One thing I love about my job is I get to travel to places every once in a while for free. It might not pay as well as other jobs, but I guess the opportunity to travel to different provinces in the Philippines without spending too much is, on its own, already a rare privilege that I am somehow thankful for.
On this occasion, I was assigned in Batangas City for a period of three weeks, and though the place was extremely temperate and the food in general wasn't as good as I expected, there were a few establishments around the city, which I think are worth noting, like Dan Eric's Ice Cream and this small restaurant across SM, called Bel Piatto Cafe & Bistro.
Bel Piatto is a pretty modern Asian-Italian fusion restaurant, which is as cozy as the travel and tours agency beside it, called Cozy.
But I wonder why they had to display these teddy bears around the shop. I feel like they're misplaced. Haha!
Anyway, I'd have to say that the food served in this restaurant is, at the very least, top quality. The first meal I had here earned this establishment not just a nod of approval or a returning customer, but an avid patron in my person for almost three weeks. Within that period, I, together with my co-workers, have tried almost everything on the menu, and each time, we were equally satisfied.
So without further ado, here are the photographs of the yummy dishes we've tried in Bel Piatto.
Breakfast Bacon and Omelette with Garlic Rice (P 135.00)
This is probably my favorite breakfast meal in the restaurant. If you happen to pass by this bistro, do ask for their chef, named Harold, and if he's working during that shift, order anything with omelettes. He makes the best omelettes I've tasted in a casual dining restaurant. Any other chef's omelette just isn't going to cut it.
Hungarian Sausage with Omelette and Garlic Rice (P 145.00)
The Hungarian sausage is a bit tough, but you can have it prepared in many different ways. You could probably just have it boiled or grilled instead of pan-fried if you can't handle tough meat or you're on dentures. Haha!
Pan-Fried Kielbasa Sausage with Omelette and Bread Slices (P 155.00)
French Toast with Omelette (P 120.00)
This platter's heavy on the tummy. When I eat this dish, I usually end up feeling so full, and sometimes it makes me want to skip lunch. But who could resist having lunch in this place anyway?
Open-Faced Ham Sandwich with Chips (P 140.00)
Another favorite is the open-faced ham sandwich. It's not just pretty to look at, it's also really tasty although, at times, its preparation is not very consistent (missing mustard, mayo, etc). Look for Harold for the perfect version of this sandwich.
Cheesy Tuna Sandwich with Chips (P 145.00)
This one's a different take on the classic tuna sandwich. It's a combination of canned tuna with real tuna slices layered with a creamy mayonnaise dressing, then topped with grated cheese.
Apple Cinnamon Pancake (P 99.00)
They serve different kinds of pancakes everyday. Try to ask them what the day's flavor is. They may combine bananas with blueberries or cherries with chocolate, and many other toppings..
Fish and Chips (P 170.00)
Pepper-Crusted Fish Fillet (P 155.00)
Italian Tempura (P 160.00)
I don't eat shrimps and prawns, but my co-workers really loved this one.
Bel Piatto Chicken (P 195.00)
It's a slim chicken. Don't be fooled by the looks. It tastes good, but it's small!
Half Baby Back Ribs Platter
This one's not yet on the menu. Be sure to ask them. They can serve either tempura or pepper-crusted fish with buttered vegetables and rice with the half rack of baby back ribs in this platter. It's okay, but I wouldn't trade Kenny Roger's ribs (almost the same price) for this one.
Bel Piatto Chicken and Pomodoro Pasta Platter
Roast Pork Liempo (P 150.00)
This one's probably the cheapest entree in the restaurant, yet it's my favorite among all the dishes I've tasted here. In fact, I had this for supper oh so many times! It's tender, succulent, and really good with the sauce. Just gargle a bottle of mouthwash after eating this as it causes severe halitosis. Think onions, garlic, and chili.
Fine Caldereta (P 185.00)
Fresh Waldorf Salad (P 170.00)
There is no excuse for not ordering this salad when you try this place out. See, it's so hard to find Waldorf Salad locally and this one's offered here, freshly-made and delicious. Plus, as you can see in the photograph above, the veggies and fruits were so fresh. You can't even spot a single wilted leaf! It was very good and the serving size was huge.
Garlic and Shrimp Pasta (P 150.00)
This is the cheapest pasta on the menu. I didn't try this though because it had shrimps on it, but my colleagues ordered this twice during our stay, and in both occasions, the pasta was undercooked. I wonder if it has something to do with the price. Haha! But they said that if reheated, this one's very delicious. No wonder they still order this dish even if they run the risk of having it undercooked each time.
Bolognese Pasta (P 160.00)
Pomodoro Pasta (P 170.00)
This is their famed Pomodoro Pasta. It's too hot and not for the dainty misses. The chili garnish on top is already predictive of of how spicy this plate of pasta is. However, it was, for me, one of the best pasta dishes I've tried here.
Pasta Euphoria (P 190.00)
Like all other special dishes, this cannot be found on the menu. Pasta Euphoria is a combination of their Shrimp & Garlic Pasta and the Pomodoro Pasta. I don't know how this one tastes like, but it's a favorite among my colleagues.
And, finally, here are the desserts. All of them are good, by the way. However, not everything is on stock every single day.
Their cheesecakes are really delicious, but the serving size is just too small. I can stuff this entire thing in my mouth in two bites. It makes me want to shout, "Bitin!" (Not enough).
Overall, the dining experience here was very satisfactory. Apart from the good food, we were also well-pampered by their friendly staff (most of whom have become friends of ours as well). The prices are also not too expensive, so why not give it a try the next time you pass by Batangas?
Bel Piatto Cafe & Bistro9037 Pallocan West, Batangas City
Batangas (in front of SM Batangas)