August 23, 2008
Paseo De Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa, Laguna
My editor wanted to try out this restaurant found in the heart of Santa Rosa, Laguna for quite some time now. On our way to Tagaytay for the long weekend and armed with growling stomachs, we decided to give it a little visit. Kanin Club is a restaurant that serves our favorite Filipino food but with little twists here and there. A modern approach on meals but still maintaining the classics as a backbone to their signature dishes.
Kesong Puti Salad. A refreshing dish of kesong puti, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro topped with vinegar dressing. I'm really not a big fan of cilantro as a salad component but this one was an exception. All the salad components blended perfectly. Each time you'd get a spoonful of the salad, all the flavors mixed together in perfect harmony. The saltiness/creaminess of the cheese. The tang of the vinegar and tomatoes. And the strong tastes of the cilantro and the onions. It was as if these completely different ingredients were destined to be in one dish together. Definitely one of my favorites and this is indeed a big thing considering I don't like cilantro in anything else but salsa.
Beef Sinigang. A tangy native soup with tender beef and local vegetables. This soup dish reminded me much of Sentro's version of the sinigang, the Corned Beef Sinigang. It was probably one of the best I've ever tasted but Kanin Club's version can give it a run for its money. The meat in the soup served to us was very tender. You conclude this (crude as it may) only when there are less strings of beef stuck in the middle of your teeth. The soup in itself was very tangy, just the way I like it. It lacked a bit of spiciness in my opinion but nontheless very flavorful and very good.
Aligue Rice. A very big serving of rice mixed with crab fat which is locally known as aligue. The dish was just ok. I think they used a very small amount of crab fat that is why it had just little flavor. The rice tasted like normal rice and was not as rich as it was supposed to be. Aligue makes the rice much more creamy, flavorful, and rich. I didn't get to taste all that in this dish. The rice was kinda dry and bland. We should have ordered the plain rice instead. BUT at least it had a very big serving for the price, so it was all good.
Sinanlay na Tilapia. Tilapia simmered in coconut milk. One of my favorites in Filipino cuisine is anything with gata or coconut milk. From vegetables to fish, I love it all. Kanin Club's version is an addition to the best guinataan's I've ever tasted. The fish was fresh and didn't taste at all fishy. It was cooked perfectly and was still very much flaky and moist inside. The ultimate experience though has nothing to do with the fish but with pouring all the sauce with all its flavor over the rice and devouring it. The sauce was very good! I love coconut milk dishes!
Crispy Dinuguan. Blood stew of pork cracklings and deep fried pork belly. The best dish in Kanin Club and is one of their bestsellers. Each table that we would pass would have an order or two of the Crispy Dinuguan. This is a person-with-highblood's worst enemy. Very very rich in fat and cholesterol. Even the blood stew was reduced to just a coating for the pork pieces instead of a stew. The pieces of meat were ALL crispy. Even our friend who has never eaten and despised dinuguan, loved it. I think that speaks for itself.
Kanin Club is a very nice diversion from the usual norm of Filipino cuisine and I love the fact that they didn't change classic cuisines but made it their own. Price may be a bit steep but trust me when I say that Kanin Club is worth every peso.