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.