Working in BGC means not having a lot of “lutong-bahay” options for lunch. Unless of course you’ve got packed meals from home or you’re ordering from one of those “Ates” or “Kuyas” visiting offices and selling their homemade food. These have been part of my options because they’re definitely more affordable, but when I don’t mind spending a little bit more for my lunch or dinner, Kanteen by Kuppa has been one of my favorite places to dine in.
I like eating over at Kanteen because it feels like a cross between a full-blown restaurant and a karinderia. In spite of being owned by the more upscale Kuppa, the pinoy-themed interiors of Kanteen makes it less intimidating, although they do mean business when it comes to service. Or maybe it’s the fact that it’s an Ilonggo restaurant that makes it close to my heart.
As you may have guessed, I’ve had my lunch and dinner at Kanteen several times already, and these are the dishes that I often order:
KBL – Kadyos, Baboy, Langka – Php 320.00
I remember that my older brother used to make this for us at home, and it’s one of my favorite dishes made by him, so I got pretty high expectations. KBL is basically pork knuckles (baboy) simmered in broth made of purple pigeon peas (Kadyos) and slices of jackfruit (Langka).
Based on looks, Kanteen’s KBL seems legit, although on my last visit, I thought the dish tasted too sour for the usual KBL. The kadyos peas should have balanced out the sourness, but this one was already leaning towards sinigang. It could also do well with a bit more jackfruit slices and less of those seeds.
But then, I had only my big brother’s KBL as reference, so I asked another Ilonggo friend what she thought of Kanteen’s version. Turns out we had the same sentiments.
Evelyn’s Pork Sinigang – Php 380.00
If you’re in a Filipino restaurant, Sinigang is always a must-try. What makes Kanteen’s sinigang unique is that instead of the usual sampaloc (tamarind) as the source of sourness, they use “batuan” – a fruit often used in Ilonggo cuisine.
If you ask me, batuan doesn’t really seem to give Kanteen’s sinigang a distinct sour taste. Or maybe it’s the watermelon that neutralized the sourness. Oh well, at least the dish was generous with the pork and veggies.
Lechon Kawali – Php 225.00
What Kanteen lacked in charm with the soups, it made up for with their pork belly dishes.I liked their Lechon Kawali because the flesh and the fat aren’t too dry, and the skin has a decent crispiness. One serving is enough for 2-3 people.
Liempo – Php 195.00
This one is juicy, charcoal-grilled, marinated pork belly. The meat is tender with some hints of sweetness. It also comes with pickled radishes on the side to neutralizes the greasiness of the meat and fat.
Ginataang Kalabasa – Php 125.00
I’m not a huge van of vegetables, but I can make a very rare exception for Kanteen’s Ginataang Kalabasa (pumpkin slices simmered in coconut milk). Well technically, it’s Ginataang Kalabasa and String Beans.
I don’t know how they do it because pumpkin isn’t one of the few vegetables I’m happy to have on my plate, but this particular dish does the trick and actually makes this veggie delicious. I’m guessing it’s because of the coconut milk because I also liked Kanteen’s Porbidang Kangkong (Php 110.00), which is a stew made of spicy coconut milk and water spinach.
Pinakbet – Php 135.00
It’s gotta be the coconut milk that makes me like vegetables because the Pinakbet’s pumpkin and string beans didn’t have the same charm as those of the Ginataang Kalabasa. This one was just okay, but maybe I’d stick to the ginataang dishes.
Joshua’s Leche Flan – Php 60.00
I have no idea who Joshua is but he gotta be proud that this particular dessert is named after him! This is one of the best leche flans that I’ve tried – the type that would make you crave for it. It was thick and creamy and just the right sweetness that you would want from flan. I’d be coming back for this!
Sorbetes – Php 40.00
As you enter Kanteen, one of the things that would greet you is this cart of the so-called Pinoy “dirty” ice cream. Apparently, it’s not just there for show because this is actually where they get your sorbetes when you order one.
The sorbetes doesn’t taste much different from the ones sold in streets, and frankly I liked the dirty ice cream in UP Diliman much better. What I did though was partner the sorbetes with some slices of leche flan and voila! The result is a treat to my taste buds.
Kanteen may not be my first bet when talking about the best Filipino restaurants (Sarsa though, is a good contender), but when you’re in BGC and in the mood for some Ilonggo cuisine, this is the place to go.I’m not yet sure if Kanteen has a delivery service, but their dishes should be great to have in the office IMO.
Kanteen BGC Ground Floor, Commercenter Building, 4th Avenue Corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City Open from 11AM – 10PM Contact Number: +63 9178274264