Sarree's Tales-A A +A
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Growing up in a family who bonds over cooking, Sarrita Pimentel’s earliest recollection of the kitchen were when she would take part in their household’s
tradition of preparing Sunday lunch together. It was in those moments that she fell in love with the craft, and over the years, this enthusiasm eventually blossomed into a talent she is now known for.
Unsurprisingly, running her own restaurant has always been something Sarrita envisioned. She even kept a binder where she placed all her plans: the recipes, the interior design, down to the smallest details like serving size. It was then a dream come true for the gifted chef when her very own Café Sarree formally opened last Sept. 6.
The chicly designed restaurant is at Escario Central and it features a food selection that Sarrita easily describes as “comfort food with a gourmet
twist.” It is her take on familiar dishes, as she mixes in her taste and creativity, making it enticing pieces worth a try.
For instance, instead of serving the usual pork adobo, Sarrita goes for lamb. Or with the chicken lollipops, she whips up a spicy version by putting
classic Buffalo-style sauce and serves what she calls Buffalollipops. Other house specialties include liver pâté with cranberry jam, Friday Night Special salad, aligue pasta, Spanish-style chorizo, and its choices of tartines (open-faced sandwiches).
Liver pâté and cranberry jam may seem like a peculiar combination but there is certainly nothing peculiar about its taste. Sarrita explained that the jam brings out the sweetness of the liver, as a result, makes it a tasty spread to the Melba toast it is served with.
Next up, the Friday Night Special is a salad that will have even those who aren’t fond of leafy greens, feasting. The base is romaine lettuce and arugula, and then seasoned with toppings of cranberry raisins, bleu cheese and candied nuts.
Another must-try is the aligue pasta. As the name describes, it is homemade pasta in aligue or crab fat paste. Seafood lovers will enjoy this as there are pieces of crab meat added in as well.
‘Sinfully’ scrumptious, one might say, so best be cautious when indulging in this dish.
“These are recipes I’ve done over and over again for family and friends,” Sarrita shared, as she used to accept food orders that she would prepare at home. To
name a few, the lamb adobo, the Spanish chorizo, and pastries are the highly-requested pieces from her kitchen, especially during the Christmas season.
Sarrita added that her recipe for the Spanish-style chorizo, otherwise called chorizo pudpud, was developed over several years. This crisp and meaty dish is the highlight of her breakfast offerings, which is served all-day. Alongside it is the Loaded French Toast, a variation of the French toast that is “loaded” with ham and cheese, and served with spiced cinnamon and nutmeg syrup.
Aside from its delicious food, the restaurant has a stylish charm of its own, making it a fi ne spot to lounge in for a full meal or to drop by at for a quick snack break. It has an ambiance that is reminiscent of European sidewalk cafes, with its al fresco dining and window awnings.
It has indeed been a journey for Sarrita—from the days she used to sell brownies to her classmates up to when she was already in culinary school and managing her own catering service. It is a journey that’s not ending anytime soon, too. With Café Sarree up and running, Sarrita has reached a new chapter, where one can surely expect a distinctive gastronomic experience from every page. Café Sarree is at Escario Central along Escario Street, Cebu City. It is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 20, 2012.