For a Balikbayan (Filipino who returns home from abroad), or an Overseas Filipino Worker like me, who certainly missed dining in restaurants that take pride in serving Filipino cuisine with a modern twist and play on classic and well-loved flavors, Sentro 1771 is such a welcome treat! I’m thankful that I was invited to join a small group of bloggers to sample some dishes in its branch in Serendra, Bonifacio Global City at 3PM, last 15th December 2013, Sunday. The timing was quite late for lunch, yet so heavy for merienda or an afternoon snack.
I didn’t set any expectation as it was my first time to dine there. I was impressed at almost everything about Sentro 1771 and the dishes that I tasted except for one. Ambiance of the restaurant’s relaxed and elegant, perfect for families and friends with discriminating taste. Service is highly commendable too! Not only quick and efficient, but most unique to what I’ve been to. I extremely liked the way waiters bring over the Sinigang or sour broth in a tea cup for tasting before they serve it. They can adjust its sourness and spiciness depending on the diners’ preference. Best of all, they refill the soup generously!
First of two appetizers that was served to us was Macau Chorizo and Cheese Tidbits.
If you like something crispy, textured and a bit salty, this one’s for you. I found the flavors of chorizo and quezo de bola in these fried spring rolls too perfect for words! They’re delicious sans the dip; but the more interesting tug-of-war of saltiness and sourness begins when you dunk each roll onto the vinegar dip.
I admired how those Duck Pancakes were served and the way the staff explained how it was supposed to be eaten. Of course, the filling must be tucked inside the light and crunchy pancakes to your palates’ delight. Yummy!
Let the food tasting begin!
Sentro 1771‘s Specialty of the House as noted on the first page of their menu, is their version of Sinigang na Corned Beef. But did it live up to its name and reviews from other diners?
Unlike my fellow bloggers who have already dined in Sentro 1771 Greenbelt branch, my standards for Corned Beef in Sour Broth was from other upscale Filipino restaurant. And unfortunately, this one from Sentro 1771 in Serendra simply fell flat on my taste buds. Although the sourness and spiciness were adjusted to our taste as mentioned earlier, the corned beef chunks failed to do its part. Too bad as it’s labeled as Specialty of the House but there was nothing to rave about other than its ordinary Sinigang taste. I was telling my table mates who were comparing it to what they’ve loved in Greenbelt branch that probably, the one in Serendra had a different supplier of corned beef meat making the quality and taste varied; then again I was only speculating.
Restaurant staff, Gelo refilling the tamarind broth in our Sinigang na Corned Beef bowl.
Sinigang na Corned Beef. PhP 595++. Corned beef short plate and boneless beef shanks in tamarind broth with native vegetables.
If the Sinigang na Corned Beef failed to satisfy me, the Stuffed & Grilled Fish of the Day tied in Pandan was otherwise.
Fish of the day Pandan, grilled. PhP 220 per gram. Whole fish stuffed with sauteed onions, tomatoes, miso and malunggay, tied with pandan leaves.
Unless it’s buttered or eaten raw as sashimi or sushi, I don’t usually fancy fish dishes in restaurants until I sampled this F.O.D Pandan. It appeared so simple but surprisingly, it pleased my appetite that afternoon! It tasted fresh and was even made more flavorful with its filling and the soy-plus-lemon-sauce. Highly Recommended!
The next entree served to us was the Chicken Adobo sa Gata.
Most Filipinos, if not all, love Adobo (seasoned meat cooked in soy sauce and vinegar). With or without coconut milk, one can never go wrong with any Adobo dish. I liked it but coming home from Malaysia where most of my days were spent eating chicken dishes, I had my little reservation.
More fascinating than the Adobo in coconut milk was the next plate on our table : Camote Cups!
I like stir-fried-vegetable dishes like the very Pinoy, Lumpia (wrapped or not); this one’s a modern version served on sweet potato cups. Definitely a must-try for those who favor fibers! Delicious and healthy!
Another dish that earned my two-thumbs-up was the Lamb Caldereta.
If you’re following this blog, my palates were exposed to 2 glorious lamb dishes from 2 great restaurants since I went home last October 20th, and luckily, I liked them both. This Lamb Caldereta was not an exception. I liked its tender meat and tasteful sauce.
Sentro 1771 also served us cups of plain rice to complement everything, however, I passed up and opted to try the Seafood Bagoong Rice which to me, is already a whole-meal-in-one!
Given a chance to choose only one dish from everything we sampled, I’ll have that Seafood Bagoong Rice, bar none.
What’s a Filipino meal without sweet endings? For desserts, we had enjoyed common favorites, a few served with a twist.
Eating Fried Suman (Glutinous rice cake) and Mangoes with Coco Jam is never new to me; even Thai people can relate so much to this favorite. I loved it but its small servings made me crave for more!
As I toy a tentative mouthful of Banana Tart in my mouth, it brought back memories of eating Banana Cue as afternoon snack.
The last dessert they served to us deceived me actually. I initially thought it as Creme Caramel (Caramel Flan) or more locally known as Leche Flan but it’s cheesecake served with slices of salted egg and quezo de bola. It’s called Keso Flan!
I almost forgot to mention, we washed down everything with Dalandan juice. Refreshing and thirst-quenching!
With beautiful and contemporary take on Filipino cuisine, huge and tasty servings of dishes, casual and relaxed atmosphere, minimalist and classy interiors, attentive and friendly staff, Sentro 1771 is definitely one of the excellent choices when one wants to satisfy a Filipino craving!
SENTRO 1771 | Ground Floor, Serendra Piazza, Taguig City | website : http://sentro1771.net/
*Special thanks to Sentro 1771 and Anton of www.pusangkalye.net for the invite.