The credentials of the person manning the kitchen is a factor I look at when visiting a restaurant for the first time. I look if a new Japanese restaurant has a Japanese chef or a chef who at least trained under one, if a Chinese chef from a place like Hong Kong is the one fencing with the high pressure woks in the kitchen of a Chinese place or an Italian chef is manning the kitchens in an Italian restaurant.
When I first heard about this restaurant, what made me want to try it was I heard the chef worked at the Italian restaurant of Mario Batalli in Singapore. He has two restaurants side by side. I have been to one restaurant when we went to Singapore and it indeed has delicious and authentic Italian food. There, I also met Chef Carla Mendoza, the executive chef of one of the outlets. I loved her food. I was so proud of our kababayan doing a great job abroad.
This has to be my best Italian pasta at the moment—Capellini seafood aglio e olio. It’s made of a variety of fresh seafood like mussels, squid, and shrimp sautéed in superior olive oil with slices of garlic and jalapeno.
Back in Manila, I learned that the other one manning the other Batalli restaurant was also a Filipina, Tina Legarda, and that she had put up a restaurant. Before going to Tina’s restaurant, I was eyeing another Italian restaurant called Mama Lou’s for a friend convinced me of its great good. I never got to Mama Lou’s in Paranaque but this friend who also tried Tina’s restaurant has abandoned her recommendation since.
My first experience at Tina’s restaurant called Bamba Bistro was an invite from a friend Bobby Aguirre. I don’t remember what we ordered, except for a breakfast tapa that was served with steak. Impressive, I thought. I had to revive my plan to dine here.
Bamba Bistro is along Aguire Street at BF Paranque. I have been there a few times and I always tell myself to order something new but each time I’m there, my plan always fails.
Recently, I discovered the salmon crostini. It’s marinated salmon on a bed of toasted and sliced croissant with cream cheese, topped with truffles honey and cracked pepper. Outstanding! Then I cannot not have her salad called Tindahan ni Maria. These are shredded pechay with chopped tomatoes, red onions, chorizo, white cheese, glazed pili nuts, and a guava vinaigrette dressing. Healthy and delicious, it’s also a must. So is the duck ravioli. It’s individually stuffed duck on a thick and rich cream sauce and infused with truffle oil. You must dip your bread in the sauce and to clean every last drop of the sauce off the plate. OMG! I dream about this dish. Also a must. I cannot not order what to me flies me to Italy.
This has to be my best Italian pasta at the moment—Capellini seafood aglio e olio. It’s made of a variety of fresh seafood like mussels, squid, and shrimp sautéed in superior olive oil with slices of garlic and jalapeno. Simple but relies fully on the freshness of the seafood and the perfectly cooked al dente pasta noodles. This is mildly spicy but such a winner. Also a must!
I have also tried some of Bamba Bistro’s Middle Eastern dishes and they too are winners. One day, I’ll get to try others. But every time I go to Bamba, I tell myself, I’ll try something new and never do. But I never regret my decision.
Credentials are important. Chef Tina Legarda has them plus her dishes will speak for themselves.
Bamba Bistro is located at 55 Aguirre Avenue, BF Paranque, Paranaque City. (02) 8519 7097 | 63998 4659984.
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