Restaurants / Bars

Benassi Ristorante Italiano: Ravioli and More

June 16, 2014

Italian is one of those cuisines that has embedded itself into the Filipino culinary psyche. It has become almost as ubiquitous as American, and Japanese in the country, popping up everywhere, from fast food joints, to casual trattorias, to fine dining establishments. The love of Italian staples such as pasta, pizza, and risotto, have made it easy for it to become a mainstay on our gastronomic scene. However, with so many Italian restaurants in the metro, is there room for more?

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Creating simple, good food is often the hardest, because there is nothing that the flavors can hide behind.

Benassi, owned by Katia Benassi-De Guzman, and her husband DJ, is a relatively new opening on the restaurant scene. However, over just a few months, it has received so much positive buzz for its uncomplicated, and incredibly authentic Italian fare. This is most likely due to the fact that Katia’s mother, Rolyn Vazquez Benassi, is behind the kitchen, creating dishes that have come out of her years of culinary experience. Because of her deep-rooted ties to the cuisine, Rolyn stays true to classic recipes, and ensures that the ingredients are imported from Italy, and of premium quality. Creating simple, good food is often the hardest, because there is nothing that the flavors can hide behind. Every component must be tirelessly perfect, which is why Rolyn requires the produce to be at its best.

Ravioli con Funghi Porcini (PHP 350) ricotta cheese with porcini mushrooms

Ravioli con Funghi Porcini (PHP 350) ricotta cheese with porcini mushrooms

If you need to order one thing in Benassi, it is the ravioli.

If you need to order one thing in Benassi, it is the ravioli. It is continually called some of the best in Manila, and showcases Rolyn’s deft hand at the art of Italian cooking. The pasta is fresh van increasingly rare occurrence in the world of Italian in the city—and it shows, once your teeth hit the pasta’s skin. Ravioli is soft, with the perfect al-dente bite, giving away to gently reveal what is encased inside. The Ravioli con Funghi Porcini needs no truffle oil to enhance any flavor; the ricotta cheese with porcini mushrooms speaks for itself. It is full-bodied, and earthy, like a tartufo paste. The sauce is a light, cream-based one, which is not cloying at all, and does not threaten to eclipse the richness of the filling inside.

Ravioli con Arragosta (PHP 770) lobster ravioli cooked in tomato and cream sauce

There is also an Arragosa, filled with tender pieces of lobster, cooked in a tomato and cream sauce, which marries both the gentle acidity and tartness of a tomato, with the luxuriousness of cream. A Spinaci did not disappoint either, with both the herbal notes of the spinach, ricotta, and parmesan filling, and the pesto sauce, on full display.

Ravioli con Spinaci (PHP 350) spinach, ricotta, parmesan cheese with pesto sauce

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Risotto con Funghi Porcini (PHP 370) risotto with procini mushrooms

While Benassi’s ravioli is the unadulterated star of the show, they also serve other dishes that stay true to the rustic, Italian flavors which they are becoming known for.

While Benassi’s ravioli is the unadulterated star of the show, they also serve other dishes that stay true to the rustic, Italian flavors which they are becoming known for. A Risotto con Funghi Porcini, was cooked the way risotto should be cooked—soft, and tender but still with a slight snap and bite to the rice. A Wagyu Corned Beef is a little less traditional, but mimics the slow-cooking of meat which is prevalent in some Italian regions. Their version, an 8 hour slow-cooked beef brisket, came with simple sides that did not distract from the main attraction, which was tender, coming apart when prodded by a fork, and just delicious.

Wagyu Corned Beef (PHP 550) 8 hour slow-cooked beef brisket

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Benassi Ristorante Italiano will provide a definite and welcome change.

While everyone may already have their favorite Italian restaurant, and even staple dishes that they continue to order, Benassi Ristorante Italiano will provide a definite, and welcome change. With a tight menu, dedicated to the purest of flavors, and executed with only the best ingredients, you will hardly be disappointed. Yes, there is room for more Italian in our dining scene—if it is just as good as Benassi.

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Benassi Ristorante Italiano
G/F, The Exchange Regency Residence Hotel,
Exchange Rd. cor. Jade St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City
(02) 312 9999

Pamela Cortez Pamela Cortez

Pamela Cortez writes about food full-time, and has honed her craft while writing for publications such as Rogue, Town and Country, and The Philippine Star. She once rode on a mule for a mile just to eat mint tea and lamb in Morocco, and has eaten a block of Quickmelt in one sitting. Her attempt at food photography can be viewed online @meyarrr.

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4 comments in this post SHOW

4 responses to “Benassi Ristorante Italiano: Ravioli and More”

  1. Volts Sanchez says:

    Hey, that’s just a few steps away from my office! Never knew it was “legit,” food-wise. Sounds like I need to give it a try soon.

  2. Sergia Susana says:

    Oh, cool! This is within walking distance from my office. The ravioli looks like a winner.

  3. Katrina says:

    The raviolis look and sound wonderful. I just might make the trek all to Ortigas for this.

  4. blah says:

    it feels like i will not be full with one plate only. And it looks expensive too 🙁

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