As my unusually Happy Thursdays came to an end, my stomach grumbled for some tasty food. Originally, I had Uncle Cheffy’s in mind but Phoebe wanted to introduce us to a new restaurant opened by her friend along Aguirre street. My palate ready, Phoebe, Laisa and I trooped beyond the gates of our school and out to the vibrant lifestyle of BF Aguirre.
The place is not far. It is near my usual joints – Mulligan’s Serenitea, Starbucks and Conti’s. Parking is a bit of a problem but easily solved by one “secured” by parking boys opposite the place. The signage was clear and simple. The almost script-like font gives off a laid-back vibe for one who is looking for a place to enjoy good food with the best of friends. Also, what it lacks in objects or icons eliminates superfluous elements that can distract the customers to its intent – food.
The bistro had three areas – the outdoor lobby, the cafe, and the enclosed dining area. The design was clean and easy to the eyes. It was not cluttered nor was it convoluted with unnecessary paintings. My usual complaint about bistros, restaurants or cafes is when they bombard the eyes like a baroque painting, but this bistro has one or two things that will catch your attention without distracting you from your purpose.
The menu is as straightforward as its interiors. A combination of a sans serif font and script font, the contrast of the black ink on white cardboard paper and its placing on a brown clipboard is nothing novel but it certainly keeps up with the ambiance of the place. It has two pages and if in doubt, because everything seems so delectable, one can always ask which among which are the bestsellers of Bamba.
Once we’ve settled ourselves on a table by the window, we chose some of the bestsellers of Bamba: Spaghetti Bolognese, Bamba Burger, and The Morning After Sandwich. Admittedly, I wanted to try The Morning After Sandwich but I chose the spaghetti because I had the worst experiences with bistro sandwiches. Also, most sandwiches disappointed my stomach because of their size but I was gravely mistaken. Bamba’s sandwich servings are full. I will get to that later.
I love pasta. Pasta can be my substitute for rice. I can eat Kare-kare with pasta and not complain. Thinking that my appetite might not be satisfied since I have not eaten the whole day, I ordered Spaghetti Bolognese. My order was the last to arrive. The pasta was drizzled with a significant amount of parmesan cheese, the sauce was not thick nor was it very thin. True to bolognese fashion, the sauce was simple yet flavorful. Simplicity itself is not a bad thing. If I learned anything from my late mother, simple food often makes the heart flutter.
Next on our food itinerary was Bamba’s Burger. Unlike other burgers, this was not made from ground beef. According to Laisa, it was a portion of fine beef that was cooked to seal in the juice. Also, she described the burger as honest. It did not have the fuss of seasonings added to it. You want beef, it will give you a delightfully succulent experience. Once you cut through it, you will notice that the burger will not crumble because like I have mentioned a while ago, it was cut from a fine portion of beef instead of shaping it from ground portions of it. The lettuce and tomatoes are not limp. Both are crisp and the cheese melts in the right place – which is inside your mouth. Put it bluntly, my standard of good food is when the individual flavors come together to give you a tearfully happy experience. Aside from the burger itself, onion ring lovers will be pleased that instead of fries, the burger is served with thinly sliced onions dipped in a golden batter and fried to perfection. A comment I have for most onions rings is its strong flavor. Onions tend to be a fickle ingredient. Sometimes, its presence can be very faint or very bold. In this case, the onions were sliced thin enough to give you that kind of punch while staying subtle to your taste buds.
Moving on to the crowning glory of our Bamba experience – The Morning After sandwich. You can choose to interpret it any way you want but of all things I can describe it, I thought orgasmic. Let me recount. First, the serving was huge, with egg topped on it, truffle oil, a creamy combination of salty and sweet sauce, and ham. Sounds simple but when you take that first bite, you will close your eyes as all these flavors transmogrify in your mouth. That first bite, I tasted the sweetness of the sauce which combined with its subtle saltiness while the egg worked as the bonding agent of all the ingredients to give me that magical experience in my mouth. Laisa, Phoebe and I were not talking but we understood each other. The way our eyebrows curled up while we closed our eyes to savor the fine experience was enough for us to understand one another in that moment of silence.
Not satisfied, I ordered Huevos Flamencos while Phoebe and Lai ordered a dessert aptly called What’s My Name. Huevos Flamencos is Bamba’s best-selling appetizer for one reason: it will intrigue you. By intrigue, I mean what will you want after tasting their Huevos? It is a great opening act for an opera of food.
Our dessert was suggested by Phoebe’s friend and owner of Bamba. Being adventurous after a considerable amount of smile-inducing infatuation, I gave in to the temptation of the dessert. The base was a graham cracker base and its main layer is a considerable amount of very chewy chocolate which is not too sweet and not too bitter. It had a bit of cream and cereal-like ingredients on top.
I described the dessert as traitorously orgasmic to the senses. What the Greeks thought as beautiful, I found in this dessert. It was a kind of desirability between two extremes. The chocolate was not too hard nor was it too viscid that it would give you difficulty in eating it. This dessert was as great as Antonin Dvorak: Rusalka’s Moon aria.
All in all, I could not ask for more from this place. It has come together nicely and is definitely something I will return to in Aguirre in the coming days. I will definitely bring more friends here.