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Our Awesome Planet

June 22, 2014

SOFRITO CAFE: Authentic Puerto Rican Home Cooking in Makati

June 22, 2014

SOFRITO CAFE: Authentic Puerto Rican Home Cooking in Makati


SOFRITO CAFE by Millie is the first authentic Puerto Rican restaurant in Manila. Its name is a tribute to Puerto Rican Sofrito, a sauce of cilantro, onion, garlic, and green, red, and aji peppers used as a base flavor when cooking food.   

The Manila restaurant scene is starting to get crowded with the same food concepts. As foodies, we're always craving for something new, searching for flavors that educate us on other cultures. Sofrito is one such restaurant. 

Check out this introduction to Puerto Rican flavors in Manila...

Sofrito is located at the back of LPL Mansion, along San Agustin St., below Felipe & Sons Barberdashery.

The ambiance is simple and homey, with plain walls waiting to be filled with photos of Puerto Rico.

Meet Millie Gutierrez (photographed here with her dog Lola). She greeted us, "Hola, bienvenido!" and lovingly called my boys chiquititos, which made us feel right at home. 

Millie moved to Manila two years ago with her Filipino husband and decided to open Sofrito about four months ago. 

SOFRITO MENU: Sofrito Appetizer | Main Menu | Drinks | History

The menu is simple and limited. You can always ask Millie for a more in-depth introduction to Puerto Rican Food. 

✮ Asopao de Pollo (P150 small +10% service charge). Hearty homemade chicken soup with platanos on the side. 

This is like our arroz caldo with chunks of chicken, tomato sauce, and banana chips on the side. It's a bit salty but I still recommend it.

Empanadas (P100 for 3 pieces +10% service charge). Small empanada with sirloin ground beef. 

These mini-empanadas were on the dry side. (I also found them a little expensive.) 

SOFRITO-27.jpgMofongo (P100 +10% service charge). 3 plantain balls with chicharron in garlic sauce.

If you're looking for something different, try the Mofongo -- crushed banana saba with chicharon bits and garlic sauce. It was OK.

✮ Rellenos de Papa (P80 for one piece +10% service charge). Mashed potato stuffed with meat then fried.

We liked these mashed potatoes stuffed with minced beef.

Alcapurrias (P80 +10% service charge).

This one was like a fried mashed banana stuffed with meat and shaped like a peg. The flavors were new to my tastebuds. 

✮ Pastelon (P250 +10% service charge). Sweet saba baked in layers with ground beef, green beans, and cheese, lasagna-style. Includes white rice and beans.

This was interesting. It's like banana lasagna -- with sweet saba instead of pasta. I didn't like the beans though; I'm glad those were served separately.

✮ Arroz con Frijoles - Platanos Manduros y Pernil (P400 +10% service charge).

Pernil is the Puerto Rican lechon. I like it, especially with a splash of garlic sauce, paired with the rice (arroz) and pigeon beans (frijoles). The meal isn't complete without the platanos manduros or sweet banana.

✮ Cafe Latina "Bustelo Cafe" (P80 +10% service charge) with Tres Leches Dulce (P200 +10% service charge).

The coffee was really good. It's best to have it black to appreciate the smooth flavor of the coffee. The Tres Leches was a bit dry, but the sauce with three kinds of milk was addicting -- not too sweet and had just the right creamy consistency. 


I loved the whole experience of discovering new flavors, understanding the food vocabulary of Puerto Rican cuisine, and meeting the lovely Millie.

The taste of the food is consistent, tied together by the sofrito base flavor. Most of the dishes come with sweet banana. It's worth noting that they use our local banana instead of the plantain variety used in Puerto Rico.

Order the Asopao de Pollo for soup, Mofongo for a different kind of appetizer, and the Pastelon or Pernil for your main dish. Budget P400/head.

Congratulations to Millie for opening her one-of-a-kind resto in Manila! Here's hoping we get to visit Puerto Rico one of these days. :)

Ground Floor, LPL Mansion, 122 San Agustin St. 1227 Makati
Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Mobile: +63 917 800 9570
Email: sofritocafe@gmail.com

Live an Awesome Life,

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Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: We paid for our meals. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.  

P.S. Our bill was a bit expensive because we wanted to try a lot of things on the menu. You don't really need to order the appetizers and you can skip the dessert.


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