Years ago, a popular donut brand advertised its croissants to the strains of French music to convey authenticity. In the same vein, a popular coffee brand showed a couple sipping their instant coffee in lieu of café au lait with Paris in the background. Then, there was also a time when two French-themed bakeries went head-to-head to stage their version of the French Revolution, armed with baguettes and French bread. You’d think by now a lot of Filipinos would be more familiar with French cuisine but ask the casual foodie what his/her favorite French food is and most likely you’d get a blank stare. Or pray you don’t get “French fries” for an answer.
Well, that must be because we don’t really have French influences in our culture, including our cuisine, much in the same way as our neighbors such as Vietnam and Cambodia have, being French territories in the past. Much of what the casual foodie knows about French food points to either the ‘Filipinized’ taste of French breads and pastries or the gastronomic treats that sound intimidating to the ear and even more so to the pocket. Which is why an invitation to sample French comfort food at Cuillere in Serendra at Bonifacio High Street, came as a refreshing and welcome experience, sans pretensions and intimidation.
I first met Malou Fores (Mamou as many call her), the sister of Margarita Fores, when I took on an assignment for a magazine that featured one of Malou’s food shop, The Blue Kitchen. It never occurred to me that I’d see her again but don’t look now, she has her very own restaurant. I even had to blink my eyes a few times if she was the one I met before. I loved her Blue Kitchen goodies so I was excited to see how she renders her favorites for Mamou, a restaurant at the heart of Serendra.
No doubt, the Pinoy has gone global, his taste buds included. He/she has acquired a liking for tastes and flavors that transcend our borders but probe deeper and there’s this deep-seated, deeply-rooted liking for Pinoy food. Your happyfoodies are no exception. We love Pinoy food, period. But is there a place for Pinoy food in a fine dining set-up? The people at Sentro 1771 would like to believe so. The purveyors of modern Filipino cuisine, Sentro 1771 puts a twist to Pinoy fare. Their breakfast offerings at their Serendra location list more Pinoy selections than the Western kind. But are they worth waking up early for? Your happyfoodies were more than happy to check them out.