Monday, January 4, 2016

Love at First Bite: Karen's Kitchen

When you get older, Christmas is no longer about getting gifts. It is now all about getting... fat. But if I get to stuff myself with good food, I am a-okay with it! And thanks to the long break, I finally got a chance to visit the restaurant in Kapitolyo that I have been eying for almost a year... Karen's Kitchen!
Hello, Karen's Kitchen!
The place is oozing with charm. Each corner is Instagram-worthy and every piece on display has a story to tell. I have never been to a place as warm and beautiful as this one. It was definitely made with love and a lot of thought. 
Since the place is small, I made sure that we get a table and dropped Karen a message to reserve one for us. She then suggested that we pre-order as some of the dishes take time to prepare. (Some dishes take as much as 45 minutes to cook.) It sounded like a great idea. Less waiting, more eating! 
I ordered Squash Soup with Squash Flower (PHP175), Mushroom Truffle (PHP395) and Karen's recommended Dalandan Chicken (PHP345). We also ordered Strawberry Juice (PHP165), Red Velvet Cupcake (PHP96) and Sticky Toffee Pudding (PHP144). Karen insisted we try Raclette Japanese Cheesecake (PHP205) and gave us one on the house.
First served was the squash soup and it was divine! It was the perfect texture for pumpkin soup. It was thick and creamy, sweet with a bit of spice. The bread stick was perfectly soft and flavored too! We were off on a good start.
Next served was the mushroom truffle pasta and it smelled heavenly. You could undeniably smell the aroma of truffle.
And the taste did not disappoint. It was creamy and the taste was not overpowering. I loved the soft bits of mushroom which added texture.
The Dalandan Chicken was prettily plated. The server told us that to fully enjoy the dish, you have to put a bit of orange and sauce on the chicken. And so I did and it was delicious. It added zest to the dish. But if you skip the orange, it would just be your usual juicy chicken.
The strawberry juice arrived right before desserts and it was made fresh and 100% strawberry! For PHP165, it was a steal! 
Now for desserts...
The red velvet cupcake is dense and is not that sweet. I liked the cream cheese frosting. It was a thin layer though. Wish it was thicker.
The Sticky Toffee Pudding, one of Philippine Daily Inquirer's 2015 top desserts, was really (really) good! I was pleasantly surprised that it was warm. It was one gooey piece of sweet heaven! I would love to buy more of that!
The Raclette Japanese Cheesecake, one of the newest creations of Karen, was moist, light and the perfect partner of tea. It was the priciest dessert we got but it was worth it!
And since the place was just like home, it made everyone feel more at ease. Soon, I started chatting with the couple beside our table. They even made me taste their order of Frozen Brazo de Mercedes (PHP135, available in vanilla, matcha, strawberry and ube) which was pretty good too. Oh, and yes, we became that close in less than 5 minutes of chatting!  

It was a lovely meal and I had a sweet surprise from Karen... all my desserts were on the house! Thank you, Karen! 
I can't wait to be back and try the squid ink quinoa and chocolate ganache.

Karen's Kitchen is located at #17 A San Rafael St., Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City. 

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