Sofrito or refogado is a sauce used as a base in Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American cooking. Preparations may vary, but it typically consists of aromatic ingredients cut into small pieces and sauteed or braised in cooking oil.
No, you don’t want to live like a sauce. But going to this restaurant around the block makes you want to pack your stuff, and head to Puerto Rico. That’s the initial vibe my friends and I got when we dined in this hole-in-the-wall place along San Agustin Street. With the place filled with Puerto Rican tunes, we readied our grumbling tummies for some authentic Puerto Rican cuisine.
We were first served with complimentary banana chips as we decided on what to order. And this was gone in an instant! The crispiness of each chip was just right to make one taste the fruit. It was also slightly salty brought about by the spice added in. This was a good snack to start our dining journey.
This was one comforting soup. The taste was very simple with all the spices and chicken to make one feel good. This small bowl came with plantains, which went well with the soup, while the big one came with a Mofongo ball.
Mofongo is basically fried mashed plantain with broth, garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings/bacon. The taste? It was salty for me. It’s probably because of the chicharron placed on top and inside the ball. But this was a good balance to their Asopao. So if you’re heading out here, I suggest you pair this with their soup.
No, that’s not lasagna. It does look like it but I guess, this is Puerto Rico’s version of it. Instead of lasagna sheets, those are sliced plantains. In between those layers are ground beef, cheese, and green beans. This came with beans and rice though I wasn’t a fan of pairing these two with the viand. The Pastelon is good on its own. I’m not sure if it can be ordered solo but if it did, I would definitely grab one.
And this is how they do lechon: drizzled with garlic sauce, paired with mixed rice, and bananas on the side. The taste: MUY DELICIOSO! The flavor of the whole meal was rich and everything just went well together. Four of us shared this and yeah, we pretty much wanted our own plate.
Yay for free desserts! We had mini-versions of these two cakes. The Tres Leches Bizcocho is a 3 milk cake while the Sopa Borracha is a Bacardi rum-soaked cake. I would have preferred the latter if it were not for the raisins. There’s a slight taste of rum in it. The other one was just ordinary. Since these were just samplers, we probably could have tasted the flavor more in its regular size.
Of course I had to try their coffee! The acidity on this one was just right as I was able to drink it all on its own.
I had no expectations going here as I’ve never tried Puerto Rican food. It’s different from that of Mexico’s or Spain’s but similar in that it’s very rich in flavor and spices. Some of their meals are of high price but justified by its taste and the ingredients used.
So, if you happen to drop by Makati, do dine at Sofrito. I’m sure you’ll feel right at home with their homecooked meals while listening to some Latin music.
G/F LPL Mansion, San Agustin Street,
Salcedo Village, Makati City