By Rolyn Segovia
NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS ARCHIVED. SABORES MEXICANOS CEASED ACCEPTING BOOKINGS IN 2019.
The country Mexico has a happy, carefree vibe that is characterized by the bright colors of its traditional clothing and art, as well as the bold flavors of its cuisine. But what happens when you can get your fill of excellent Mexican fare, in a setting that is happy, colorful and makes for pretty Instagram posts? Then you must be at Sabores Mexicanos, the only Mexican-themed restaurant in Vista Mall Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Literally, Sabores Mexicanos means Mexican flavors. Their logo depicts the usual Mexican ingredients of chilies, avocadoes, lime and tomatoes. Personally, I find Mexican and Latin American food generally uncomplicated and fuss-free because it can be enjoyed with bare hands. There’s something satisfying about picking up a crunchy taco or a stuffed burrito.
Chef Jerome delos Santos opened his first restaurant Sabores Mexicanos in November 2017 with a very simple goal: to highlight the guest experience. “I want guests to feel at home. Being a restaurant, given na [dapat] masarap ang pagkain. I want to focus on our service to give guests the total dining experience. Kaya lively ang colors din namin dito. Pinag-isipan ang interiors and decor. We use
original artwork, masaya lang,” began Chef Jerome. The young chef is wisely grounded with his primary objective of serving good food. While he is aware of other nearby places with a similar concept, he knows his priorities. “Ayoko ng competition. Gusto ko lang mag-serve ng food.” After all, a person’s true competition is not others but himself. When asked why he chose Latin American food, the chef believes that of all the international cuisines, Mexican and Spanish are most widely accepted by Filipinos. Since Spanish dishes are more common owing to the strong Spanish influence in our culture, Chef Jerome decided to focus on authentic Mexican dishes with a modern flair.
We literally got our hands full of Sabores bestsellers, each one a product of the chef ’s passion for the slow cook method. The fork tender ribs, for example, take four whole hours while the chicken and steak dishes take two hours to cook. Everything they serve is made from scratch. Even the sour cream is based on their own recipe. Most of the ingredients used are sourced locally as they are committed to support local purveyors. The chef also personally does the marketing everyday; maintaining close relationships with trusted suppliers mean knowing exactly where their supply comes from. Finishing a business course and having corporate work experience before gaining exposure in several culinary environments have honed Chef Jerome’s organizational skills, especially
in inventory management. But the passion for cooking has always been there since he was young.
Our happy lunch table was filled with Chef Jerome’s creations. Costilas de Barbacoa, fall-off-the-bone grilled barbecue pork ribs served with Mexican Rice Pilaf, chargrilled buttered corn and fajita mix. Juicy tender meat combined with very flavorful rice made this my top pick in Sabores. Chicken Quesadillas. grilled tortilla topped with fajita mix, marinated shredded choice of meat — chicken this time — with cilantro, pico de gallo and sour cream on the side. The intensely flavored Tortilla Soup is a hearty starter topped with sour cream, mixed cheese and tortilla chips. The hint of sweetness from the tortilla pairs well with the robust tomato-based soup. Of course, no Latin American table is complete without Nachos. Sabores’ crispy, crunchy Nachos Grande is a platter of fried nacho chips
made fresh everyday and topped with nacho meat, pico de gallo, mixed cheese, guacamole and sour cream. Perfect with a cold pitcher of beer. Another beer match is the Beef Tacos, grilled soft tortilla topped with marinated shredded beef (utterly and delightfully tender!), pico de gallo and cilantro. A hint of spice with a jolt of flavor courtesy of the fresh cilantro. The surprise of the meal came in the form of a tall, ice-cold glass of refreshing Citrus Herb. A most suitable drink in our tropical climate.
As any social media-savvy person can attest, the surroundings play a crucial part in the dining experience. Entering the happy and bright Sabores, we felt light and happy as well. Sunshine generously pours through the all-glass walls which give an unobstructed view of the lush greens, a trademark of Vista Mall. There are splashes of orange, lime, turquoise and yellow against a predominantly white background, tempered with black metals. My friends and I took selfies and groufies against a wall illustrated with original art, most prominent is the colorful artsy rendition of a skull to commemorate the nation-wide Mexican holiday Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead). Enjoying an uncomplicated lunch in a fun, casual atmosphere shows why Mexico is a land of sunshine and smiles. We have just found our happy place at Sabores Mexicanos right here in Vista Mall Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Have your fill of tacos, burritos and tequila at Sabores Mexicanos located at the 2nd Floor Garden Atrium, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa (Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road Sto. Domingo, Sta. Rosa, Laguna). Visit from 10:00am – 9:00pm on weekends and 10:00am – 10:00pm on weekdays. For inquiries, call (049) 533.9267.