The South is really coming into its own as the place to be for food. What once was burdened with limited dining options is now being littered with foodie favorites migrating from The North. With the dearth of tipsy grub options, the area was screaming for something cheesy, cheap, and chill. Now that Silantro has arrived, do we have a place that finally ticks all the check boxes?
Eating at Silantro, especially during peak hours, requires commitment, as the lines do tend to get long; the queue at the Alabang Town Center branch is particularly bad on weekend evenings. For our first foray at around 7:30 PM on a Thursday evening, we were 13th. Due to other stuff we had to do (Christmas cramming), we left the line, which meant we missed our chance when our reservation was called out. Having already inhaled the sweet smell of Mexican fare, there was no turning back. Relisting at 8:45 PM had us 5th, which turned out to only be a 10 minute wait. Score!
The menu is pretty straightforward. Appetizers, fish, mains, sides, drinks, and tacos of both the hard and soft variety. If you’re looking for a lengthy list of elegant concoctions, Silantro might not be the place for you. What it does offer is some simple, straightforward, and inexpensive fusion food.
Silantro’s Beef Nachos (Php 180) have been on our radar since the first time we laid our eyes on them via social media. Expectations and reality rarely converge, but this was an exception. The mound of chips, topped with beef chunks, tomatoes, and guacamole cream, adorned with melted cheese, was a sight to behold. Everything on the plate was just so tasty, and the price point is so attractive that you never have to make the sacrifice of sharing the impressive serving with more than one person (unless you are on a diet, in which case it is best avoid this place completely). Pair this with beer, and you’ve got yourself a party.
The Completo (Php 110), a soft or hard shell taco with your choice of 3 meats (Lamb, Lengua, Oxtail, Fish, Beef, Chicken, or Pork), was non-negotiable. Any aspiring Mexican joints should serve a mean taco, and this one was the bully on the block. I went with the beef, lengua, and oxtail, while Micah opted for the lamb, lengua, and pork. The picture doesn’t do justice to the gargantuan wave of meat and lettuce crashing down on the helpless soft taco. Figuring out what approach to use in eating the taco (How do I roll this bad boy? Should I just eat it like a salad? Where is a bib when I need one?) is half the battle. The other half is finding it within yourself to actually finish the taco. The different textures and flavors of the meats shine through (the oxtail was divine), giving credence to the saying that three meats are better than one.
Not knowing that the servings would be absolutely insane, we made the mistake of ordering a third dish, the Silantro Pork Ribs (Php 310). Grilled ribs with a kick, served with a side of savory garlic and corn cilantro rice, it was solid but nothing to write home about compared to our other two orders. The ribs were cooked nicely, the char added a nice crust, with a special spice blend separating it from the plain old ribs that can be had at other places.
Silantro was an absolute delight, and the void built up in our bellies while waiting for a table was filled ten times over. When in need of a quick Mexican fix, a place to down some beers with friends, or a meeting place for future mini-reunions, you really can’t go wrong with Silantro. Now that I think about it, I already dread (riiiiiiiight) the amount of meat, nachos, and beer I will be ingesting in 2017 from this place alone.
Hits – Tasty AF. Attractive price point. Food hits the spot. Quality of ingredients. Serving size. Value for money.
Misses – Three instances of hair (since it is on soft opening, we hope this gets solved soon). A touch more fresh cilantro would have done wonders to the freshness levels of the food (but this might be a concession to the herb’s polarizing nature in the Philippines).
Suggestion – Provide diners with a pile of table napkins, since it does tend to get messy.
Any Silantro experiences you’d like to share? Was this article helpful in ensuring you didn’t over-order? I am looking forward to reading your comments below!