Friday, September 9, 2011

Kanin Club

Kanin Club photo
Earlier Kanin Club Alabang location.  It has since moved to another building very close by.

Kanin Club is a restaurant serving Filipino cuisine.  It was founded in 2005 by two couples, Anthony and Emely Mendoza, and Tony Cancio and Mariela Luna who are also the owners of Cafe Breton.  The story goes that Anthony and his friends after cycling around Laguna would regularly stop by the cafĂ© owned by Tony, a fellow biking enthusiast, to rest and replenish but felt that the crepes on offer weren't enough to satisfy them.  Instead they wanted something heartier—rice.  Thus Kanin Club the Filipino restaurant was born.    

For impressions and a restaurant review Kanin Club's branch at Westgate Alabang Muntinlupa was visited. Its other branch locations are its original branch in Santa Rosa, Laguna, UP-Technohub in Quezon City, F7 Building Scout Rallos Quezon City, Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati and The Hub Greenfield District in Mandaluyong.

Contact Info and Schedule
  • Kanin Club Paseo de Sta. Rosa - Tel: (049) 544-0332 Weekdays: 11am-2:30pm 5-10pm Weekends, Holidays: 11am-10pm 
  • Kanin Club Westgate, Alabang - Tel: (02) 771-1400 Weekdays: 11am-2:30pm 5:30-10:30pm Weekends, Holidays: 11am-10:30pm 
  • Kanin Club UP-Technohub, QC - Tel: (02) 332-5978 Daily: 11am-10pm
  • Kanin Club Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati - Tel.: (02) 621-6109 Daily: 11am-10pm
  • Kanin Club The Hub Greenfield, Mandaluyong - Tel.: (02) 631-0081
Notes

Ambiance
The Kanin Club Alabang branch is relatively small—cozy or cramped depending on one's mood and the number of other patrons.  Its interior evokes something between an Old Manila and a 70s retro chic with the capiz panels under the glass tabletops, wood tables and benches, colored stained glass windows, bright Filipino food-related expressionist paintings, and prominent wooden counter.

Food
Kanin Club's menu is composed mainly of Filipino food with a smattering of foreign inspired dishes that have become popular locally.  The food was good and a distinct interpretation usually with a twist on standard Filipino recipes was noticeable.  We ordered the crispy dinuguan, seafood kare-kare, tinapa rice, and a sago't gulaman shake.  The crispy dinuguan seems to be a popular choice, but while agreeable enough, I must confess a little disappointment with it.  The crispiness of the pork bits of dinuguan is novel but it brought to mind a comparison with chicharon, making me think of the dish as more appetizer than main course.  The mildness of the dark blood sauce was also perhaps too innocuous.  Dinuguan while standard Filipino fare could be seen as a little more on the daring side for those new to Filipino cuisine and I found myself missing the stronger sour and spicy taste of a standard interpretation of the dish.

Kanin Club Kare-Kare
Seafood Kare-Kare
Kanin Club Dinuguan
Dinuguan

The seafood kare-kare was more impressive with a bolder flavor than what one often finds; the distinct taste of what seemed like coconut came off well.  I do wonder though if the rich sauce will stand up well to repeated tastings or become cloying if eaten too much too soon.  The tinapa rice was fine with the smoked flavor of the fish being delicately balanced with the aromatics in the fried rice.

Kanin Club Tinapa Rice
Tinapa Fried Rice

Service and Value
Service could have been more attentive but was otherwise okay.  The price of the meal was within a reasonable range.

Other Filipino casual dining restaurants similar to Kanin Club in serving slightly more sophisticated Filipino dishes would be Abe, Crisostomo, and Serye.

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