A Captivating Dinner at Sweet Bella Café

Soothing music, muddled grapes, lychee, lime, and a dash of rum…. this is the night I learned how to enjoy an Apéritif before dinner. This mojito is very light and refreshing as the combination of fruits is surprising. I didn’t know that lychee and grape go so well together. This gorgeous glass of Grape and Lychee Mojito, a cocktail unique to Sweet Bella is best enjoyed inside their romantic dimly-lit interiors with French Flair. It’s certainly a promise of more ambrosial things to come.

Anybody who hands me a mojito {specially a well-garnished one and with crushed ice!} is certainly my friend. I can tell it’s a beginning of a beautiful evening…..

Let’s start with the appetizers, shall we?

 

We had three kinds of oyster dishes. First one on the table was the Fresh Oysters {₱395} served on a bed of ice to maintain it’s freshness.  A squeeze of lime juice and a dipping of the marinara sauce {or is that cocktail sauce?} only kept me wanting for more.

The Baked Oyster with Champagne Sauce {₱395} arrived next. The oysters was bathed with seemed like thick, butter, bechamel sauce with hints of champagne…This is the one I like best among the three oyster dishes.

But that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the classic Oyster Rockefeller {₱395} which came in as the last of the three oyster dishes. It’s elegant and  highly seasoned. The oyster’s juiciness was highlighted by the crunchy, buttery topping.

Their Gambas Ajillo {₱270}, a classic Spanish appetizer of shrimp cooked in garlic, olive oil and chili, was served with Sweet Bella’s soft and warm focaccia bread. I think it was only right to dip the bread in the oil-sauce of the Gambas since it’s already infused with the flavors of shimps and garlic. If only I’m not with the company of other bloggers, my guess is you’ll find me wiping that plate off clean with the focaccia…yes, it’s that delectable.

Moving on to the main course….

Sweet Bella Café used to only sell cakes, pastries and some pasta dishes but since they’re combining a few dishes from Melo’s Steakhouse, they now serve Wagyu Ribeye Steak {₱995}. It’s a thick cut of meat, grilled, tender, and juicy served with gravy and perfectly eaten with…..

….rice that is cooked with it’s own fat and drippings! You’ll fall for this hook, line and sinker, I guarantee!

The Capellini Pomodore e Salsa Verde {₱395} is a definite must-try. I’m not a fan of angel hair pasta but the combination of truffle, pomodoro sauce and pesto sauce is irresistible. Another surprise that came in this dish is the balsamic-glazed, thinly-sliced deep fried crusted eggplants.

Gamberetto Pasta {₱395} Linguine pasta, creamy, velvety bisque sauce topped with paprika seasoned shrimps…need I say more?

I only had a few bites of the Chilean Sea Bass {₱1,050}, because as you all know I’m a meat person {and I will always be}. It was served with Mouseline sauce and oven roasted vegetables. I specially love the cheesy beefsteak tomato, it gave a much needed tang in the middle of that creamy sauce and the soft, milky fish meat.

The moment I’ve been waiting for that night are sought-after desserts of Sweet Bella…

Just a cup of their Hot Belgian Chocolate is enough to elicit the oohhs and aahhs from the guests. I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s thick, creamy and velvety. This is something I could drink all night and not feel guilty the morning after…hee.

The Chocolata {₱220} is voted one of the best desserts in the country by the Philippines Daily Inquirer in 2007. Just as the name implies: it is chocolate in and out. Truly a chocoholic’s dream, it’s chocolate cake with rich ganache and topped with chocolate glass.

All of Sweet Bella’s dessert are served with their pink and yellow chocolate butterfly.

Sweet Bella kept surprising me until dessert! The Pearl {₱295} is not your usual pink cake as it made with fragrant and refreshing guava mousse –yup, you read it right, GUAVA MOUSSE– filled with flambeed mango on chiffon cake. It’s my first time to try guava on a cake and it was love! This is something I think my mother will love too!

Oh, and this is voted one of the best desserts in the country by the Philippines Daily Inquirer in 2011.

If you’re looking for creamy and texture, then you should try the Mi Camille {₱295} It’s Belgian Milk Chocolate Mousse layered with Hazelnut Praline and French Biscuit on Almond Praline Crust. All the creaminess you’ll find on top and the bottom has the chewiness and the crunch.

My absolute favorite on the dessert list? Well, it’s the Strawberry Charlotte {₱1,700}. It’s voted one of the best desserts in the country by the Philippines Daily Inquirer in 2009.

Can you guess how many strawberries are on top of the cake? Just kidding.

This is made with a crunchy cashew crust {and I think I’ve also tasted meringue in the crust}, layered with Chantilly cream and topped with fresh Strawberries.

I am a sucker for strawberries, even sour ones. This is one of my dream cakes, something along the line of strawberries and cream but with crunch and texture and full of strawberry goodness! I think there’s strawberry sauce poured somewhere on top of the strawberries…

Sweet Bella Café is owned by Cristina Santiago-Rivera, an accomplished pastry chef and a loving mother. She’s the daughter of the renowned restaurateur behind Melo’s Steakhouse, Melo Santiago. This restaurant is named after her one and only daughter –Isabella.

Thank you so much for a captivating dinner, Ms. Cristina.

Sweet Bella Café
G/F Greenbelt 5
Makati

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>