My first encounter with Bono was at a dinner at my friend Mara’s house. For dessert, she made this peanut butterfinger pie and took out an unlabeled tub of spiced cookie butter gelato to go with it. Having it there in her porch made me feel like the world was just awesome. I found out a couple of days later that Mara’s aunt was in the process of developing a gelato shop with some friends.
Yesterday, I got the chance to visit Bono and sample some flavors before they really open. Despite the fact we wasted a lot of plastic spoons, I enjoyed myself. Talking to Ria, who’s in charge of marketing Bono, I found out that they all went to Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna to learn about the art of making real gelato. They have 11 flavors up this week but they’re looking to expand and experiment on more, depending on the natural ingredients they can pool together for the mass market.
There’s a Laboratorio at the back and through the windows you’ll see these huge machines churning really fresh gelato. Ria says they’re the first gelateria to use the Cattabriga Effe in the Philippines and that it’s actually the “Ferrari” of gelato machines. They made us try spoons with freshly churned gelato right out of these machines and my god, it was smooth. It had such a lovely, creamy texture.
I had 4.5 scoops of ice cream that afternoon and this was my first cup. A cup goes for Php 85 bucks and in here, I had two flavors: Mad about Malt and Lavande. Mad About Malt has a malted milk base with chocolate malt balls, think Horlicks and Maltesers! So much yum. Lavande is a lavender flavor with a cream base with fresh lavender flower buds for a subtle burst of flavor. I’ve always loved the smell of lavender but I never imagined what it’d taste like. The folks at Bono say that it’s a hit or miss kinda flavor and not everyone enjoys it. I liked it a lot though, perhaps because I enjoy some flowery teas.
The place was closed still and being fixed up so we decided to sit outside to take up less space. Mara and Michelle played hookie from work to go get some gelato. When they offered us seconds though, we couldn’t say no.
Sara, the one on the left, is part of Bono’s research and development team. I made a mental note to make friends with her to get her to make some flavors I have in mind.
I got the flavors I’d usually get for my second cup, Matcha and Pistacchio. I loved how strong the flavor was in their matcha, it’s often just creamy and subdued, like a green tea latte. I like it better when it feels like a good kick in the face, that’s how I like my green tea anyway. I was telling Mara it reminded me so much of Royce’s seasonal green tea nama so I’ll be buying a scoop of Bono to beat that craving instead. The Pistacchio was great too because they didn’t scrimp on the fresh toasted nuts, every bite had a bunch.
The spiced cookie butter gelato I had before I knew Bono existed is called Speculoos and it’s this Belgian/Dutch Christmas cookie butter. This flavor isn’t out yet because they’re in the process of perfecting it but my god it was good. I think this could actually be the best flavor Bono has. I’m a huge fan of Haagen Dazs’ Caramel Biscuit and Cream and this is a wee bit close to it.
They open officially today. Here’s the full list of flavors they have for the week and snippets of what I think of them.
Vaniglia – Made with a mix of Tahitian Vanilla Beans, Vaniglia is quite a rich vanilla. I know this may sound repetitive but you can actually see the bean bits in every bite.
Cioccolato – Made from 70% pure dark chocolate, I like how this isn’t very sweet. I’m not super into chocolate though so I’d get Malt over this. Lol
Caffe Moka – With Chocolate + fair-trade Philippine Coffee beans, you’ve got a strong mocha flavor. I think coffee lovers would appreciate this.
Fragola – With fresh California strawberries on a bed of milk, this reminded me of a warm summer day at the beach. Sarap.
Pistacchio (toasted pistachios) – Refer to commentary above.
Lavande (Fresh summer lavender) – Refer to commentary above.
Matcha (Stone-ground Japanese Green Tea) – Refer to commentary above.
Stracciatella (Italian Chocolate Chip) – I didn’t get to try this!
Snack Attack (Chocolate covered potato crisps, Chocolate Malt balls, Caramel) – This is a pretty cool flavor with a hodge-podge of everything junk food. I snuck a bite from Michelle since she got a scoop of this. It’s vanilla with all of that mixed in.
Rocky Road (Toasted walnuts, marshmallows) – Generally not a rocky road fan so I didn’t get to try this.
Mad About Malt (Malted Milk + Chocolate Malt balls) – Refer to commentary above. I would like to note that this is the box office hit among all their flavors. Really a must try!
Bono Artisanal Gelato is located in the 2nd floor of SM Makati, next to the bridge that leads to Glorietta. They mentioned they’d be rotating flavors weekly so I can’t wait to check back next week to see what they have in store.