Written by: Nick Houser
Date: May 5, 2017

Shanghai deep-fried pork in steamed buns at Bonifacio Modern Filipino.

Shanghai deep-fried pork in steamed buns at Bonifacio Modern Filipino. Photo: Steve Stover

Bonifacio, a delightful modern Filipino restaurant, has already appeared on several “best new restaurant” lists, including my own. Bonifacio opened in August 2016. It is the second restaurant by the owners of Red Velvet, a popular Short North coffee house and bakery.

Located at the corner of King Avenue and North Star in Grandview, the building has been home to numerous restaurants. The interior is bright and airy, with lots of floor-to-ceiling windows, and features tiled floors and light-toned wood tables.

The owners describe the Filipino-styled cuisine as a combination of Chinese, Spanish and American. The dishes range from rice noodle to chicken adobo, to fried chicken and spaghetti, together – as in on the same plate.

On our first visit, we sampled two signature dishes: pancit bihon: rice noodles sauteed with chicken, sausage, and chopped vegetables ($12); and the chicken adobo: chicken braised in soy, vinegar, garlic, blcak pepper, served with rice, cabbage, cucumber ($12). Both were excellent.

On a second visit, I started with a local Zauber Hefeweizen beer.

We shared four appetizers, including lumpiang Shanghai deep-fried pork Spring rolls (5 for $9), sizzling sisig, consisting of chopped grilled pork sauteed with onions, garlic, ginger, and peppers ($12); rice ($1); and our two favorites Asado siobao, fried pork belly in steamed buns, pickled onions, and basil (3 for $12), and house-brined fried chicken and gravy (2 pieces for $8).

The house-brined fried chicken and gravy at Bonifacio Modern Filipino.

The house-brined fried chicken and gravy at Bonifacio Modern Filipino. Photo: Steve Stover

The sizzling sisig at Bonifacio Modern Filipino.

The sizzling sisig at Bonifacio Modern Filipino. Photo: Steve Stover

The menu includes 12 appetizers ($3 to $12), many of which are large enough to be small entrees; nine entrees ($10 to $14), including Java fried rice, fried chicken and spaghetti, an excellent burger, beef stew, and tilapia escabeche; and desserts ($4 to $6), including a caramel flan, ice cream sandwich, caramelized banana, and fruit shaved ice.

Bonafacio is a wonderful addition to the Columbus restaurant scene, with well-made, full-flavored dishes, reasonable prices, and the chance to experience Filipino cuisine!

Bonifacio Modern Filipino
1577 King Ave

Tuesday – Thursday: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 to 10 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 to 11 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 4 to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 10 AM – 3 PM, 4 – 9 PM
Closed Monday

  • shrimlock

    The Silent Woman Bar was i believe on East Main, just east of James.
    The signage in neon or lit up from behind maybe, was extremely provocative.
    It showed an image of a female with her, holding her own head or her head somehow detached.
    Depicting the female as presumably silent. And even holding the knife?
    pretty grisly, and disturbing and was evident to anyone driving around there up till the 90’s, it seems.

  • shrimlock

    The other one that was near the Motel Greg Lashutka got in trouble win he was prosecutor, And i think that was on East Broad, that was the Pink Elephant.

  • Barbara Cruz

    what about hanleys steak house sullivant ave Columbus ohio

  • Barbara Cruz

    does anyone have a copy of the menu or pictures

  • Mr.Gale.B

    I need an exact and correct answer:
    Where was “Top of the Center” located? In WHAT building?

  • Otto Gronkowski

    Slow hipster service and slow kitchen. Expensive prices. Don’t visit if you want to see food on your table in under 45 minutes. However the food quality, taste and presentation is very good! Ambiance is contemporary cool inside, very different from what you may have the impression of from the exterior of this old Tim Horton’s location. Good bar and drink selection. Overpriced menu. On the west coast you can find this style of filipino restaurant serving same dishes for $7.50. Here they will set you back $12-$18. You can’t even get into appetizers for less than $10 unless you want a bowl of rice. Don’t know if they’ll survive, table turnover is way too slow, even though they’re making large profit margin per dish, it’s just way too slow. If you have an evening to kill, this would be a good hangout. Don’t attempt a weekday lunch or dinner. You’ll see a good hipster millinial crowd here.

    • lettuce dolphin

      hello, I have worked at a Bibibop for 2 years now, the price for a chicken (spicy or regular) bowl currently is 6.75$, steak bowl is 7.25$, and a tofu bowl is 6.65$. Along with that the appetizers are 1$ for pineapple, 1.50$ for edamame and kimchi. Also drinks are 1.75$ but come out to 1.88$ after tax.
      A chicken bowl with a drink is 9.14$ if you eat in and 8.63$ if you take it to go.
      Also the service is incredibly fast, if there is no line we can usually get someone to make an entire bowl in about 1-2 minutes. The only time service is slow is when there is a rush, around 11am-1pm and 5pm-7pm, and even slow is an understatement, once you get to the line it usually takes about 2 1/2 – 3 minutes to get through. Also the line length and time depends on the store, i have worked at several Bibibop’s and some attract a larger crowd than others. The most visited age demographic in my opinion is about 20-25 and 40-50.

      The reason i started working at a Bibibop is because of the low prices for such a delicious and large amount of food, the bowls are about the size of two softballs, i do not know how many fluid ounces off hand though, i believe around 48 fluid ounces.
      If you have any other questions or anything about Bibibop i got you, i’m not being paid to do this, i just came across it while on the internet and saw a lot of inflated prices and felt like sharing the exact price.

      I hope you all have a great day, Take care always!

      • lettuce dolphin

        Also a lot of the prices on the op post are not correct and we do not carry some items anymore, such as the Pellegrino.

        Take care always!