I was never keen eating at The Fort. Marc and I would only make an effort going there if we had a meeting or a meet-up with friends, but The Fort really isn’t one of the usual places where we have our weekly dates. Other than being cheapskates, we aren’t really the type who would try expensive food that we aren’t even sure we would enjoy. So when we received an invite for a complimentary breakfast at 1771 Sentro, we figured it was a good opportunity to try out something new without feeling so bad if we happen not to like it. Besides, Marc and I signed up to join a fun run to be held at The Fort this July—we were looking for a good place to gorge ourselves after the event.
Well, off-hand I can say that waking up to try breakfast at 1771 Sentro was worth it. Let me tell you why…
I’ll have to be honest that my eyes nearly jumped out of their sockets a bit when I was first presented with the menu. The price range of 1771 Sentro’s Filipino Breakfast Sets go from Php300 to Php380. Although our hosts were gracious enough to let us order anything we wanted, we weren’t really the type of people who order more than we can actually finish. I was having second thoughts about the serving size. Luckily, the order of the couple sitting near us arrived and we got to see how big the servings were.
Yes, a Filipino Breakfast Set was indeed more than enough for one. And it was sharable too! The main dish were on a separate platters, making it easy to try out your companion’s order without looking too rude. I ordered Dried Beef Sirloin Tapa (Php350) while Marc had the Ginisang Tinapa Flakes with Bagoong (Php350)—we both loved it!
Thank goodness the tapa wasn’t too salty (I really don’t like eating main dishes that are too salty I end up eating too much rice just to neutralize the taste). It was as chewy as the usual tapa should be, and tasted even better when dipped slightly on the delicious and flavorful vinegar included in the breakfast set. I wasn’t sure what type of vinegar it was, but whatever, it worked real well with the tapa.
The Tinapa Flakes was something I didn’t order for the simple reason that I was afraid it would trigger my allergies. But even after eating almost half of Marc’s order, I didn’t itch or anything—an indication that the fish they used in the dish was as fresh as it can be. Regardless of how it looks in my photo (sorry, I was having trouble making it look more appetizing), the tinapa flakes were crunchy without being dry and had a distinct yummy taste of guisado (onion, garlic and tomato saute). I love onion when it’s cooked well—the tinapa flakes had just the right amount of onions that gave the dish its not-so-dry texture.
Each Filipino Breakfast Set came with Garlic Rice, atchara (pickled papaya), hot tea / coffee / chocolate, mini fruit juice, and egg (you can have the egg scrambled or sunny-side-up). The garlic rice, atchara, and egg are a favorite combination we Filipinos love—so they can’t really go wrong with that. At the price of Php350, you expect the rice to be well-cooked, which I’m glad I wasn’t disappointed.
The juice/shake of the day they served us was banana. Banana isn’t really on my list of favorite fruits whenever I order shakes or juices (I always go for mango, orange, or pineapple), and it was only for the sake of this review that I tried it. Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed the banana shake. The shake worked real well with the hot chocolate they served us, it wasn’t too sweet, not too milky either. Drinking it was actually like drinking mashed up banana—the shake/juice was pure nectar of fresh banana with just the right amount of sweetness.
Another part of the meal I loved was the hot chocolate. I would have been in sheer bliss if they served hot chocolate the way they do at Sonya’s Garden Bed and Breakfast in Tagaytay—drink all you can. Because really, I can down about two more cups of the hot chocolate! Unlike commercial chocolate tablea drinks, the hot chocolate at 1771 Sentro was smooth and creamy. It didn’t have the yucky sour after-taste of low quality tablea—not at all. Frankly, it kind of reminded me of the delicious hot chocolate tablea I bought in Cagayan de Oro: smooth, naturally creamy, and oddly comforting.
1771 Sentro re-opened sometime in May (I’m not sure though, my minds a bit blurry when it comes to remembering dates). I say “re-opened” because where it stands used to be where Portico 1771 stood. According to the friendly manager, the owners re-modeled the place and re-branded it—but bottom line, it was still managed by the same company. From the Asian fusion of Portico 1771, this little nook of delightful food is now a haven for delectable Modern Filipino cuisine. I can’t judge if this was an improvement—I wasn’t able to try the food at Portico 1771—but I can say offhand that it’s worth a visit.
I hope my husband already booked a table for ten, because I have a feeling it will be hard to get a table after the fun run. We’ve also invited our college friends for breakfast—they’re as stingy as we are but hopefully they’ll enjoy 1771 Sentro as much as we did and see that Php350 will be well worth the value they get for yummy food!