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.
Bellini’s Menu: Antipasti, Pasta, Appetizer | Bellini’s Special Pasta | Carne, Pesce, Zuppa, Dolci | Pizza | Pizza 2 | Drinks | Cakes
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.
Again, for health-conscious people, order a protein-based dish to balance off the carbo that you’ll be eating.
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.
Bellini’s Special (Small – P280, Large – P550). – Pomodoro, Melanzane, Peperoni, Cucumber, Onion, Salame, Salsiccia, ham, bacon, hotdog
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
Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2009.
mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)
P.S. Join us for the next Photoblogging Workshop in Heima, Cubao eXpo
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
14 thoughts on “Bellini’s, 10 Years After…”
a foodie friend took me here on one of my trips to Manila a couple of year ago. i enjoyed the food and the dining experience, especially the risotto al funghi. definitely on my must go list if and when I head back…
Hi Anton! Glad to hear you like Pucini as well. That’s our family’s favorite place in the old Fort Strip, too.
Yeah, That’s the best Italian pizza in Makati/ The Fort 🙂
Thanks for letting me remember this place… I will come back here when I go home this coming December, such a lovely place.
By the way, if my memory serves me right, the owner of this restaurant used to be a papparazi right?
bellini’s is one of the reasons to go back to cubao. really authentic and charming. this place is best experienced with friends old and new and syempre, family!
had a great day here with the class! sana maulit 😀
ive been hearing a lot about this place lately. i didnt know it been open for quite some time now. must try it soon…
Yes he was a papparazi 🙂
Sayang, will not be in Manila during your next photoblogging workshop.
good light positioning of the food!
I love this place! The food was great and the paparazzi photos just take you back. 🙂
Is it just me… or has your blog stopped having a SEARCH feature?
I am finding it hard to look for your reviews of specific restaurants because i can’t see a SEARCH field.
Maybe you can look into this?
The search box is on top of the right sidebar. Hmmn, not sure why you don't see it.
I dined at Bellinis in 2005. Being a Connoisseur of fine Italian foods in my life, I can attest that this Italian Resto is certainly authentic. Mr. Bellini made the effort to visit everyone’s table and to refill the house wine. He also engaged and greeted or said goodnight to each party going and coming. I will be visiting Pinas soon and Bellinis will certainly be one of my first destinations. That and to get some Biscocho! I see some things have changed since my last dining experience at Bellinis. All for the better I see. Thanks for this great review!
Thanks so much for this post, Anton! I relied on your tips on what to order when I went here for the first time yesterday. We were a group of 7 adults and 4 kids. I have to say that hands down, their pesto mare was the best serving of its kind I have ever had. I opted for the fresh pasta (I’ve never tried it before) and it was just a whole new experience! Even my husband who is so hard to please really liked it. One of the kids also introduced us to gnocchi – another pasta I would come back to Bellini’s for but definitely for sharing because of the serving size and the richness of the dish. The kids devoured the large quattro formaggi pizza and the pasta carbonara, which is a good gauge. The other hit was the whole roasted chicken. Nanunuot talaga ang linamnam, and the gravy was just perfect. The complimentary bread sticks were served warm so we all went for it! I personally found the focaccia bread too salty, though (Italianni’s is better). I was really full by the time the dessert arrived so between the Obama and Orange cake, I chose the latter. It was moist and just had the right amount of sweetness and went great with my cup of hot green tea.