A recent trip to SM Mall of Asia had me check out some Filipino restaurants that offer innovative twists to our old-time favorite meals. From catchy interiors, witty concepts and mouth-watering food, allow me to share my discoveries and take you on a delightful Pinoy food trip. Happy eating!
No, you haven’t been warped back to the time of revolutions when we were under the rule of Spain, but it sure feels that way when you enter KKK Food Revolution.
The walls are blanketed with arurog or uway, tiny bamboo very much like the ones found in traditional nipa houses. There’s also an authentic-looking old photograph, bathed in soft-hued light, that highlights the restaurant. The idea is intriguing and the interiors eye-catching, which is probably why a lot of people find themselves curious to check out KKK. Oh, and just for the record, the historical figures shown in the photo are (from left to right) our national hero Jose Rizal, Felix Hidalgo, Pardo de Tavera, and the well-renowned painter Juan Luna.
As Restaurant Manager Marifel Flores puts it, “Well, we have a different concept here, and that attracts groups of family and friends. It is, like, a cool place to hang out in. There’s the indoor design to begin with, and also our mural easily attracts guests.”
Friends John Villanueva, Louie Gutierrez, Al Purugannan, Raoul Henson, who are all hailed from Pampanga, and Analyn Arce the only girl and Manileña in the group, put up their first restaurant in 2002 along West Avenue in Quezon City. They named it ‘Kainan sa Kalye Kanluran,’ or KKK for short. Four years later their second branch opened in Mall of Asia. This time around, KKK is an acronym that means ‘Kainan Katabi ng Karagatan.’ The name sure is witty, and that helps people remember it easily.
Adobo Ni Jake
The food at KKK is, of course, Filipino but with hints of creative twists to bring out new tastes to old favorites. I got the chance to sample some of their bestsellers during my dinner interview with Ms. Marifel, and here’s my take on them:
Kanin ng KKK (P79) is the restaurant’s version of the staple fried rice or sinangag. It can also be taken as a Filipino counterpart of the Chinese yang chow rice, because it is mixed with liempo (grilled pork), egg, and onion leaves. I think the rice can actually be a meal in itself, because it’s not wanting in flavor.
But for those who insist on ordering viands, try seafood dishes like the Garlic Pusit (P210). It’s tender squid sautéed in oyster sauce with generous hint of garlic. My favorite, though, is the Inihaw na Liempo Bacon Cut (P180), thin slices of pork that are succulent and utterly flavorful. For drinks, try their Sago’t Gulaman (P72.80), which is served bottomless. And because KKK’s guests are mostly in groups, many, if not all, of their items in the menu are already good for sharing. So go ahead, mix and match!
Sinigang na Lechon
Tiyan ng Tuna
“We want our guests to keep coming back because of the unusual positive experience they get here,” Ms. Marifel concludes.
Prices mentioned are still VAT exclusive.