header image


This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

Interested in What I Create?


Saturday, September 03, 2022

entry arrow12:51 PM | Sintral of Attention

You can see it in the choice of name—Sintral You can see it in the choice of insignia—two simborios of sugar mills of old emitting muscovado smoke. You can see it when you open the menu—a cascade of choices that bring back the culinary heydays of the Sugarland of old, but tweaked in a way that signals the taste of the contemporary.

Sintral, the new restaurant that recently opened at the ground floor of The Bricks Hotel along Rizal Avenue, knows very well that it is situated in Negros Island [the proprietors are scions of Bacolod gentry who have come to call Dumaguete home], and what it tries to do is define more or less what it means to showcase Negrense food, and all the history and heritage that it entails. Think of it as the grandest fusion culinary experiment of localized vintage—Oriental and Occidental, Spanish and American, Dumaguete and Bacolod.

What Chef Keith Fresnido showcased for the opening was a degustation feast that tried to juggle all those sensibilities, with assist from Dumaguete chef Ritchie T. Armogenia. There was the crostini topped with carnitas and pickled vegetables, with crispy-fried chicken breast and Asian coleslaw. There was the gambas gabardine Negra—fried shrimp covered in squid ink batter on a smack of fiery-orange mojo picon japonesa. There was the fabada—that beloved concoction of Spanish chorizo, creamy white beans, and blood sausage in thick broth. There was the fideua Negra—thin Catalan pasta flavored with savory squid ink, and topped with squid and a garlicky aioli cooked in a paella pan. (We were excited for the socarrat, the parts of the dish that have crisped up from the cooking process.) There was the cochinillo—lechon de leche with flesh soft and savory, the crispy skin very much tasting like milk. And finally there was the house specialty dessert—dark chocolate ganache, ginger cookies, sponge cake, and orange syrup. The ganache glided through the palate with no resistance; the cookies contrasted with crunch, and the orange syrup brightened up the bite.

What it was is a promise, and we can’t wait to have our fill of the rest of what Sintral has to offer.

Attending the opening were some of Dumaguete’s foremost food lovers—including Provincial Tourism Officer Myla Mae Bromo-Abellana, Angelo A. Villanueva, Karen Villanueva, Iris Tirambulo Armogenia, Paola Luisa Betita Tan, Emilio Tan, Olette Hilado, Jadon Herrenauw, Josip Tumapa, Marilou Ortiz, Amanda Vicente, Jan V Barga, Lilian Macay Diamond, Maritoni Fernandez, Faye Mandi, Howard William Wong, Lara Henry, Keith Lapuos, The Bricks Hotel manager Paddie Secondes, and many others.

Labels: ,

[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich