Quibranza: Bell+Amadeus serves elevated continental fare with Cebuano touch

·3 min read

Flowers. They’re beautiful to look at. Fragrant as expected. However, they sometimes scare the boy in me. And not because bouquet prices go ballistic every February.

They say, you fear what you don’t understand. I was first challenged to petal-partaking more than a decade ago in Bohol. A lot has happened since then. I’ve also managed not to back down from any fight when it comes to man versus food, keeping an almost-immaculate scorecard with only one loss (I demand a rematch, stinky tofu).

On Sept. 2, Bell+Amadeus at 88th Avenue re-introduced me to edible flowers and their pleasures during a six-course dégustation. The dishes were beautiful to look at. They tasted even better.

Let the plates begin.

What greeted me first was the pan-seared scallops with lime miso dressing, citrus couscous on avocado puree—a savory seafood delight that just had the right amount of tangy freshness.

The elderflower coconut espuma, crostini, hummus and edible flowers is a must-try. It tasted absolutely divine while playing with flavor and texture. It left me wanting more.

The creamy butternut squash, guanciale, pecorino and squash yolk is comforting and pleasing. The pieces of guanciale tease the tongue just enough for you to take in forkful after forkful of the pasta that’s entirely made from butternut squash.

The proteins next: Chicken confit with guanciale cranberry marmalade, whisky demi glaze, polenta and pine nuts; and the Madras curry, seared fish, crispy chicken skin bhel, edamame, black eyed beans and polenta.

The chicken tasted like the holidays; the taste of cranberry enveloping the juicy chicken. The fish was also a revelation: Bell+Amadeus used Kinsan fish, a type of grouper found in the seawaters of Aloguinsan, Cebu. The fish is so popular in the southern town that it holds an annual Kinsan Festival every second Sunday of June.

For dessert: Ylang-ylang creme brûlée, ube moss, jackfruit gel and black sesame ice cream. Sweet perfection.

You know it was a great meal when you’re looking at photos on your phone days after, and the taste slowly comes back to your tongue. Just like how the heart recalls memories of a summer fling in younger years.

With a full bar ready and the establishment brewing coffee soon, the full-service restaurant is looking forward to hosting breakfast sessions, brunch get-togethers, group dinners or intimate dates daily. It opens at 8 a.m. It also aims to host a dégustation every quarter.

Bell+Amadeus is owned and managed by long-time food entrepreneurs Chime Bell Osabel and Chef Angelo Amadeus Go. Osabel and Go are the minds behind the SunStar Best of Cebu wellness food delivery service, Diet in a Box.

Worry not. Osabel clarifies that Bell+Amadeus has swept calorie counting under the proverbial rug. The restaurant instead, celebrates elevated continental fare prepared with a Cebuano touch of culinary excellence. What one discovers here are rather meticulous, adventurous, generous, and more importantly, downright delicious dishes.