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Jeffrey Salon’s “Hiling” Oil on Canvas 66.5 in x 71.0 in 2011.

Have you ever had the problem of figuring out which resto to bring your balikbayan family/friend who has been out of the country for years?

You know they are craving their favorite Filipino food. You have to make sure that their favorite food is available in the restaurant you choose. But, at the same time, you want it to be in a new place that they have never been to before (Gerry’s and Dencio’s are the usual haunts) where they serve good food, have an impressive ambiance, and offer good value for money.

Recently, we met up with our balikbayan friend Melissa, who is visiting Manila after some years. We found the perfect place to treat her — a concept resto called Silya’t Sili in White Plains.

Silya’t Sili is not just a Filipino restaurant. It’s also an Art Gallery, a Furniture Showroom (specializing in chairs and Asian wood), and a Bonsai Garden rolled into one.

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The resto uses different kinds of chairs and has a showroom of signature chair pieces. Although it highlights Sili in its resto concept, the dishes are not spicy-hot.

The place is homey, artsy, and great for conversations and welcoming a balikbayan back to Manila.

(TIP: Reserve this table that has a big artwork of kids in the background.)

Silya’t Sili MENU
Starters, Heavenly Salads, Soup for the Soul, Vegetables, and Kilaw Specials
Seafood, Asian Flavors, Noodles, From the Grill, and Rice
Healthy Chix, Beverages, Best Desserts in Town, Coffee Power
Pride of Ilocos, Homemade Pizza, Events & Catering


Grilled Squid (P245). Fresh squid grilled just right, perfect with our toyomansi.

The #1 request of our balikbayan friends and family is perfectly cooked Grilled Squid (hindi makunat).  Melissa’s Fil-Am kids love it, too. 🙂

Banalunggay (P70) and Mommy Anita’s Buko Shake (P110).

Yellow/Green Mango Shake is the #1 most requested balikbayan drink.  We have to make sure it is available in the menu.

In Silya’t Sili, they have fun, healthy shakes like Banana and Malunggay. The signature drink here is the Buko Shake (which was creamy but a bit too sweet for my taste, though).

Halaan Soup (P200).

Silya’t Sili has a variety of Filipino soup. You can ask for Bulalo, Sinigang or Halaan. 🙂

We tried the Halaan. It was good — not too bitter and had a good “shell” taste.

Binagoongan Rice (P170). Rice cooked in shrimp paste, topped with sweet pork, green mango and egg strips, making the dish a truly filling accompaniment to any main dish.

This is the resto’s signature rice dish, which is basically like the bagoong rice in Thai restaurants. The combination of sweet pork, egg and green mango with brown rice is unbeatable. This is a meal in itself.

If you’re not in the mood for shrimp paste in your rice, you can go with the Adobo Rice or plain Jasmine Rice.

Pork Sisig (P165). Truly a Filipino “pulutan” favorite.

Melissa’s only request from us was to order sisig. It’s a good thing then that Silya’t Sili serves this Pambansang Pulutan. It was served on a sizzling hot plate with crunchy chicharon bits on top. It hit the spot nicely.

Some balikbayans have Crispy Pata or Lechon Kawali on their must-eat-when-I-get-back list, and the resto has those dishes too. They also serve Kambing! The menu was carefully crafted to showcase the best of Filipino classic dishes.

Kare-Kare (P285).

The only dish that we did not like there was the Kare-Kare. The soup base was watery and we couldn’t taste the peanut flavor anymore. Although they served it with generous chunks of meat, I couldn’t help but compare it with the best Kare-Kare we ate the other day.

You can opt to reserve this room on the first floor for group functions. Various pieces of furniture and art are showcased here.
But you can also reserve the second floor for group functions. I actually prefer this option because it is set up nicely, with a receiving sala area and bathrooms that you find in a typical home.

The private function room on the second floor can accommodate 20-30 people. They charge a minimum consumable of P8,000 for 3 hours.

Here is the set menu you can choose for your event or catering needs.

The place’s garage was converted into an al fresco garden banquet hall that can accommodate a function good for 30-40 people. This is ideal for big reunions. They charge about P16,000 consumable for 3 hours.

The furniture, art and bonsai accent pieces all contribute to the restaurant’s ambiance. Majority of the Filipino dishes served there are decent, with the taste leaning towards the safe side — not too spicy, not too sour, not too sweet. The food is good value for money, most ranging from P150-P250 per dish, with no service charge.

Overall, Silya’t Sili is a good find for bringing balikbayans to satisfy their food cravings this holiday season. 🙂

Silya’t Sili
#52 Katipunan, White Plains, Quezon City
Telephone: +632 4399294
Mobile: +63 927 221-1593, +63 922 850-9071
Email: [email protected]

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Full Disclosure: We paid for our meal. We are not connected with the owners of the restaurant. Also, we are not connected with any PR company and PR efforts promoting this restaurant.

P.S. What are the most popular food cravings of your balikbayan family and friends when they return to the Philippines? Do you have any other tips or recommendations as to where we can bring balikbayans? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. 🙂