Date of visit: September 29, 2011
Mark paid me a surprise visit at work one Thursday afternoon. We were actually supposed to have lunch but something came up on his side so it didn't push through. I was really feeling sad about it, until I got a text message from Mark around half past 3pm asking me out for some snacks. I initially thought it was just one of his practical jokes when he instructed me to come down to the lobby to meet with him. Though very hesitant, I still went down and when I got to the ground floor, there he was, at the building entrance, smiling sweetly as I approach him. :p
We both wanted to try out some new restaurants and I thought the Ayala Triangle Gardens would be the perfect place. We walked around the area and this Filipino-home-style ambiance caught our attention the most.
It was late in the afternoon and there were only a few people dining in so we had the liberty to choose our seats. We chose the seats at the leftmost side of the restaurant, which gave us an ample view of the whole place.
Mark and I both loved Kanin Club's simple yet homey interior. Everything was just so Pinoy. The colorful stained glasses and the sliding windows and dividers were what I loved the most. The place actually reminded me of the houses and structures in Vigan.
Okay, so much with the restaurant's interior, let's now go to what we really came here for...the food! :D Our drinks were served a few minutes after we placed our orders. I had sago't gulaman while Mark had dalandan juice.
We were in a Filipino restaurant so I already knew what Mark would have---his all-time favorite Kare-Kare. Unlike other kare-kare dishes that are just overflowing with veggies, Kanin Club's kare-kare had a generous amount of tender beef tripe and pork leg chunks. The veggies were also cooked just right, not too soggy and just had the right crunch. It's rich peanut sauce was also perfect as is but was made more delectable when paired with bagoong. There's actually no surprise that this was a hit for Mark (even if eaten with sour rice). :p
It actually took me a while to finally decide what to have. I've been hearing raves and been reading a lot of good reviews about Kanin Club's Crispy Dinuguan and Sinangag na Sinigang. I don't eat dinuguan but I was a little curious about how the Crispy Dinuguan was proven to have convinced non-dinuguan eaters to actually love the dish, but I guess I still wasn't adventurous enough so I opted for Sinangag na Sinigang.
It was actually my first time to see a dry sinigang. I was still trying to contemplate on how this dish would be like, and was amazed on my first spoonful. It really tasted like the sinigang that I grew up with. And that distinct sour taste that I really love was really captured by the dish. To whoever is behind the birth of this dish--the sinigang-inspired fried rice, the pork liempo, and the vegetable tempura--you are such a genius! Some of the veggies were a bit hard though, but there's no denying how innovative this dish is! :D I just wish they were not a little carried away when adding in green chili. :p
By the way, here's another photo of Mark and I. I'm still not convinced that Mark's photo from my previous posts increased my blog traffic, but I'm still posting another photo of him anyway haha! :p
With a restaurant with an ambiance that is so cozy and relaxing and with food that is perfectly delicious, who would have thought that a very bad service would come with it? Yup, I would love to give them a perfect 10 but because of their unresponsive waiting staff and not so good service, I don't think they deserve such rating. :p
We had to follow up our orders many times. You would also hardly see a waiting staff roaming around to check for customers request because they were all busy stamping those paper place mats, and to think that it wasn't even lunch/dinner time. *sigh*
But then again, I think there are still a lot of good food here that we have yet to try so we'll still be coming back. I just do hope their service would improve on our next visit. :)
KANIN CLUB, Ayala Triangle Gardens
Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati Ave., Bel-Air
Makati City, Metro Manila