CONSIDERING how many delicious and impressive Filipino dishes there are on the menu of Serye Restaurant and Café, what do you think are the Top 5 dishes of the restaurant that diners crave for?
Let’s do a rundown:
1) Boneless Crispy Pata (Php140 per 100 grams). Crispy Pata, as it is, is already always a winner on every Filipino restaurant’s menu. But Serye goes a step further by deboning it and slicing it as well. So all diners have to do is take a slice and enjoy it with a knife and a fork. Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata is pork trotters cooked three times after being deboned—boiled in its marinade, baked to dry up the skin, and then fried to a golden crisp. The result: tender and succulent meat and crispy skin. It comes in three sizes — Regular (good for 2 to 3 persons) at Php365 to 495; Medium (good for 3 to 5 persons) at Php495 to 885; and Large (good for 5 to 7 persons at Php885 to 1,120.
2) Classic Kare-Kare (Php475). It is oxtail and tripe stewed in a beef-annatto broth thickened with rice and peanuts. Serye’s Classic Kare-Kare is special because it is made from scratch and prepared according to how Kare-Kare is prepared during the Spanish period. No shortcuts. The chefs roast the peanuts, toast the rice, boil beef tail and knee cap to make beef stock, and utilize onions and aromatic herbs for added flavor.
3) Binagoongang Lechon Kawali (Php475). This dish is inspired by two Filipino favorites, Binagoongang Baboy (pork strips cooked in bagoong or shrimp paste) and Lechon Kawali (pork belly deep-fried until the skin is golden and crispy). Serye makes its own bagoong, which it uses to prepare its Binagoongang Lechon Kawali.
4) Laing con Camaron Rebosado (Php350). A Bicolano specialty, Laing is gabi or taro leaves stewed in coconut cream with ground pork and shrimp paste. Camaron Rebosado is crunchy shrimps that have been breaded and fried. In this Serye dish, three crunchy shrimps sit on top of a platter of Laing.
5) Chicken and Pork Adobo (Php385). Chicken and pork are combined and braised in garlic and vinegar. Serye uses artisanal fermented vinegar with soy sauce, although Serye’s Chicken and Pork Adobo has more of a sour, cooked vinegar taste than of soy sauce. It leans towards the Batangas style of cooking adobo, which is garlicky. This new and improved version of the restaurant’s adobo dish, which was launched last year, comes with quail eggs.
All five are signature dishes of Serye. They are best-sellers at Serye and are constantly being ordered by diners.
“The combination of Laing and Camaron Rebosado came as an accidental discovery. One time, I came to the restaurant and ate Laing with my rice. I also ordered Camaron Rebosado, and eating them together, I realized that they’re a good combination,” explains Serye Restaurant and Café owner Alvin Reyes Lim, whose great grandmother Engracia Cruz Reyes is the founder of The Aristocrat restaurant chain and whose grandmother Teresita Reyes is the icon behind the Mama Sita mixes and sauces line.
Recently, the restaurant added two new dishes to its menu. These are Grilled Tuna Panga and Crispy Tuna Tail, both utilizing Line-Caught Tuna (which is tuna sourced through sustainable fishing methods and therefore environment-friendly). By patronizing only line-caught tuna for its tuna dishes, Serye is able to support the sustainable seafood effort made collectively by several hotels and restaurants in the metro to encourage Filipino fishermen to employ only sustainable fishing methods and refrain from destructive fishing methods that will eventually take their toll on the Philippine seas.
Grilled Tuna Panga (Php160 per 100 grams). It is tender and juicy tuna jaw served with dipping sauce.
Crispy Tuna Tail (Php130 per 100 grams). This new dish of Serye is not just crispy. It is as crispy as the restaurant’s Crispy Pata because the tuna tail is cooked following the same method as Crispy Pata.
(Serye is located at Quezon Memorial Circle, Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City; with telephone numbers (02) 924-3411 and 426-2693; and at Santana Grove, Dr. A. Santos Ave., San Antonio, Parañaque City; with telephone numbers (02) 825-4691 and 826-9317.)