October 10, 2010

Sérye Café Filipino - Something new brews from an old favorite





In the midst of foreign-themed coffee shops operating in and outside the metro, the famed family of restaurateurs is now brewing a new dining experience with Sérye Café Filipino.

Back in 1936, a time when what was foreign was in vogue, Engracia Cruz Reyes, the Reyes family matriarch, started the first Filipino themed restaurant. It is not surprising then that 4th generation Reyeses, the descendants of Engracia, introduce again a new dining concept with a nationalistic bent.

“We wanted Sérye to be a coffee shop that celebrates Filipino coffee, cuisine, and culture,” Alvin Reyes Lim, the company’s president, shares. “The changes on the stores’ look and feel, particularly the menu offerings were recreated to follow this theme.”

One can see Filipino-Spanish inspired interiors, murals with patterns designed after intricate callado embroidery, and furniture with woven finish. The foods are also served in hand-made plates and bowls, in earthy hues of brown and green, crafted by renowned local potter Lanelle Abueva. Sérye also plays OPM to complete the undeniably Pinoy ambiance.

“All these have been purposively done to lend a cozy, casual, and familiar atmosphere,” Alvin enthuses.

The most exciting change for diners though, would be the menu. The Reyes family’s popular dishes like Chicken Barbque, Kare-Kare, and Boneless Crispy Pata are still available but the new menu also offers a wider array of light meals, coffee, tea and chocolate beverages as well as cakes, pastries and desserts.

Sandwiches are made with old-style pandesal, each hand rolled and allowed a slow rise before baking. They can be ordered with a choice of Adobo, Ala Cubana or Kesong Puti filling.

East meets west in pasta entrees that allow fine Filipino ingredients to shine like Kesong Puti Puttanesca and Vigan Longanisa Bolognese.

As far as coffee is concerned, Sérye celebrates both choice beans and the talent of Filipino master roasters. Their coffee is siphon-brewed, each cup is prepared as you order ensuring that you get a fresh cup. The best locally available coffee beans and chocolate are used to prepare their beverages that include Café con Yema Frappe, an iced-blended coffee with a distinct caramel custard taste, Café Mocha Manila, a hot combination of coffee and tablea and Tsokolate Eh and Ah, the delicious chocolate beverages popularized in the novels of Jose Rizal.

Traditional Filipino beverages are also featured including Salabat, a hot ginger tea that is surprisingly refreshing and invigorating, and Pandan Tanglad Tea and Pito-pito, popular Filipino infusions.

These beverages go well with only-in-Sérye’s cakes and pastries like the Mocha Manila and the Macapuno Pandan Cake, all made using select local ingredients.

Sérye Café Filipino is located at Eastwood, Quezon City; Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City; and Sucat, Paranaque.

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