Kanin Club in Paseo de Santa Rosa has been on the radar of foodies for over a year now. Either I’ve missed one opportunity to go there, or I haven’t been to the Laguna-Tagaytay border for some time. However, a good restaurant shouldn’t stay rooted in one area for long. I was certainly happy to know that they’ve opened in Alabang, which is nearer where we live. The location is that quiet,uncrowded restaurant row called the Westgate Center inside the Filinvest Corporate City.
As its name implies, Kanin Club specializes in rice dishes and some other savories which shall be dealt with later. Photo shows their Sinigang na Sinangag – fried rice that’s flavored like sinigang, with all the sinigang bits like sliced tomatoes, green pepper and pork. It is crowned with vegetables fried in tempura batter, which gives one a crunchy intermission before you wade your spoon into the rice. Taste was not too sour or overpowering. The only thing missing from this concoction was the soup!
Even in its secluded location and the fact that it was past 1 p.m., the restaurant’s tables were full. Waiting time was a good 15 to 20 minutes. My twins (the future foodies) sat in the wooden staircase and scrutinized the menu.
Our first order was the crispy liempo – fried pork belly with a trio of sauces: Pinoy vinegar, soy sauce and chili sauce. Nothing outstanding,but this is home cooking. I am reminded of my childhood when I sat in my aunt’s kitchen and munched on fried pork that was meant for sauteeing.
I consider crispy dinuguan the star dish in Kanin Club which is full of “crispies” on their menu (crispy pata, crispy tenga, crispy pork binagoongan, to name a few.)
Am not a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo, but I wouldn’t touch dinuguan (the Filipino dish translated as stewed pork blood) even if you present me with the most mouthwatering puto. Dinuguan and puto are what some people’s merienda dreams are made of. However, the KC menu was encouraging to say the least, and coaxing was all I needed. It claimed that crispy dinuguan was a dish that even non-eaters have learned to love…which made me think, “I can do it, too!”
True enough, am the only one from our table to try this, as my daughters aren’t too adventurous yet to eat dinuguan. A spoonful became a couple of spoonfuls and I sit there mystified by my conversion. The answer was simple really: crispy dinuguan was pork blood sauce on the outside, and crunchy lechon kawali on the inside. I have to admit, it made for a wonderful pairing. There was some to take home, and the crispy dinuguan was still good the day after. I give this offering a definite thumbs up!
MY son, the picky eater, ordered his favorite pancit canton, and the piniritong manok (fried chicken) which never came. The pancit was ordinary, am surprised it’s included in the menu when it rightfully belongs to a panciteria. After the crispy dinuguan, the Club would do well to include other out-of-the-way dishes. How about balut??
Itsi Bitsi is sauteed Sitaw, Bitsuelas, Sigarilyas mixed with what appears to be ‘pulled’ beef strips. This was kinda try, but tasty.
Two of Kanin Club’s popular desserts: the leche flan generously topped with macapuno (sweetened young coconut) as well as Turon KC, with or without ice cream. The turon is especially a bestseller. That’s because it’s not only made of caramelized banana, but also ube haleya, macapuno and red mongo beans. As good as a heavenly serving of halo-halo itself!
Kanin Club Alabang
Telephone Number 771-1104
Kanin Club, Paseo de Sta. Rosa
Sta. Rosa, Laguna
Telephone Number (049) – 771 1400
Recent restaurant reviews: