March 18, 2020

Sentro 1771 in BGC: Where Familiarly Foreign Filipino Fare Abound

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  • In the midst of the outpouring of Filipino restaurants all over Metro Manila,  it may come as a challenge to be able to ceaselessly pull diners in, more so to become a staple in the regular scene. But in the span of a good decade or so, Sentro 1771 was able to retain its footing without wavering nor faring behind.

    Their key ingredient? A standardized way of bringing forth the classic Pinoy flavors, regardless of their own take on the dishes.

    “Every cuisine will have a modern version, because it’s an evolution. But then, you should be able to recognize the core—for me, it’s the Pinoy taste,” started off Sentro’s head chef Vicky Pacheco. “Even if there’s an Asian influence to the dish, it should be the Filipino flavor that’s prevalent (pero Pinoy taste pa rin ‘yung prevalent).”

    And through the passage of time, they manage to do it without straying away from the paradigm of their dishes by adopting the French technique of cooking—only because the way Filipinos do it is hard to be standardized.

    Chef Vicky Pacheco

    Should it not have been aligned on a firm recipe cookbook, the essence of Sentro 1771 that a lot of diners has grown to love will not have survived this long.

    Also read: Flatiron 1771 Modern Diner in BGC: Good Food, Good Mood

    The day we visited the airy and cozy restaurant in BGC, we got to try their familiar foreign offerings. There’s this underlying familiarity with the flavors, but the way they are presented is kind of alien.

    One of these is the bite-sized spring rolls otherwise known as Macau Chorizo and Cheese Tidbits (Php 189.99 for solo; Php 379.99 for sharing), which will definitely liven up your palates for the awaiting venturesome eating episode.

    Macau Chorizo and Cheese Tidbits (Php 189.99 for solo; Php 379.99 for sharing)

    Every piece of this will treat you to the rightly-balanced saltiness of the chorizo and the cheesiness of the keso de bola. For an upgraded munch, try dipping it on the complementary vinegar.

    The Fresh Smoked Fish Spring Rolls (Php 159.99 for solo; Php 319.99 for sharing), whereas, is a spring roll variant that leans closer to the lighter spectrum flavor-wise.

    Fresh Smoked Fish Spring Rolls (Php 159.99 for solo; Php 319.99 for sharing)

    This features a mixture of salted egg, mustard, onion, and tomato on top of the smoked milkfish or tinapang bangus that takes the spotlight.

    Also read: Chi Em Gai in Eton Centris Brings Healthy Vietnamese Flavors to Manila

    Another viable attestation to the familiarly foreign narrative is Sentro’s Duck Pancakes (Php 229.99 for solo; Php 429.99 for sharing) that is founded on the concept of China’s Peking Duck.

    By means of shredding the slow-cooked duck meat into thin pieces and thereafter mixing it with asado flakes, pickled carrots, and spring onions, one can delight on a filling Sentro-style pancake.

    Duck Pancakes (Php 229.99 for solo; Php 429.99 for sharing) are eaten by means of pushing the meat amalgamation into the wrapper

    In the mood for a different take on the classic lumpiang sariwa (fresh spring roll)? Camote Cups (Php 189.99 for solo; Php 359.99 for sharing) will save the day!

    Instead of wrapping up the vegetables, Sentro openly tops them on the carved sweet potatoes that undeniably upgrade the flavor of the traditional dish.

    Camote Cups (Php 189.99 for solo; Php 359.99 for sharing) 

    Moreover, their Catfish Sentro Style (Php 299.99 for solo; Php 549.99 for sharing; Php 839.99 for family) utilizes the Japanese ponzu sauce, infusing a wholly different twist to the catfish that are normally fried or cooked in coconut milk.  

    Its strong flavor oozes with that of the typical Japanese Unagi, but the Filipino flavor peeks out especially when eaten with rice.

    Catfish Sentro Style (Php 299.99 for solo; Php 549.99 for sharing; Php 839.99 for family)

    And of course, who would pass on the Specialty of the House that is the Sinigang na Corned Beef? To say the least, it is the classic sinigang graced by corned beef short plate and boneless beef shanks instead of the usual pork and beef.

    Get it solo for Php 319.99, for sharing for Php 639.99, and for a family-sized serving for Php 989.99.

    Sinigang na Corned Beef

    Fill up your dining tables with their Organic Sisig (Php 229.99 for solo/Php 449.99 for sharing) and Lamb Caldereta (Php 499.99 for solo/Php 959.99 for sharing) for a complete Filipino fare.

    (L-R) Lamb Caldereta (Php 499.99 for solo/Php 959.99 for sharing) and Organic Sisig (Php 229.99 for solo/Php 449.99 for sharing)

    For the desserts, our picks are Keso Flan (Php 229.99) and Fried Suman and Mangoes (Php 199.99)!

    While the former is a soft cheesecake in the form of leche flan paired up with slices of salted egg and keso de bola on the side, the latter is a line of minuscule fried rice cake or suman topped with mangoes and grazed by coco jam syrup.

    Keso Flan

    Fried Suman and Mangoes

    Once you get to dine at this restaurant, the first visit will surely be stacked upon by ceaseless dining episodes in the long run. It is, after all, the famed Sentro 1771 that has rightly so received adoration from both Filipinos and expats in the country.

    How to go here

    • Sentro 1771 BGC is located near Uptown Mall.
    • By car: From Ayala MRT Station, head north toward McKinley Rd. and turn right EDSA Ave. Keep right to continue toward 32nd St., and then turn left onto 9th Ave.

    Written by Shairah Nabong

                 
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