No other local brand carries Filipino pride quite like Bench. With a diverse product line that crosses over seamlessly from retail to food, Bench has established itself as a champion of Filipino craftsmanship, style, and, this past year, culinary heritage.
As the brand’s most recent innovation, dining concept restaurant Bench Café, celebrates its first anniversary at the Bench flagship store in Bonifacio High Street, it also announces its expansion through a second branch, which is now open in Greenbelt 3.
A partnership between FOODEE Global Concepts, one of Manila’s largest multi-brand food groups run by father and son tandem Rikki and Eric Dee, and Suyen Corporation, headed by Chairman Ben Chan, President Virgilio Lim and Vice-President for business development Bryan Lim, Bench Café is now turning into a full-fledged restaurant with the opening of its second branch. With over three decades of experience under its belt, the FOODEE group created a restaurant concept that was uniquely Bench, applying Suyen’s retail philosophies to what — in just a year — became a successful culinary venture.
Imbibing Bench’s social media hashtag and overall thrust, #LiveLifeWithFlavor, Bench Café celebrates classic Filipino dishes by giving them a global, sophisticated twist, much like what the brand does with their retail endeavors. The restaurant’s growing popularity is owed to a unique dining concept that delivers a sensory experience through its well-designed and inviting interiors, and a mouth-watering selection of interesting and satisfying dishes.
On the menu are Filipino favorites with elements of traditional and modern Pinoy cooking, and fusion meals that adopts culinary traditions from different cultures. This, combined with its commitment to using only high-quality local ingredients, has made Bench Café a go-to restaurant for office workers looking for a delicious and satisfying lunch, families and kids bonding over food on weekends and companies celebrating milestones for special events.
Must-tries include the Sisig Lettuce Cups with Calamansi Foam, the Crispy Lumpia Cones with Tinapa Mousse and Salsa, the Tsoknut Ice Cream Sandwich (toasted ensaymada filled with tsoknut ice cream), and the Flan B (leche flan with macapuno).
The menu also features Bench/To, which is inspired by bento meals of Japan but reimagined to fit the Filipino tradition of family dining. Combos include the B6 (Dancing Fish, Kaldereta, Crispy Dilis, Bench Salsa, plain rice), the B8 (Lechon Kawali, Laing, Atsara, Bench Salsa, plain rice), and the B12 (Pork BBQ, Gising-Gising, Green Mango Salad, Bench Salsa, plain rice). The café also features other Pinoy dining table staples such as street food, rice, silog, merienda, halo-halo, and kapeng barako.
Bench Café is located at the second floor of the newly opened Bench flagship store at 9th Ave. cor. Lane O, Bonifacio High Street, BGC, and at 2/F of Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center Makati. For more updates, follow Bench Café on Facebook and @benchcafeph on Instagram.
Nathaniel C. Uy