When it comes to eating out, are you a creature of habit? It's easy to say yes once you've discovered a restaurant's main pull -- that dish that wows and leaves one wanting more. And afterward, the tendency is that for the following visits you'll be ordering the same exact food. But skirting a little past your usual could also mean discovering even more sneaky-good meals, maybe even dishes that'll replace that frequently ordered one of yours. This is what happens when visiting an old favorite like Kettle at their latest outlet in Resorts World Manila.
There's more to this comfort food restaurant than their iconic buttermilk fried chicken, the star of the show and top seller across all branches. The establishment promises loyal customers other satisfying nibbles and bites, crave-worthy dishes from appetizer down to dessert--including a fiery twist to their popular chicken.
When it comes to appetizers at Kettle, the usual suspects are the pork-loaded ones, like the tower of Pork & Potato Strips, or their US Angus Brisket Sisig Tacos. But on your next visit, don't skip the Baked Brie (P399) as it's such a strong dish to start your meal with. On your plate is a puff pastry of baked brie and a jam of forest berries, drizzled with balsamic syrup. It comes with a side salad for your in-between bites of warm and gooey cheese. So tempting not to share this appetizer.
For those who want to veer away from oil-heavy and meat-heavy dishes, there are leaner options at the restaurant, too. Comfort food here doesn't always have to be incredibly indulgent or gut-busting, like their Kettle House Salad (P379) of arugula and romaine, mixed with crunchy toffee walnuts and bacon bits, finished off with fine shavings of manchego cheese and a drizzle of berry balsamic dressing. For a more filling but guilt-free meal, a must-try is the Miso Glazed Salmon (P589), the Norwegian salmon pan-fried and topped with mango cilantro salsa. It is paired with marinated cold soba noodles that have a sweet sesame flavoring, making it an extra refreshing burst of Asian flavors.
For down-home comfort food, we can find ultimate satisfaction in a bowl of pasta -- add truffle into the mix and surely it'll be a hit for most people -- truffle usually is the magic word, anyway! And it still is with Kettle's Truffle Gorgonzola (P200), its full lavish flavors of truffle cream, fried basil, and parmesan coating each strand of spaghetti generously. A tip for the fried chicken fanatics of Kettle: visit any branch on a Saturday so you can enjoy your favorite dish with a different kind of kick. Order the Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken (P599) every Saturday so you can get your fried chicken fix tweaked with delicious heat -- it comes dusted with a mix of spices and served with honey glazed jalapeño cornbread, country gravy, and cajun honey to drizzle on those crispy, juicy pieces of fried chicken. You'll still manage to enjoy an old favorite, yet experience it with new spicy twists and turns.
In the dessert department, the most ordered and Instagrammed is the Checkered Cake -- a testament to the patience and attention to detail of Kettle's baking queen, who is actually Chef Chiloy Santos' mother, Vilma. While the chocolate and red velvet cake is truly photogenic and always a hit with the children, do try the Caramel Cake (P199) which is very nostalgia-inducing, with its light, fluffy body reminiscent of your favorite caramel cake by that home-based bakery. My new favorite cake at Kettle, though, would have to be the Pineapple Upside Down Cake (P199), generous with its fruity flavors without cloying your palate with sugary sweetness. All their cakes can be ordered as whole cakes, just call 2 to 3 days in advance to place an advance order.
Visit Kettle at their branches in Shangri-La Plaza Mall, SM Aura, Eastwood Mall, and their newest outlet in Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila. Follow Kettle on Facebook (/kettleph) and Instagram (@kettlerestaurant).