s Japanese restaurant, Inagiku. It was a bit of a departure from the usual European-themed dinner but a welcome departure nonetheless. We also decided to veer away from the more famous wine regions and decided to try wines from the Loire, Provence, Beaujolais and end with a Japanese whisky instead of a dessert wine.

Menu

Menu

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Stag’s Leap Wine Dinner

Wine Depot hosts a Stag’s Leap Wine Dinner on March 31, 2016 at the Tasting Room of the City of Dreams. Among the wines to be poured are the Karia Chardonnay, Hands of Time Red Blend 2012, Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 and the iconic SLV 2011. Stag’s Leap topped the famous Judgment of Paris tasting where their Cabernet Sauvignon (now called SLV), won over Bordeaux’s First Growths.

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For further details, please visit the Wine Depot website.

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The New Black Sheep

It was a bit of a shock last year when Black Sheep, with its spectacular view of the Bonifacio skyline and the creative Filipino degustation menus of Chef Jordy Navarra closed early last year. The good new is, after a bit of a delay, it reopened last January at a more modest location along Pasong Tamo near Don Bosco. The view is gone and so is Chef Jordy (who is opening a restaurant of his own), but the kitchen is now headed by Black Sheep veteran Patrick Go who melds together Filipino and Chinese flavors for a menu that is now firmly a la carte.

Black Sheep

Black Sheep

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Free Japanese film screening

Japan and animé fans! Have you heard of the film Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai, featuring the untold story of the daughter of iconic Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai?

Miss Hokusai

The Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM), will feature a free screening of this award-winning animation film tomorrow, February 27 (Saturday) from 3:30p.m. at the Shang Cineplex Cinema 1 (6th level of the Shangri-La Plaza Mall, EDSA) as part of the Nihongo Fiesta 2016, JFM’s annual event celebrating the colorful culture and arts of Japan and showcasing the Japanese language (don’t you love the soothing, often sing-song rhythm of their language? But don’t worry, the film will be shown with English subtitles!). Admission to the film screening is free but numbered tickets will be issued on a first-come, first served, one ticket per person basis only from 10 AM tomorrow at the entrance of Shang Cineplex Cinema 1.

Here’s some more information on the film from JFM: Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai is the untold story of Katsushika Hokusai’s daughter O-Ei: a lively portrayal of a free-spirited, utterly outspoken, and highly talented woman and artist, unfolding thorough the changing seasons in Japan. Master Hokusai is one of the most globally famous Japanese artists. His works inspired Monet and Debussy. His Great Wave off Kanagawa is so iconic that it can be seen on t-shirts and coffee mugs all over the world. However, very few are aware of his daughter, and how she contributed to her father’s art. The film won various awards including Jury Award at Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2015, Satoshi Kon Award and Audience Award at Fantasia International Film Festival 2015.

You might also be interested in these other activities also happening tomorrow at Shangri-La Plaza in celebration of the Nihongo Fiesta 2016:

Nihongo Fiesta

Kaiseki at Allium

This year’s annual kaiseki dinner for the Ordre Mondial was, for the first time, not at a Japanese restaurant, but was held at Allium, a place noted for its degustation menus. I had eaten at Allium a few times before and have been impressed each time. Chef Mark Tan has a fondness for Japanese ingredients and techniques and he incorporates these in his food. One of our members suggested Chef Mark would actually be quite able to execute a full Japanese menu and so we said why not? We’ve never had a winter Kaiseki so this would be something different from the usual summer and fall menus we have.

Although Chef Mark prepared a menu for us several weeks before the event, we were cautioned that it could change depending on what ingredients are best from Japan a few days before the dinner. As it turned out, about 75% of the menu had to be changed but I don’t think anyone had any cause to complain about it in the end. I suppose omakase (chef’s choice) would have been a better way to describe the meal given the extensive changes made.

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