We were invited to dine at Sentro in Greenbelt 3 one Saturday night last month. My hubby is somewhat averse to Filipino cuisine because he can’t stand the scent of vinegar and so we don’t really visit Filipino restaurants all that much.
The restaurant was packed when we got there. Good thing we had reservations.
While waiting for the food we were served some watermelon seeds to munch on. I tried one but found it to be makunat, if anyone can tell me what makunat is in English I’d be grateful… haha! I’d describe it as brittle and uh… rubbery at the same time?
First dish out was Sizzling Tofu (P250, pictured above). It’s cooked kind of like sisig but instead of meat, cubed beancurd is used. The beancurd is sauteed in garlic and onions, a bit of mayonnaise, and what tasted like soy sauce. Just like sisig, you can squeeze calamansi all over it for that extra zing.
Fried Kesong Puti (P180, pictured above), literally “fried white cheese” in English, is a yummy appetizer I’m sure even kids will love. It comes with two dips, guava dip and a creamy ranch-like dip. The zesty guava dip goes very well with it as it provides a nice flavor contrast to the cheese.
I also liked Fresh Smoked Fish Spring Rolls (P270, pictured above). Flaked tinapa (smoked fish), bits of salted egg, diced tomatoes and onions, are wrapped together and then dipped in the vinegar-based sauce that’s served on the side.
Then came Sentro’s most popular specialty — Sinigang na Corned Beef (P595, pictured above). Whole chunks of lean and meaty corned beef is cooked in tamarind-based soup with kangkong, radish, okra, and sili. Hubby doesn’t like sour food but this dish was not overpoweringly sour nor spicy. It’s actually just right. The tender beef goes so well with the flavorful yet soothing hot soup. I’ve heard a lot about this dish prior to finally dining at Sentro and all I can say is its fame is quite deserved.
Rated GG (P230, pictured above) is simply galunggong cooked in olive oil and garlic. I don’t eat galunggong because it looks unappetizing but these were filleted and topped with lots of crunchy garlic bits. I had a taste and it kind of reminded me of Spanish sardines, which I actually like, except that this dish isn’t spicy in any way.
Crispy Pork Ribs (P440) is probably the dish I liked the least. It’s fried pork ribs drizzled in mayonnaise and served with tamarind sauce on the side. The ribs didn’t have much meat on them so the eating experience can be likened to nibbling on a piece of bone. It’s definitely not worth what they’re charging for it.
To accompany our viands, hubby and I opted for brown rice and garlic rice.
For dessert, we had Keso Flan (P220, pictured above). Rich and creamy Filipino-style custard is served with sliced queso de bola and salted eggs on the side. Pretty good, albeit a tad too small considering an order is over P200.
Then there was Fried Suman and Mangoes (P180, pictured above). The slightly sweet toasted sticky rice (suman) topped with ripe mangoes make a delicious combination.
Of course, I had a hot cup of Cappuccino (P130, pictured above) to go with dessert.
Overall I was quite satisfied with our Sentro experience. Food is pretty good, the star of the night being the Sinigang na Corned Beef. Prices are a bit on the high side considering what is being served but the unique twist Sentro renders to the usual Filipino dishes make it worth trying. Since the place gets really packed reservations are recommended.
2/F Greenbelt 3,
Ayala Center, Makati City
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