On the Saturday before Christmas, Louie and I planned to celebrate the holiday and have a quiet dinner in a restaurant in Tomas Morato. The Frazzled Cook was our top choice, however for some reason, Waze wasn’t able to guide us to the right direction and we could not find the place after driving up and down the street past the address where it should have been. We ended up in Buenisimo by Cafe Ysabel, a nonetheless fine choice where food is just what we’re in the mood for.

Buenisimo by Cafe Ysabel has been awarded as one of the Philippine Tatler’s 2009 Best Restaurants on its 6th month in operations. That says a lot about the quality of its food. “Buenisimo” is a Spanish word which means very good or someone exceptionally beautiful.

The restaurant is owned and run by Chef Gino and Giannina Gonzales, son and daughter of celebrity chef Gene Gonzales of Cafe Ysabel. The menu at Buenisimo is a collaboration of Cafe Ysabel’s favorites, traditional fare that their family used to have on Sundays and new experimental dishes with unique taste concepts and pairings. I personally have met Chef Gino in a Yummy Magazine event held in Enderun, BGC and I know he makes really delicious and crave-worthy food, so it was interesting to actually sample dishes in one of his restaurants. 🙂

Review of Buenisimo by Cafe Ysabel (Tomas Morato, Quezon City)

Ambiance: ★★★★★

As a cozy nook in the heart of Tomas Morato, this place sets the standard for “special-ocassion” dining. With its clean lines and neutral colors, the interior design exudes a luxury feel made for celebrating something special. Buenisimo by Cafe Ysabel in Tomas Morato provides a modern take on Filipino minimalism. The relaxed yet upscale atmosphere looked impressive.

Service: ★★★★☆

The staff was gracious and accommodating, helping make for a relaxing setting that’s as casual or formal as you want to make it. When there were more guests though, servers were not as attentive and they did not respond promptly when called for as when there were fewer active tables. That’s pretty understandable at prime times, but there must be a room for improvement in terms of efficiency and alertness to keep a high level of customer service.

Food: ★★★★★

Buenisimo by Cafe Ysabel delivered a perfectly roasted chicken that’s brined overnight served with caramelized onion gravy. The dish is called Giannina’s Roasted Chicken (PhP 318) on the menu, and it’s definitely one of the most recommended comfort food in the list. Along with mashed potatoes and vegetables on the side, the roasted chicken had crisp skin and tender and juicy meat that draws the difference between good and great. As soul-satisfying as it is, this entree can be the ultimate weeknight staple.

Four Cheese Pizza (PhP 468) made with pomodoro, mozzarella, bleu cheese, gruyere cheese, white cheese, and fresh basil was great. The bottom part revealed a soft crumb that is pliant and chewy, not crackery or tough, that transitioned from being soft and bread-like to moist and slick right where the cheesy flavors and sauce meet it. The pizza was tad salty and had the right amount of cheesy goodness with a bare hint of sweetness.

Three Mushroom Truffle Cream (PhP 438) was overwhelmingly good. Made with shiitake, oyster, and button mushrooms. We chose the spaghetti type of pasta over penne and fettuccine, and it turned out well. The creamy pasta was intensely flavored with fresh mushrooms, and truffle oil gave a savory depth. We love it! 🙂

Price for Value: ★★★★☆

Buenisimo by Cafe Ysabel serves excellent renditions of food without an ounce of pretense. Staffs give guests a warm welcome and offer its approachable menu in the vibrant, stylish setting. All in all, this charmer in QC makes wow-worthy dishes matched with fair prices to boot. It deserves its well-earned reputation for premium-quality cooking.

24 Sct. Tuason St, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila
For inquiries or reservation, call (02) 410 5050
Date Published: 12/29/2015
18 / 20 stars


Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

50 Responses

  1. Marge Gavan

    I haven’t been to Buenisimo because hello Quezon City hahaha… But I sure want to eat there and try the four-cheese pizza in particular. And wow, I love the presentation of the Giannina’s roasted chicken.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I live also quite far from Quezon City but I went there when I was on the way home from work (in Eastwood). 🙂 You must try dining here one day when you have an event to attend nearby.

  2. Jaclyn Anne

    That four cheese pizza looks absolutely amazing – As does everything else. Even the decor is beautiful, I love the modern artwork especially. Buenisimo will definitely be on my list of must-eat-at restaurants if I ever am around Quezon City.

  3. kita

    The pizza looks good. I love that it looks like a dining room set that people have in their homes here in the states. I would have to wear my fancy clothes for this type of setting lol

  4. Elizabeth O.

    Love the ambiance of the restaurant, definitely feels cozy. The roasted chicken looks awesome! I bet it tastes just as good.

  5. Liz Mays

    The roasted chicken and pizza would definitely hit the right spot for me. It all looks just delicious and I’d love to visit. I might order everything you did!

  6. Tammilee Tips

    I hate when we can’t find the place we want. Sounds like you found a great restaurant to have a meal at. Getting lost is always something we worry about when traveling but sometimes we find new favorite places by getting lost.

  7. Fi Ní Neachtáin

    This looks like such a lovely restaurant, I can see why you gave it 5/5 stars for ambiance. The food looks absolutely delicious too, that four cheese pizza and the truffle cream pasta look mouth-watering. It sounds like a fab place to go and eat.

  8. Tiffany

    I think fate worked out for you both. The food looks amazing and I love the decor and setting of the restaurant itself. It looks very welcoming and cozy yet still sophisticated.

  9. Pop Shop America

    Wow! This food looks to die for – especially the chicken! It sounds like dining here was a happy accident. But I’d love to know what the dessert menu was like!

  10. Sage

    Your reviews always make me hungry 🙂 Looks like this place has a great assortment of vegetarian options, wish I lived in the area because I’d definitely check it out, but I’ll settle for a little kitchen inspiration instead 🙂

  11. Angie

    That looks really delicious, and I think I’d enjoy eating there. Sounds like a great place to add to your travel eating wish list! YUM! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Yona Williams

    Too bad you didn’t have a chance to try out the Frazzled Cook – that sounds like a really cool restaurant name. I think the backstory of the Buenisimo is pretty cool (run by a son-daughter team). I appreciate an eatery that offers experimental dishes – I like trying unique and creative food combinations. The interior is really nice.

  13. Sicorra@NotNowMomsBusy

    With all of the nice dishes that you show in your photos I would have had a difficult time choosing just one.

    I love a nice chicken dish for dinner, but pizza always gets my attention as well.

    Have a great new year!

  14. Fred

    Thanks for another recommendation in the Tomas Morato area which we will definitely try out one day, especially with my mom and my wife’s birthdays coming up this month. Are you saying there is a Frazzled Cook branch in Tomas Morato as well aside from the one in Luna Mencias?

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      The one in Luna Mencias closed down and moved to this one in Tomas Morato (bigger space). However, for some reason, we just could not find it. Haha. 🙂

  15. Tiffany Yong

    The Giannina’s Roasted Chicken looks appetising indeed. My usual choice will be the pasta and pizza, but for the first time, the chicken looks like something I will like to try for a change.

  16. Erica

    Sometimes, I wish I lived in the city to have easier access for a variety of good spots to try! I’m tired of the usual here in Tagaytay. But then I remember the traffic and then I get over it.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Oh yes, the standard time to get from Point A to Point B anywhere here in Metro Manila is about 2 hours. I’ve not been to many restaurants in Tagaytay but I hear the lineup of great places there is growing. 🙂


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