Cubao eXpo: The Next Evolution Series
Bellini’s is one of the institutions in Cubao eXpo (formerly Marikina Shoe Expo) since it opened in July 1999. It continues to be one of my favorite Italian restaurants in the Metro, together with Cafe Puccini in the Fort. They serve al dente pasta and authentic Italian thin crust pizza with a simple tomato and mozzarella base. Our favorites are the Four Cheese Pizza and the Pasta with mushroom sauce, prosciutto ham and truffle oil.
Most people look forward to the complimentary shot of sweet red wine after the meal. It is made personally by Mr. Bellini himself and tastes like sweet grape juice with a touch of alcohol.
Bellini’s was Cubao’s best-kept Italian secret for some time. The restaurant was expanded to accommodate two private rooms. Also, the owners decided to branch out to Marikina, where they live, and in Greenbelt 3 (which closed down after a few months).
They have gone a long way since their early days. Legend has it that you have to wait awhile after you order because they have to buy the ingredients in the nearby supermarket first.
It has a classic Italian ambiance with hand-painted walls and ceiling, showcasing the Italian scene. Framed paparazzi photos and news features hang on its walls. The Italian-speaking waiters complete the Bellini’s experience.
The meal starts with a complimentary serving of bread sticks…
or a choice of freshly made antipasti…
Focaccia Bread (P100 each).
A waiter will usually upsell you on the Focaccia bread to dip with black vinegar, olive oil and parmesan cheese. This is a classic appetizer you’ll get for free at Italianni’s.
Most of the dishes are served family-style. The Pizzas come in Small size (good for 2-4 persons) and the Large size (good for 4-6 persons). I would recommend ordering protein-based dishes with meat or fish to balance off the carbo-loading on pizza and pasta.
Quinticco Pasta (P1,250). – The Top 5 Pasta Dishes in Bellini’s served on one big plate
I would not recommend this since you don’t really save anything from ordering it. It is better to order the pasta one plate at a time. This is ideal for sharing and if you can’t make up your mind on what to get.
Penne Tartufo Funghi con Prosciutto (P350). – Mushroom Sauce, Prosciutto ham
This is my personal favorite. The mushroom and truffle oil combination goes really well with the saltiness of the Prosciutto.
Spaghetti al Cartoccio (P250). – Mixed Seafood Sauce
This is a simple pasta with seafood broth with clams, mussels and shrimps.
Fettucine Pesto Mare (P250). – Seafood and Pesto
I prefer this seafood pasta because of the creamy white sauce with pesto.
Bucatini Amatriana (P250). – Bacon, Tomato, Onion Sauce
Nothing special. It’s just like any red spaghetti sauce except that the pasta used is flexible, straw-like and has a hollow inner core.
Aglio Olio Peperoncino. – (not included in the menu)
If you order the Quinticco pasta, you’ll find that this is the only pasta not included in the ordinary menu. It is your typical garlic with olive oil pasta with the addition of Peperoncino chili. You’ll enjoy it if you like a spicy kick in your pasta.
Quattro Formaggi Pizza (Small – P250, Large – P500).
I love this pizza just because of its simplicity. Order the small size if you plan to order another pizza or maybe you can order it half/half with a different flavor.
Parma ham Arugula (Small – P280, Large – P550).
Ham with Arugula is always a good combination. It reminds me of Chef Chris’ Favorite Panizza flavor.
Margherita (Small – P200, Large – P400). – Tomato, Oregano, Mozzarella Cheese
The simplest pizza ever. We tried to order the best pizzas in Bellini’s, and this is probably the one that I would least recommend.
Waiters would often recommend this, but I think it is too complicated. This is what you get when an Italian becomes a Filipino already. This should be called “Halo Halo pizza”.
Mr. Bellini, posing for the camera. He’s always game to pose for the photobloggers. 🙂
The secret to making the thin crust pizza is this Red Dragon Fresh Yeast that Mr. Bellini uses.
Finally, the red sweet wine served chilled and on the house.
A good toast to end the meal at Bellini’s…
Obama Cake (Large – P1,600, Per Slice – P200).
We have not tried this, but it was cute to call this dark chocolate cake “Obama”. I’ve already seen a Michael Jackson drink in Makansutra. I won’t be surprised if there will be a cake, drink or dish that will be named in honor of Cory just because it is yellow…
Bellini’s Italian Restaurant
Roberto & Ma. Luisa Bellini
Cubao Expo, Gen. Romulo Ave., Cubao
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Telephone: +(632) 913-2550
Our Awesome Planet’s Photoblogging Workshop by Anton Diaz
Date: September 12, 2009, Saturday
Time: 11am to 6pm
Location: Heima Store, Cubao eXpo
Fee: P3,000 (limited to a maximum of 15 participants only)
* Includes Lunch @ Bellini’s
* Includes an exclusive walking tour of Cubao eXpo
* Includes photography permit in Cubao eXpo
* Includes Photoblogging Lecture and Actual Demos