Comfort food then and now: Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina

I’d first visited Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina in Kapitolyo during a disastrous date. We waited in line for about one and a half hour (it was a Friday night and the eve of a long weekend), and after we’d finally had dinner, we asked a server to take our the rest of our food, only to get home and discover we were given the wrong foil-packed meal.

Despite this less-than-amiable start, I keep coming back here. When I met Hali, this was where we had one of our first dates. From EDSA, we’d either commute or take a long 40-minute walk to this beloved restaurant.

(Did you know that from McDonalds in Greenfield, it’s just a long straight walk to Silantro?)

Our shared favorite is Silantro’s beef nachos. It comes with a generous serving of flavorful chunks of beef, tomatoes, melted cheese and a small tray of dips (garlic sauce, guacamole and a spicy dip). It’s supposed to be an appetizer or snack, but large enough to be a meal in itself.

Here are some shots of our food, from the many times we’d been here. All photos taken from phone camera.

First taste of beef nachos. It comes with three dips.

I also love their beef skewers, roasted to medium rare and served with a cup of rice. It has a delicious smoky flavor that’s perfect while still warm.

Hali’s fond of their caliente wings, which are fried chicken wings in sweet-spicy barbecue sauce. The flavor is strong and best devoured with its accompanying portion of shredded lettuce. With a cold glass of root beer, preferably.

Beef skewers done according to preference (rare, medium rare, well done). Comes with a cup of rice.

We’d also tried their tacos, quesadilla, pancholo’s burger, seafood paella, pork fingers and Mexican rib-eye steak. It’s always a feast, somehow.

We were rarely disappointed, and if asked our least favorite, it would be the beef quesadilla (unlike the usual quesadillas, it’s thick and the inside tastes like a mushroom burger sauce) and ribeye steak (ours were a tough meat and it’s ironically one of the most expensive in the menu).

Pancholon burger with fries.
Ribeye steak, one of the most expensive items in the menu.

All in all, Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina offers delicious Mexican food, within reasonable rates. We’d usually spend P500-600 for a full meal for two, and we’d always go home with happy tummies and a little bit of leftover. It’s no wonder people always line up to get seated inside this local restaurant.

Aside from the good food, we’d shared so many moments in Silantro that I’d come to associate it with that generally good feeling.

Celebrating Father’s Day with Halis family.

Normally, we’d only go here for a casual snack. But this is also where we had our first date, Hali’s family celebration of Father’s Day weeks before his dad passed away, and finally our last dinner out before my flight to Malaysia, where I’ll be living for a year (or more).

Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina is one of my ultimate favorite restaurants in the Philippines, and it’s one of the things I’ll miss there.

Practical info: Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina

Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina is a casual restaurant offering Fil-Mex food, which one of its owners describes as “Mexican adjusted to the Filipino taste buds.” Its first branch started in Dagupan City in Pangasinan, and it has currently limited branches in Metro Manila.

We’d been here several times over the past 2 years, and most of the time we have to wait for an average of 40 minutes to get seated. The wait is longer on selected days such as Friday nights or holidays on a weekend. It’s such a testament to how much we love this restaurant that we’re willing to get in line every time. Anyway, do not go here if you’re already hungry.

Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina currently has branches in the following locations:

  • Kapitolyo, Pasig City
  • Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City
  • UP Town Center, Quezon City
  • Ayala Fairview Terraces, Quezon City
  • Ayala Malls Serin, Tagaytay City

For address and schedules of its individual branches, you can check out Zomato’s guide on Silantro.

Suggested budget: P500-600 for 2 people

You can find Silantro’s official Facebook page here.

 

Have you been to Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina? What can you say about it?

P.S. Looking for feel-good snacks? You might also be interested in Kitchen Central in Makati City.

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