Home Grown Ilonggo Cooking at Kanteen

By sanju on 10 April, 2014

The guys behind Kuppa have recently opened Kanteen.  It is a casual restaurant featuring Ilonggo cooking, highlighting dishes that have been culled from heirloom recipes, and, from the more than capable arsenal of chef/owner Rommel Hinlo.

Highlights for me are the soup selection where diners will have a hard time making a decision; whether to go for a beefy Kansi (P345 serves 3-4)), a complex Batchoy (P200 serves 1-2) or a sour Sinigang (P380 serves 3-4) made unique with its Batuan and watermelon essence yin yang.   I also enjoyed the well-made Inihaw na Pusit (P225). The squid, grilled tender and lemongrass infused, was a joy to have. The Mahi Mahi Kilawin (P225) laced with red eggs, black beans and julienned veggies was a study in freshness and textures.

On the carnivorous front, the Inihaw na Liempo or Pork Belly (P195) had a smoky, charcoal finish that was tempered when dipped in the provided vinegar dipping sauce. The Beef Kare Kare (P290) on the other hand, I felt needed a bit of work in terms of bringing out more of its peanut flavor to the forefront.  The beef chunks could have been a wee bit tender as well.

For dessert, Kanteen offers an excellent Joshua’s Leche Flan (P55) and Ensaymada (P50).  The flan, named after one of the sons of the owner, brings one back to an earlier time with its gooey consistency and burnt caramel flavor; while the ensaymada with its buttery goodness has developed a cult following.  It is best served warm, paired with a cup of Tsokolate or a coffee that may be ordered from Kuppa since both establishments are side by side.  Of course, I will not leave out one of my favorite desserts, Halo-Halo.  Kanteen has an all you can eat (!) Halo-Halo bar for only P180.  Here, one can have a bespoke creation that is perfect for the hot summer days that we are experiencing at present.  I had mine just the way I like it, with extra ube jam, please.

Kanteen is still quite new and like most places, has birthing pains to endure.  This being said, I am quite impressed with its mission of perpetuating regional, homegrown cooking.  I believe that we are in for a Filipino cuisine renaissance, and it is places like Kanteen that has nudged us into the right path.



GF Commerce Center Bldg
31st Street Corner 4th Avenue,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Tel: +639178274264
Tentative Business Hours:
M-F: 11AM-9PM


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