There are over 300 ways to cook pancit. And yet, we tend to stick to the all-time favorites: Palabok, Pancit Malabon, Bihon Guisado, Sotanghon Guisado and Pancit Canton. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with the tried and tested, for those looking for a new way to enjoy noodles, there’s Pancit Center. Established in 1978 by Corazon Angeles, it was first called “Cory’s Pancit Malabon” and was initially a takeout counter that specialized in–you guessed it–Pancit Malabon. In the 1990s it became Cory’s Kitchen that also served Filipino dishes. In 2011, inspired by his travels, Cory’s grandson Marc joined the family business and came up with the idea to start serving different pancit dishes from all over the Philippines. Offering 28 pancit varieties from Luzon to Mindanao, Pancit Center makes the ubiquitous dish more interesting.
For starters, there’s Tawi-tawi’s Pastil (P40 / 3pcs). It’s basically a sotanghon-filled empanada that’s eaten with a thick, sweet, and spicy vinegar-based sauce. The sotanghon itself is barely seasoned and it’s meant to be that way because its accompanying sauce is packed with a punch.
Pastil from Tawi-tawi
Batil Patong (P75 solo / P930 party size) and Pancit Cabagan (P65 solo / P810 party size) both hail from the north and are both best-sellers. Batil Patong is from Tuguegarao and its names says it all: batil means egg white soup and patong refers to its various toppings such as vegetables, chicharon, ground beef, liver, and poached egg yolk. The batil can either be used as a dip for the noodles or can be poured over the whole dish. Just go easy on it because it’s quite salty and could overpower the whole dish if not used carefully. Pancit Cabagan is an overloaded pancit from Isabela. Thin egg noodles drenched in a gravy-like sauce are topped with quail eggs, onion leaves, and Lechon Carahay which is like bagnet but sliced thinner.
Batil Patong from Tuguegarao
Pancit Cabagan from Isabela
Pancit Bato (P75 solo / P930 party size), Efuven Guisado (P75 solo / P930 party size), and Tamis Anghang Chami (P65 / P810 party size) are also some of Pancit Center’s best-sellers. Pancit Bato is called thus because the flat, dry noodles in the dish that comes from Bato, Camarines Sur. What makes this guisado-style pancit distinctive is that it is topped with dinuguan. The pancit itself is tasty, but for me it’s the good dinuguan that really makes the dish. Efuven Guisado from Iloilo was quite a revelation. I did not expect the wheat noodles topped with chopseuy fixings to taste as good as it did! It ended up being my favorite pancit among the many good ones that I tried in Pancit Center. Tamis Anghang Chami from Lucena, Quezon, is exactly as the name implies: sweet and spicy dark sauce coats thick Miki noodles and is then topped with shredded chicken and quail eggs. Mind the chili bits when you eat this. If you’re not used to that level of spiciness, it could take you by surprise. I learned this the hard way.
Pancit Bato from Camarines Sur
Efuven Guisado from Iloilo
Tamis Anghang Chami from Quezon
Pancit Center is constantly updating its menu because the possibilities for pancit are endless. Two of their new additions are Pancit Marilao (P65 solo / P810 party size) and Lokot-lokot (P120 / pack). Bulacan’s pancit Marilao is basically the same as Palabok but it has a couple of ingredients that I’ve never before seen on a pancit dish: kamias and okoy bits. The kamias serves as a substitute to calamansi and the okoy adds flavor and crunch. Zamboanga’s Lokot-lokot is a kind of crispy pancit in tube form. In Pancit Center it’s eaten as dessert and served with mais con hielo. It tastes like a compact barquillos but with a more interesting texture. It can also be eaten with ice cream or halo-halo.
Pancit Marilao from Bulacan
Lokot-lokot from Zamboanga served with Mais con Hielo
Pancit Center’s gamut of pancit dishes come in solo to party servings and everything in between. Below is a guide to their serving sizes.
- Solo (P55-75)
- Junior: 2-3 pax (P125-145)
- Small: 3-5 pax (P250-310)
- Medium: 6-8 pax (P360-460)
- Large: 10-12 pax (P470-620)
- Extra Large: 15-18 pax (P570-770)
- Party : 20-25 pax (P710-930)
Since all their four branches are located in Pasig, they only deliver in the Pasig and Mandaluyong areas. They will deliver to Makati as long as orders are placed a day in advance. Those of us who live outside those cities will just have to trek to Pasig for our pancit fix until, fingers crossed, a Pancit Center is built in our vicinity.
Get yourself a Pancit Center Discount Card for FREE just by following these 3 easy steps (Terms & Conditions apply):
- LIKE Pancit Center's Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pancit-Center/116969045048672)
- REQUEST your personalized Discount Card through a Private Message
- PRINT and present once you order
Photos by Albert Peradilla.