Monday, September 2, 2019

Filipino Restaurant Favorite: Ombu Kusina

I find it so fascinating how our own Filipino cuisine evolved throughout the years. We've seen and tasted several new and innovative interpretation on classic dishes. And though our grandparents' recipes have a special place in our hearts (and tummies), the modern take on adobo, lechon and so on deserve applause. And speaking of modern Filipino restaurants, one of my new favorites is Ombu Kusina. 

Hello, Ombu Kusina
Ombu Kusina has been known for serving modern Filipino dishes. It has been around for slightly over a year and it continues to be patronized by locals and tourists alike. 
I have been curious with this place as it garnered a high 4.7 score in Zomato which is hard to get. And stepping inside gave me an idea how this place gets a high review rating. 
Service was top notch. I was quickly assisted to my table and not a single server approached us with a frown. The restaurant manager, Geri, was also very hands on and helped us order the best dishes from the menu. She was also very patient when I couldn't decide between Flaming Chicken (PHP340) and Adobochon (PHP440). 
Since this was my first visit, I decided to try a dish per category: Filipino Style Salad with Dilis and Salted Egg (PHP200), Tinapa Croquettes (PHP240), Sisig Pizza (PHP520), Arroz Caldo (PHP130), Gising-Gising (PHP260), Dilis Rice (PHP80 | PHP170), and Bagoong Rice (PHP80 | PHP170). I couldn't choose between Flaming Chicken and Adobochon so we had both! We also had Organic Tamarind Juice (PHP130) and Watermelon Shake (PHP140). 
Starting our meal with a bowl of salad was a good call. The fresh greens made extra flavorful with dilis and salted egg drizzled with tangy vinaigrette sure whet my appetite. 
An order is also good for sharing if you plan to try several other dishes. 
Tinapa Croquettes was also a nice starter. The ball of breadcrumb stuffed with creamed smoked fish had that light flavor which slowly teases one's taste buds. This is best enjoyed with Ombu Kusina's special mayo. 
Ombu Kusina's Arroz Caldo was one of the chunkiest I've had. It was packed with a lot of chicken meat shreds. It also had salted egg for that slight grainy texture and extra flavor. It was a bit bland for my liking but could easily be addressed with calamansi and fish sauce. 
I was pleasantly surprised with the generous serving of Gising-Gising. It was served on a long plate with the green bean bits swimming in spiced coconut milk. Crunchy in every bite with a light kick of heat, this is a lovely dish to have with your meats. 
Flaming Chicken is one of Ombu Kusina's bestsellers. Served in an eye catching way, it definitely leaves a strong impression. 
The half chicken was served on a sizzling plate drizzled with barbecue sauce. I asked what spices they cook it with as it had that Mediterranean flair to it. 
But I was surprised to discover that it was just their homemade barbecue sauce. 
My favorite though was the Adobochon. Think of the classic combination of soy sauce and vinegar with a dash of sugar. The slow cooked pork was so tender that it almost melts in one's mouth. The skin was to die for! It was crispy and not a single piece was burnt. It was so flavorful too that I didn't even dip my portion in the sauce it was served with. 
The two flavored rice were good too. The dilis rice was like your salted carbs with a bit of crunch. 
I was surprised that the bagoong rice was sweet. It serves as a great complement to savory dishes.  
Last served was Sisig Pizza. It took quite a while for this to be served. I didn't mind though as we were busy feasting on the other dishes and the staff were courteous enough to keep us posted on when the pizza will be out. (They had to make 2 pizzas as the first one had burnt crust and Geri refused to have it served to us.)
The thin crust pizza topped with pork sisig and boiled egg tasted quite ordinary. But it turns into a stellar dish when you smother it with garlic sauce. I'm not sure if you can request for additional garlic sauce or if it's complimentary but do make sure to have yours with this magical sauce!

To cap our meal, we had Frozen Brazo de Mercedes (PHP180) and Tres Leches Halo-Halo. I wasn't able to take note of the halo-halo's price but Ombu Kusina's classic halo-halo costs PHP160. 
The Frozen Brazo de Mercedes was delightful. It wasn't overly sweet which pleased my "auntie" taste buds. It would go well with coffee or tea. 
Tres Leches Halo-Halo was good too. The flavored shaved ice gave each spoonful that delectable milky taste. I was too stuffed though to fully appreciate it. At least I have another reason to go back to Ombu Kusina. 
Overall, it was a fantastic meal. I can't wait to go back to try the other dishes. I have my eyes on its salpicao! 

Ombu Kusina is located at Ground Floor, Sequioa Hotel, Mother Ignacia corner Timog Avenue, Quezon City. 

Ombu Kusina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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