Rediscovering An Old Favorite: Sentro 1771

We had a scrumptious lunch at one of my favorite Filipino restaurants, Sentro 1771. It’s been a while since I dined at Sentro, well there’s just too many restaurants to try. But recently I heard they revamped their menu, adding some seemingly awesome stuff, I head to their Greenbelt branch to sample some of the new dishes, of course I can’t pass on their classics, their dishes that are more familiar, and perhaps iconic for the restaurant.

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SINIGANG NA CORNED BEEF – a staple at Sentro, this is perhaps their most iconic dish, and happens to be one of their best sellers as well. It’s one of my favorites too, really tender beef bits in a bright flavored broth from the brine of the meat; tangy savory goodness.

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SINIGANG NA CORNED BEEF (P595) – corned beef short plate and boneless beef shanks in tamarind broth with native vegetables.

When dining at Sentro, I always get the sinigang the corned beef, well I’m a sucker for sinigang, it’s just one of my favorite dishes. Their version is a bit different, the base of the tamarind broth is the brine from curing the meat. this makes for this warm and comforting broth of contrasting tangy and savory flavor. It really wakes up your palate and the intense flavor leaves you wanting for more. And then there’s the corned beef and shanks bit, that’s really tender. Good stuff.

There’s a couple of new items from the menu, got to try some of them, stuff that I thought was interesting, and it’s nice to try their take on some familiar dishes.

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MACAU CHORIZO AND CHEESE TIDBITS (P240) – mini spring rolls filled with macau chorizo, shallots, and keso de bola.

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I love these mini spring rolls! My ideal starter dish of crispy, golden, fried goodness with meat stuffing and cheese. Each piece packs loads of intense flavors, you get that nice crunch from the cover and then you hit the filling with some of that melted cheese arouse your taste buds with its creamy goodness, and with the chorizo, it jjust gives this really awesome spike of flavor.

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DUCK PANCAKES (P170) – peking pancakes filled with strips of native duck, slow cooked in beer, rum vinegar, soy sauce, and muscovado sugar.

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Sentro’s take on something familiar, somewhat similar to a duck preparation served in some Chinese restaurants, the strips of slow cooked meat is encased in this light and slightly chewy wrapper. The taste of the meat is rather interesting a contrasting mix of  a slightly tangy taste and finished with notes of sweetness from the sugar, you also get a nice tinge of crunch from the veggie bits for some texture.

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It’s no secret that I’m a shameless meat lover and I’m not really a fan of veggies, my friends ordered this dish, a light and healthy appetizer of Camote Cups (P240) filled with stir-fried cabbage, some beans and carrots. They really enjoyed it saying that the veggies provided a nice contrast of the sweet base of the cups.

Then we moved on to some of their signature dishes, a staple to almost every table in the restaurant, dishes that they do quite well.

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LAMB CALDERETA (P480) – boneless lamb shoulder stewed with carrots, bell peppers, tomato sauce, and spices.

Their caldereta was quite good, you can go with really spicy or mild depends on your preference. Since most of us have low tolerance to spicy food, we requested the spice level to be toned down a bit. Tender lamb shoulder pieces enveloped by this rich, thick tomato-based sauce, meat that’s fork-tender and then you hit it with the sauce and that nice medley of spicy and rich flavors leaves you wanting for more. This is a dish that you’d want to pair with rice! I know I did! Lots of rice, the base is just really flavorful that you’ll need something to pair it with.

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CRISPY PORK RIBS (P550) – deep fried baby back rib fingers drizzled with mayonnaise and served with guava dip.

Now here’s something to eat with your hands, their crispy pork ribs. Now while I love the usual tender baby back ribs we get on some American restaurants, these insanely crispy pieces of meat is just too good to ignore, I really like that nice crisp to the bite specially the trimmings of fat on the side, then you hit it with the mayonnaise and the lightly flavored dip to balance the flavorful meat.

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RATED GG (P260) – galungong fillets fried in garlic oil and topped with browned garlic.

Something so simple but turns out to be really, really good. I’m not really a fan of fish for the obvious reason but this one’s quite good. Crispy fillets of galungong fried beautifully and then topped with some toasted garlic bits. The flavor is quite simple, clean. And the fish really gives off this nice crackle and then finished with a nice hint of garlic, bot in the oil and the browned bits on top of the fish. This would go really well with some steaming hot rice.

Make sure to leave some space for desserts, they have really good ones.

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BANANA TART (P150) – Light and flaky puff pastry topped with these gorgeous caramelized banana slices, they’re using saba for this so it’s not too sweet, its finished with a drizzling of chocolate and caramel sauce, for added sweetness. This is quite good and I prefer the tart as is without the sauces.

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KESO FLAN (P220) – a baked but light, no crust cheesecake served with queso de bola and red egg.

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A delectable cheesecake and bibingka hybrid, genius! A really dense no bake cheesecake then at top is this sweet caramelization that resembles that of a flan. It’s a heavenly combination of creamy, sharp cheese goodness finished with a tinge of sweetness from the caramelized bits. Then you eat it with the pieces of queso de bola and salted egg kind of like a bibingka and you get this ethereal combination of flavors, this is not for sharing, it’s so good you’ll savor it to the last bite. I just wish they’d come up with a bigger serving for this. really, really good, this easily goes to my long list of favorite desserts.

It’s good that Sentro still tries to reinvent / improve their offerings, the stuff we tried were quite good, and the dessert just fantastic, this gives you a good reason to go back there and fell in love with their food all over again.

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Sentro 1771

Serendra

Serendra Piazza, McKinley Parkway
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
(02) 856-0581

Greenbelt 3

2/F Greenbelt 3, Esperanza St.,
Legazpi Village, Makati
(02) 757-3941

Capitol Commons

Opening 2014

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