Monday, July 10, 2017

First Bite: Open Kitchen

I've lost count of how many food parks opened in Metro Manila. There just seem to be too many to track. I used to even brave unfamiliar places just to visit a few; but more often than not, I go home disappointed. Sadly, some food parks do not curate their establishments that well. Some just get the ones that offer affordable food at so-so quality while others bring in brands because of relationships or connections. There are also food parks that just focused on being Instagram-worthy and that's pretty much the end of its vision. I've told myself several times to stop visiting these so-called food havens. But the curious foodie in me can't resist going whenever I get word that a new one just opened. And I sure am glad that I dropped by this newly opened food park along P. Tuazon.
Hello, Open Kitchen.
I was greeted by a two-story food compound with multiple options to choose from. 
There are stalls that offer Pinoy breakfast dishes, crepes and omelettes, Turkish cuisine, slow cooked ribs, sushi, takoyaki, racklette and even Korean samgyeopsal! 
It was my first time to see most of the concessionaires so it took me quite a while before I was able to decide on where to spend my money on.
I decided to get some of those mouthwatering French Toast (PHP170) with ice cream from Sunny Day, Crispy Kani Maki (PHP220) and Mixed Sashimi (PHP280) from Haku!, Slow Cooked Hickory BBQ (PHP170) from Charlie's Point, Mixed Slush (PHP100) from The Juice Joint. H who was with me during the event got Mango Bingsu, Chicken Inasal Sandwich, Tapsilog, Champorado, Turkish Doner from Doner Pizza Grill, Meat Platter and Kamote Fries. Sadly, I wasn't able to take note of the prices and kiosks H got these food from.
Service was pretty quick as most of our food were served even before we finished circling around Open Kitchen.
Haku! which is not new to me as I've seen it in Industrie Food Loft served good makis and sashimi. At first, I was iffy to try it as it might just be like the fast food type food that try to pass as Japanese. But these ones were not bad at all. Then again, it wasn't exactly cheap as well.
The Crispy Kani Maki had lovely crunch thanks to the battered kani sticks. One order could be very filling so it's best to share this with someone if you plan to try a few more dishes.
I've had better sashimi elsewhere but at this price point, Haku! serves good and fresh ones. Just make sure the flies don't get to your seafood fix first.
Charlie's Point's Slow Cooked Hickory BBQ was bang for the buck. Serving size was pretty good and it was absolutely delicious! 
The meat was so succulent and the fork just slides through it. Its sweet and slightly spicy taste was so addicting that it was hard to stop after a few mouthfuls. I'd definitely grab another plate of this in my next visit.
It took long for Sunny Day to prepare our French toast but it was worth the wait. It was so fluffy and heavenly. Eat this one fast though as the ice cream melts fast especially during a humid day like when we visited.
I also liked the Chicken Inasal Sandwich which had a nice smokey and tangy taste. Though I like inasal with rice, this kiosk made me appreciate it with bread too.
I tried my best to remember the taste of the tapsilog but I couldn't. I guess it was just okay as it didn't leave any strong positive or negative impression.
Same goes for the champorado but I liked that they served it with dilis for that nice salty contrast.
The Mango Bingsu was refreshing. The mango bits were sweet and the shaved ice was fine. It's at par with the ones you get at other more popular bingsu places.
I had an intense craving for shawarma that day but it was not satisfied by this Turkish doner. It was a bit dry for my liking. 
But it might be my fault too as I made it wait for almost half an hour before taking a bite.
The meat platter was good too. But the sticks and liempo were your usual grilled meat. Great though with beer!
If you want some easy to eat snacks, do try the Kamote Fries. I liked its sweet yet salty taste.
One of my favorites was the Mixed Slush from The Juice Joint. 
It saved me from melting. I liked that it reminded me of the ever famous 7-Eleven Slurpee.
Overall, despite the crazy humidity, it was a great dining experience. Most of the food we tried were great and worth visiting again. Finally, a food park that can be called a foodie haven.
Have a car? Don't worry! Open Kitchen has ample parking in front and it also has gated parking lot on the side.

Open Kitchen is located at 34 P. Tuazon, Quezon City.

Sunny Day Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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