Mark only comes to Dubai on weekends since he works in Abu Dhabi. And because he eats at their camp's restaurant every single day, I make sure that he gets to enjoy his favorite dishes even just on weekends.
Although I love to cook, there are also times when I seem to be infected with the lazy bug. And at such times, Mark's invitations on having dinner outs are a music to my ears!
Ravi Restaurant would be our usual dinner destination when we dine out, but since Mark was craving for Filipino food, we opted for Buongiorno Café, which is just one restaurant away from Ravi. :D I was already delighted when Mark told me not to cook for dinner one weekend night, more so when he craved for Filipino food! Yay!
There are already a number of restaurants that serve Filipino food here in Dubai, and more often than not, they're owned by Filipinos too. We were personally attended to by one of the owners, that blonde lady at the middle in the photo below. I was beginning to get convinced that I may be wrong with my Filipino owner theory, since the owner looked very much like a Russian national, until she finally spoke to us in Tagalog. She's apparently a true blue Filipina who also happens to be the wife of the owner. If I remembered it right, her husband is an Italian national. She was very enthusiastic in attending to us and even stayed for a while for some chit-chat.
The restaurant serves international cuisines which include Filipino dishes, of course. The restaurant may look a bit intimidating, with its sleek and warm interiors and chic table setting, but they surprisingly offer affordable dishes. I also love how they have the Karaoke TV which guests can enjoy for free! If the restaurant has karaoke TV/videoke, it's definitely Filipino! :D
There were only a couple of diners during that time, so the waiting time for our orders wasn't that long. For our drinks, we had bottled water, plus Avocado Shake for me an Fresh Orange Juice for Mark. Mark's juice was refreshing. The combination of sweetness and tang was just right. The avocado shake was good too, but I just found it a little too thick.
Mark ordered for Grilled Fish and Nilagang Baka (Filipino Beef Stew with Clear Broth). I wasn't sure if it's hammour, cream dory, or tilapia, but the fish tasted bland. You really need to use up the soy vinegar and mayo that came with it. The least appetizing (look and taste-wise) and the most expensive among the dishes that we had, and with a not so generous serving, the Grilled Fish was kind of a let down.
Good thing the Nilagang Baka compensated for the Grilled Fish's setbacks. Served in a huge bowl, I love how the beef chunks were fork tender and flavorful. The veggies were also cooked just the way I want it, with that little crunch. The beefy taste of the hot broth was also there, but I didn't like how too garlicky it was. This dish is good for sharing.
I was craving for pork sisig, but since pork is not served in restaurants in the UAE, I just settled for the Beef Sisig. Complete with toasted garlic on white rice, fresh egg, and lemon, this dish was such an eye candy. I just don't think it captured that distinct sisig taste that I was looking for. That mildly sweet and tangy kick from the vinegar and mayo plus fresh onions just weren't there. It tasted much like the usual sautéed corned beef. I also thought that the bell peppers weren't a good idea as they were overpowering. The serving was generous though. :)
I'm not sure with the rest of the dishes that they offer, but the ones that we had were not something to rave about. But then again we still had a wonderful time at Buongiorno Café. Service was okay and the ambience was feel-good especially with the Filipino videoke songs in the background. :D
For updates about Buongiorno Café, you can visit and like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Buongiorno-Cafe/150614608368602?fref=ts.
Al Zarooni Building
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed St., Al Karama
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Opposite Burjuman Centre
+971 04 357 0300
Nearest metro station: Burjuman (Red Line)