When I first heard that Kanin Club was opening a branch in Westgate Alabang, I was extremely happy. Blog entries I read about their original branch in Paseo de Sta. Rosa excited me. Still, for some reason or another, it wasn’t until last week that had the chance to visit them. Something I made up for my eating there again just a few days later. I’m sure it’ll be all right because it looks like that late visit is the start of what will soon be a love affair.
Miele Restaurant Guide inductee Kanin Club, as its name suggests, is big on rice. Aside from your usual rice offerings, they have some pretty interesting rice dishes like Tinapa Rice, Daing Rice and Aligue Rice. We had the Daing Rice, a fried rice dish that’s loaded with salty daing morsels, toasty garlic bits and generous amounts of spring onion. Each bite is packed with flavor as the daing and garlic heighten each other’s flavor while the spring onion cuts it, giving your tastebuds a welcome reprieve from all the deliciousness.
My main reason for going to Kanin Club was to investigate their Crispy Dinuguan. It sounded blasphemous yet oh-so-tempting. Dinuguan? CRISPY? I’m soooo there. The first bite was an assault on the senses. Crispy dinuguan is actually chicharon (the meaty kind that resembles lechon kawali) and chicharon bulaklak, dressed with a thick dinuguan sauce. I really liked it but couldn’t eat much because it was too rich!
We took the leftovers home just because I didn’t want to waste food. It proved to be a good decision because the reheated leftovers were even better! It had a pleasant, soggy chewiness that you can’t get from normal dinuguan, with the added bonus of being more flavorful as the dinuguan flavor because the meat got a chance to really absorb the sauce. It’s seriously good food reheated, in fact, I’m mulling over buying some and just sticking it in the fridge for day after enjoyment.
Like most Filipino food places, Sinigang is a must on the menu. We tried their Sinigang na Bangus sa Miso and it was done well. The bangus was sinfully fatty and the sourness was perfect and fruity. The soup had a good balance of flavor, even with the hint of ginger (I grew up with gingerless sinigang). In fact, the ginger was a pleasant addition. It never overpowered the sourness and added an interesting bite to the broth.
For more crispy goodness, there’s also the Crispy Binagoongan. Think large chunks of fried pork, ala lechon kawali, resting on a bed of sautéed bagoong, complete with tomatoes and kangkong. While you can definitely taste the bagoong, it’s not too fishy nor too salty—the tomatoes do their job in lessening the usual saltiness of bagoong. You’ll want to keep spooning the bagoong sauce on your pork.
Because we were feeling a tad guilty about the Binagoongan, we ordered some Adobong Kangkong to go with it. Their kangkong stalks are sliced in little circles then cooked adobo-style. The sauce’s soy base was almost perfect; it had a nice, meaty savory flavor despite being a vegetable dish. It would’ve been better if they added a bit more vinegar to it; it doesn’t have the characteristic adobo sourness I’m fond of.
We got curious about their Turon KC (Kanin Club) so we decided to go and get some for dessert. Unlike your usual banana and langka turon, theirs had bananas, macapuno, ube and red mungo beans. More like halo-halo in lumpia wrappers than turon, really. It’s then liberally dusted with brown sugar that was allowed to caramelize and some sesame seeds. It’s quite daunting to eat but it is truly delightful. Who knew ube halaya would be this good when wrapped in a lumpia wrapper and fried? The earthy halaya flavor really set the stage for the rest of the ingredients. It was smooth and delightful and I bet, will be the thing that’ll make the turon stick to your brain.
When you’re searching for good filling comfort food, Kanin Club delivers. From their traditional Filipino food to their classics with a twist, every meal is an adventure because you’d want to try something new. So, forget your low-carb diet and drop by Kanin Club. You’re sure to find satisfaction, along with the copious amounts of rice.
Kanin Club Westgate Alabang
Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa
Kanin Club Paseo de Sta. Rosa
Sta. Rosa City, Laguna