My knowledge of pasta when I was younger was so limited that you could serve me any kind and I’d accept it. Apart from spaghetti and carbonara (which my mom had in her cookbook), I knew nothing more.
Then I heard about Bellini’s, a restaurant in Cubao owned and run by an Italian gentleman, Roberto Bellini, a former paparazzo assigned to cover then First Lady Imelda Marcos. He had photos of his work all over the dining area.
Married to a Filipina, Bellini opened his restaurant at the old Marikina Shoe Expo in Cubao. This was in the early 1990s and I wrote about it, one of my first articles for Inquirer.
I was excited to hear that Bellini’s is still in the same location, though it’s now called Cubao Expo. I had to go back.
The place looked a bit older, but had the same vibe. Bellini’s pastas are still delicious and well-made. Different from the Pinoy pasta, the ingredients are simple but the taste is just outstanding. Bellini’s sauces are light and the pastas are cooked al dente.
However, the main courses, like the Osso Bucco and the Pollo Diablo, need to be worked on, because they do not match the quality of the pastas. I would stick to the pastas.
I really enjoyed the Spaghetti Aglio Olio, just garlic and olive oil. I love simple pastas with very few ingredients. There’s also a spicy version.
I liked the Spaghetti Truffle Cream with Prosciutto. Cooked in a creamy, white sauce with the aroma of truffle oil, this, too, is a must.
The Trofie Pasta with Funghi was likewise very good. I personally do not like red sauces on my pastas. I like olive oil and cream pastas.
For dessert, the Orange Cake is to die for.
Bellini’s is the first restaurant that opened my eyes to authentic Italian pasta. I will forever be grateful.
Bellini’s, Cubao Expo, 3 Gen. Romulo Ave., Araneta Center, QC; tel. 9132550
My next Japan food tour will be in October. I don’t like going when it’s too warm. E-mail [email protected]; sandydaza.blogspot.com