Why Serye's Kare-Kare With Bagoong Reminds Me of Home #Serye

With the recent Presidential election in mind this year, me and the not-so-food critics decided to elect the best-tasting dish at Sérye, to give the readers a sense of how the "dish candidates" ranked against each other.
We also rated their service, and ambiance. And while they offer a wide selection of exceptional dishes, there are still shades of differences that will help make our version of election a lot easier.

But first, a little background of the real jewel and legend among Manila's best restaurants. Allow me to say that Serye has captured the essence of the tradition, culture and heritage of Pinoys, at its most traditional style and highest standards for Filipino cuisine. Serye created the perfect symphony of food, drink and atmosphere altogether.

Sérye means succession and it is a continuation of what they've learned from their families. A representation of generations of cooking (and eating) tradition infused with a personal touch from culinary learnings and experiences.
If you are a local, you'll probably agree with me that the name Engracia Cruz Reyes is legendary, as she was the founder of the Aristocrat. Serye is the fourth incarnation by that famous foodist.
Their first ever branch was in Quezon Memorial Circle then a few months later, they opened in Sucat. Their Sucat branch is near the airport and most balikbayans make Sérye their first stop upon arrival and their last meal before flying out.
It’s easy to pretend you’re in Greece with its Machuca flooring and simple wood tables with high-backed leather chairs. Although they patterned Sérye after the French bistro cafes and the facade also has a Virgilian feel to it, the cozy and homely feel all throughout is amplified by the delicious rustic but modern Filipino food.
"We serve straightforward Filipino food made without shortcuts. We serve Filipino dishes the according to our taste and the way we’ve always known them, but we also keep ourselves abreast of changes in our customers dining habits and preferences as well as new developments in techniques in food service and preparation so that we can follow or even direct the natural progression of our cuisine." said Alvin Reyes Lim, owner of Serye.
See the high-backed leather chairs?
Dividing the casual dining area from the function or “receiving” room is a wall partition with modern jalousies and subway tiles giving you a feeling that you are about to enter a modern rendition of a typical mid-century Manila bungalow.

Adorning the walls and ceiling are metal works and wall finishes that are reminiscent of calado embroidery but using a more modern geometric pattern.
With the store’s design, we believe that people will find it to be and good place to meet and entertain.

A great selection of bottled organic jams, caviars, and sauces with a healthy twist are also available and in demand on site but you can also order online.
Prior to our epicurean feast, Ms.Nana warned us (and our tummies ) about Serye’s Kare-Kare. We won't be returning to our usual "insane" self after tasting the legendary dish.
It's just hailed as “the best” by Food Network’s show, Food Wars Asia!
If it’s good enough for their palates (and Nana's), it’s certainly good enough for ours.
So without further ado, here are our hands-down, yummiest Serye dish top choices :)
The Boneless Crispy Pata, Classic Kare-Kare, Binagoongang Lechon Kawali, Laing Con Camaron Rebosado and Special Sizzling Sisig are said to be their banner products and we just had to try all of it. Their Bibingka Classic was my new favorite and also have developed its own following specially during merienda time. Was not able to try their Halo-Halo but I heard it was equally exquisite.

But my top choices would be (drum roll) : Serye's Kare-Kare and Pork Binagoongan! 
If you know me well, I would forever choose my all-time favorite, which is the Pork Sinigang. But I had to elect these two as the top choices and just mentioning the dishes gets me salivating. The sauce indeed is rich, thick and flavorful; the vegetables are served crisp and not soggy; the meat is tender, the oxtail and tripe taste so clean, not malansa or fishy at all.

They make the Kare-Kare and peanut sauce from scratch (NO MSG). And even roast the peanuts in-house. The bagoong, which they also make in-house, is neither too sweet nor too salty, it’s seasoned just right and complements the kare-kare very well.

I'm really particular about bagoongs as my mother makes one from scratch as well. When I tasted Serye's bagoong, it reminded me of home.

What I love about the Crispy Pork Binagoongan is how they tediously prepare it to make it as tasty, tender and crispy. And the plating should be exclusive as it can also influence a diner's perception of, and response to, food. At Serye, everything is exclusive.  And they make sure always that everyone gets a share of everything.
On the spur of the moment on one birthday lunch, me and the in-laws have decided to visit Serye Commonwealth branch and the food there never gets old (the interior maybe, but never the food), even after decades in the business of pleasing and pampering its loyal circle of fans. It continues to live up to its reputation as one of Q.C's finest eating establishments.
At high noon, the place was packed and I settled yet again for a refreshing lemongrass iced tea. If you are already familiar with the taste, then go ahead and indulge. For those who prefer otherwise, opt for the Calamansi flavored iced tea that they brew themselves (reg 85 / grande 115 / pitcher 345).
ICED TANGLAD, reg 85 / grande 115 / pitcher 345
Buko Pandan Shake, P100

Laing Con Camaron Rebosado, P350 Classic 

Boneless Crispy Pata
Regular (2 to 3 persons), P365-495
Medium (3 to 5 persons), P495-885
Large (5 to 7 persons), P885-1,120

Crispy Tuna Tail, P130/100g

Kinilaw na Tanigue, P325 (a la carte), P165 (pica-pica)

Grilled Tuna, P160/100g

Binagoongang Lechon Kawali, P475

Classic Kare-Kare, P475

Chicken and Pork Adobo, P385

Lumpiang Sili at Keso Frito, P290

Kilawing Tokwa't Baboy, P135

Bibingka ClassicP135

Apple Pie, P150

Pineapple Pie, P150

Mango Pie Fleurette, P150

Banana and Chocolate Cream Pie, P150

Gateau Sans Rival, P150

Helping Alvin in the business is his wife, Gretchen Consunji-Lim who also comes from a family that cooks very well. Gretchen helms Manilabake, the artisanal bakery which provides all of Sérye’s baked items such as the cakes, pies and breads.
Everything you see here is heavenly but I recommend you go and try the Mango Fleurette.

I realized that Serye, just like a Pinoy, possesses a positive trait--being hospitable.
You will feel pampered the moment when you step into the place. The staff is truly welcoming, and it’s clear from the beginning that they want you to have a stellar meal.

So, go ahead and visit Serye, now :)
So, you wan't to try Serye's dishes but can't go out?
Worry not as Sérye offers food delivery and catering. You may call our outlets at the following numbers:
Quezon Memorial Circle, Diliman 426-2693 and 924-3411
Santana Grove, Sucat, Paranaque 825-4691 and 826-9317

They can also accommodate private functions.
The Quezon Memorial Circle branch has a maximum capacity of up to 180 persons and also has two function rooms, one can hold 70 persons while the other has a capacity of 30. They can be combined for bigger groups. The function room at the Sucat branch can seat up to 50 guests and the store has a total indoor capacity of 95 persons.

They've also just launched Klub Sérye.
Members are entitled to special discounts and freebies and right now, they are giving away 20% Discount e-Coupons upon signing up. You can register by visiting their stores and signing up in their registration sheet.

Serye also has an ongoing Awesome Serye Moment promo on Facebook. Get a chance to win P3,000 Serye Gift Certificates when you Like, Comment and Share your Serye moment on FB.

Awesome Serye Moment Promo Mechanics:

  • Go to www.facebook.com/seryeph and ‘Like” the page.
  • Upload your Awesome Serye moment photo.
  • Briefly comment on your Awesome Serye Moment photo.
  • Share your post and get your friends to like, comment and share.
  • The most awesome Facebook post (like, comment, share) for the month wins!
Serye is at Quezon Memorial Circle, Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City is open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, you may reach them at (02) 9243411 / (02) 4262693. At Santana Grove, Dr. A. Santos Avenue, San Antonio, Parañaque City, they are open from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, you may call them at (02) 8254691 / (02) 8269317.

Online, Serye can be found at www.serye.ph and Facebook: www.Facebook.com/seryeph, Twitter: @séryeph and Instagram: séryeph

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