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October 16, 2013


I've been to Sentro 1771 once and the I thought the food was great. I liked Sinigang na Corned Beef so much so its kind of a good news that they will be opening up a branch at Capital Commons which is just a walk away from my apartment! Who wants to go with me?

Read on for more info.

Pioneering Filipino restaurant Sentro 1771 breaks ground at Capitol Commons.

Something familiar yet exciting. Something distinctly homegrown yet world-class. Modern Filipino restaurant Sentro 1771 is set to open its first standalone restaurant in February 2014, as it finds a new home in another Filipino original, Capitol Commons.

Sentro 1771 is considered a pioneer in modern Filipino cuisine. When it first opened in 2002, Filipino cuisine had long been stereotyped and forever associated with banana leaves and bamboo. Sentro 1771 proved that Filipino cuisine could benefit from Western techniques, borrow from its Asian neighbors, and be plated in a sophisticated style yet still retain its appeal to Filipinos looking for comfort food that was familiar yet pleasantly surprising.

Executive Head Chef Vicky Rose Pacheco said that the opening of Sentro at Capitol Commons would be in time to premiere the new menu of the restaurant chain. As always, it will be simple and delicious, promised Pacheco, but it will be food that Filipinos love to eat but may not have the time to prepare.

While the famous Sinigang na Corned Beef will still be included in the menu, there will be new dishes like Pesang Dalag, Sinigang na Ulang sa Kamias, and Native Organic Chicken Tinola, all Filipino home-cooked favorites presented in a world-class dining setting. Chef Pacheco said that along with an extended adobo section and more vegetable and salad choices, the new Sentro 1771 menu would have new pica-pica (appetizer) dishes. “There will be new dishes that people probably have never seen before,” she said. One of these is the Caramelized Green Mango Bites, sliced green mangoes that are grilled, dusted with sugar, torched and then mixed with bagoong, tomatoes, red eggs, onion, chicharon, then finally presented as a roll.

Sentro 1771 at Capitol Commons will also feature the famous Rated GG, the poor man’s fish (galunggong) presented as fillets in garlic and olive oil.

“When we first opened, Fiipinos couldn’t believe that galunggong could be served with olive oil, and in a nice platter at that,” said Ricky Gutierrez, chief executive officer and co-owner of the 1771 Group of Restaurants. “And then we priced it that much, people still didn’t believe it would sell. Today it’s one of our strongest selling items,” he added.

Gutierrez said that when he first learned of the Capitol Commons integrated mixed-use development, he asked if he could be considered to become part of it. “I liked the concept and I like the way they will build the community,” he said. According to Ortigas & Co., developer of the 10-hectare former site of the Rizal Provincial Capitol, Capitol Commons will feature stunning architecture, which allows strong and meaningful elements of Filipino culture to blend with brilliant and modern execution.

Gutierrez added that the location—conveniently near EDSA and C5—was a big factor in his decision to build in Capitol Commons. Although the group already has a restaurant in the heart of the Ortigas business district, Capitol Commons offered something new to the group. It is at the southern end of Ortigas, at the crossroads of Shaw Boulevard and Meralco Avenue—still at the heart of Pasig yet only a few minutes’ drive to Quezon City and Makati.

“We’ve been looking for another Ortigas location. We knew the Ortigas market well enough to know that we had a market in the area that we were not yet serving,” he said. “If you want market presence, you have to go to the market, you don’t wait for the market to come to you,” said Gutierrez. He observed that people tend to dine out near where they live because heavy traffic and the inconvenient distance often discourage them from going farther. Capitol Commons, being at the intersection of major roads, is quite accessible for Quezon City, Pasig, and Mandaluyong residents. Moreover, Ortigas & Co. has built a road on the Meralco side of the property, essentially widening Meralco Avenue and increasing ease of access into the property.

Gutierrez and Pacheco both believe that the dining crowd at Capitol Commons will be quite different from their current patrons at the two other Sentro restaurants. “The crowd in this area is very traditional, and expect value for their money,” said Pacheco, adding that Sentro 1771 already has a following among upper and upper-middle class Filipinos, and its experience with the central Ortigas business district crowd has gained for it knowledge of both business and casual diners.

This being Sentro 1771’s first standalone restaurant, it will offer diners the unique experience of Sentro dining amidst the relaxed charm of the outdoors. The two-storey structure for the restaurant will be inspired by American colonial architecture, with simple, clean lines, plenty of wood and warm colors. As in the other restaurants in the 1771 group, its walls will be adorned with artwork from contemporary Filipino artists.

A healthier menu will greet diners when Sentro 1771 at Capitol Commons opens by the fourth quarter of 2013. After proving that Filipino food can be colorful and comprise more than fried foods and stews, the restaurant is now going to show that Filipino food can be healthy as well. To this end, the new menu will have dishes that use organic and gluten-free ingredients. “If you have a cholesterol problem but you still want to eat well, you can always go to Sentro,” said Gutierrez.

The Capitol area is already known as a food destination among locals, it being the location of several cult hole-in-the-wall favorites. “What Sentro adds is something a little less informal yet still feels like you’re entertaining in your own dining room,” said Pacheco. That being said, Gutierrez is quick to add that Sentro 1771 at Capitol Commons will be on a par with international restaurants. “If someone from overseas came over, we’d like for it to be comparable with their dining experience in Europe, the US or other parts of Asia,” he said.

Capitol Commons is a new integrated-use development at the corner of Meralco Avenue and Shaw Boulevard. It will feature a new branch of Unimart Supermarket, lifestyle stores and dining choices at Estancia Mall, offices for knowledge process outsourcing companies on top of the mall, the Paragon entertainment complex, and luxury condo living in the residential towers, the first of which is The Royalton.

Capitol Commons is developed by Ortigas & Co., which has 82 years of experience in property development and shopping center management. It is the company behind Metro Manila’s well-loved shopping destinations such as Greenhills Shopping Center and Tiendesitas as well as established horizontal developments like the Greenhills Subdivisions, Greenmeadows, and Valle Verde Subdivisions.

For more information, you may call 4013332.

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