Have you ever tried authentic food from Puerto Rico? Experience different Puerto Rican flavors with a trip to Sofrito, a little restaurant in Saledo Village, Makati. Here, you get a fuss-free and down home authentic Puerto Rican meal, prepared by Millie Quinones. The charming and warm Puerto Rican will probably remind you of your favorite aunt, always welcoming customers with a smile and serving her home country's comfort food with a personal touch. Together with her Filipino husband, Jay, Millie runs this hole in the wall located right beside Felipe & Sons barberdashery along San Agustin Street.
Sofrito: Authentic Puerto Rican Homecooking in Salcedo Village
No frills, just good Puerto Rican eats
It's always a great experience learning about a country by means of their cuisine, and for adventurous foodies always on the lookout for something new, Sofrito is an option when you are craving for new flavors served in a very casual restaurant. It's also a little bit familiar with its flavors, as Puerto Rican food has Spanish roots. It is no fuss, always homey, and reasonably priced at this eatery.
Rellenos de Papa
You can start your Puerto Rican meal with Rellenos de papa (P80/piece, P150/2 pieces), and a bite will remind you of croquetas. This mashed potato fritter at Sofrito is stuffed with some spiced meat and then fried.
Sofrito has become very popular because of their Mofongo (P100/3 pieces), a snack that can also be ordered as a full meal: Mofongo with shrimp in garlic sauce (P300), which comes with white rice and beans. Mofongo is a popular plantain dish in Puerto Rico that can be consumed on its own as savory snack or mixed with other ingredients for a more complete meal. An order of the plantain balls might prove difficult to share, as the flavors are addicting and tempting to consume all on your own. Three balls of mashed plantains are mixed with chicharon bits, and swim in a small plate of garlic sauce.
Arroz con Frijoles, Platanos Manduros y Pernil
For a heftier meal option, try Sofrito's Arroz con Frijoles, Platanos Manduros y Pernil (P400). It can remind you of a deconstructed arroz ala cubana with its ingredients -- protein, bananas, and rice. Flavors are different though, with the earthiness of the beans served in a cup. Mix them in your rice and have a spoonful with every forkful of the meat.
Sofrito also offers Pastelón (P300), a dish that is distinctively Puerto Rican. It reminds me of Itaian lasagna, or Greek moussaka, with its layered presentation: sweet saba, ground beef, green beans, cheese. A plate includes white rice and beans.
Another meal companion to try is the Alcapurrias (P80). One can notice the trend among the items you can have at Sofrito as starters: starchy, mealy, crisp, and fried. The frequent use of bananas in savory dishes at Sofrito is also a welcome treat for the palate as we are mostly used to having the fruit in dessert form. The Alcapurrias is no exception to the mealy, crisp, and fried category, as the stick of fritter is doughy with seasoned meat in the middle. It is more compact than the rellenos, which is softer.
A handful of dessert options are available at Sofrito: Tres Leches (P200), Coconut Rice (P100), Brookie Sundae (P150), and Rum Cake (P100). Generous on the rum and accompanied by some whip cream and raisins, the spherical serving of cake may seem quite small but it certainly packs a lot of sweetness. You can also enjoy this dessert with ice cream (Rum Cake ala mode - P150) for a more indulgent treat after your Puerto Rican meal.
Sofrito is located at the ground floor LPL Mansion at 122 San Agustin, Makati (right beside Felipe & Sons). Open Monday to Thursday 11am - 9pm and Friday 11am - 10pm. Cash basis only. Like Sofrito in Facebook (/sofritocafe) for updates.