We were in UP Town Center earlier to drop by Silantro during its soft opening week. The restaurant boasts of its Filipino-Mexican food and we're excited to give its fare a try.
Generally, the food was what we would call toned-down Mexican food; the sharpness, the pungency, the vibrant flavors, all of them were muted, probably to suit the Filipino palate. These tastes were replaced with the usual savory meat flavor, lots of cheese, and, we thought, lots of MSG.
First on our plate was Silantro's Quesadillas (Php 160): shredded chicken with sliced mushrooms, smothered with lots of cheese, all nestling inside a soft tortilla. The filling was delicious. It has the punctuated umami taste that many Filipinos like. The tortilla was fresh. The fries were well seasoned and flavorful, thanks to the basil confetti. They were a little soggy though.
Next, Silantro's Burrito (Php 180): a tortilla wrap filled with lengua and beef, tomatoes, rice, and french fries. The flavor of this dish was flat. Sure, all the cubes of meat were tender and seasoned, but the rice and the fries tempered all that savory flavor. We desperately needed the guacamole, the hot sauce, and garlic sauce to add some kick, but their flavors were also too subtle to be enjoyed.
Last on our table was a plate of Lucha Tacos (Php 95 for a Medio, meaning two meat items for the filling). We went for a soft taco filled with tomatoes, lettuce, hint of cilantro, lengua, and pork. This one had a bit more flavor than the burrito, but for a taco, this one was boring to the palate.
As for the place, well, the restaurant looked cool and hip.
The service had a lot of room for improvement: the waiters looked smug, they were not knowledgeable about the food they just served, and our own waiter wasn't able to tell the bar to make the mojito we ordered. Tsk tsk tsk...
Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina is on the 3rd floor of UP Town Center.