Organising a ‘kids dinner’ where we were all food enthusiasts was challenging when we are all so busy, live in different areas and we wanted to go somewhere we haven’t been before. I had narrowed it down to a few options but Kusina won because a) I promised I’d go with Dan the first time that I went (the second time is close enough right?) b) it is an interesting cuisine c) it has an easy location to find parking and get to for all of us.
When I called to book they insisted we pre-ordered a banquet due to the size of the group and to give the kitchen a heads up. Considering we had to choose one banquet that pleased everyone before meeting up in less than 48hrs proved to be difficult, thank goodness for email/sms/smartphones these days where everyone was able to get back to me ASAP.
Sharing menu two $38.00 per person (good for 8 people and above). They gave us two of every dish and one of every entrée to try between the 10 of us which was nice and meant that we really got to try everything that they had to offer.
Pritong Manok crispy chicken wings, banana ketchup mayonnaise. I’ve had these before, they sounds better than they taste because it’s just a chicken wing with not so special dipping sauce.
Garlic rice/steamed rice- I couldn’t tell this had any garlic in it at all which is a shame because it is one of the few reasons why I chose this banquet. Yes, rice is a big factor to me.
Lumpiang Sariwa fresh spring roll, crepe wrapper, stir fried vegetables. A simple vegetable stir fry to break up the loads of meat yet to come but the crepe wrapper tore easily and made it hard to eat.
Inihaw na baboy/manok pork or chicken skewers, garlic, chilli, palm vinegar.Lovely marinated meat.
Mango milkshake (not included in the banquet). Tasted like a very smooth blended mango lassi.
Bulalo beef broth, osso bucco, bok choy, spring onion – I didn’t realise that this was an entrée because it came out very late in the meal. Being an Asian I enjoy a consume soup with lots of ingredients but the actual broth itself was so salty and almost unbearable. The osso bucco was very tender and if you drained it away from the soup it was rather pleasant to eat.
Pansit Canton egg noodles, pork and vegetables – A favourite with the table as it had lots of crispy pork, which had fatty layer that would get stuck in your teeth. It didn’t have many noodles though.
Adobong Manok marinated chicken, vinegar, soy, quail eggs. This had a salty marinade with tender succulent chicken but I’m not the biggest fan of quail eggs though.
Inihaw na Baka beef sirloin, caramelised onions, lemon – I thought I would enjoy this as I love sirloin but the sauce that was on it was crazily vinegary and I could only eat a small piece with a LOT of rice. Suffice to say that I didn’t go back for seconds.
Bicol Express braised pork, spicy coconut cream – A wonderful semi spicy fragrant curry with tender pork. Definitely one of my favourite dishes of the night.
Ginisang Gulay stir fried cabbage, cauliflower, snow peas, red peppers – a simple refreshing break away from all the meat dishes.
And just when I thought that no more food could come out…
Cameron Rebusado fried shrimp with garlic chilli sauce – I didn’t think it was particularly special and it could have been slightly more crisp.
Inihaw na Isda baby snapper, spicy mango salsa – Ok, confession time. I didn’t fully read the banquet menu before I ordered, after seeing garlic rice, sirloin and pork I was convinced, so I was slightly surprised that a) more food came out and b) that they would serve a whole fish. The salsa was delicious and had a bit of a kick with what seemed like fresh mango (where did they get mango from during this time of year?). The fish itself was rather dry and very boney (where are the adult Asians when you need them?), this was one of the least touched dishes but I don’t know if that because we were all so full or because most people wouldn’t know how to eat fish with bones.
Leche flan creme caramel, lemon ice cream. No individual serves (three flans between 5 people), but after all that food it was probably for the best. A not overly sweet creme caramel that tasted like it was made from evaporated milk (which I love), contrasted to the refreshing cool lemon sorbet.
I was astounded by the pace of the meal, not long after nibbling on the chicken wings, the skewers came out, then the vegetarian pancakes, before I even finished the entrees the mains came rolling out- pork, beef, chicken, noodles, soup and just when you didn’t think any more food come out, then came the vegetables, prawns and a whole fish. Not a banquet for the faint hearted, it had stacks of food with a nice variety to please all palettes, obviously people will like some dishes more than others.