More and more restaurants in Manila now provide a bottle or carafe of water on the table. This is a very good thing.
We started with an appetizer of Brie cheese with forest berries jam and wrapped with puff pastry and baked. The puff pastry wasn’t as crisp as I expected but the combination of flavors and textures worked out very well. This was good for 1-2 people to share but since there was 7 of us all I got was a small piece. This would also make a good entree for those who want a light meal.
My friends were so hungry this was the only other picture I was able to take.
I would never order squash soup since a lot of restaurants have it on their menus and I’ve had my share of plain, boring and uninspired versions. I’m glad I tried it since it had a depth of flavor not found in other squash soups. I couldn’t pinpoint the spices used so I gave up and checked the menu. They added lemon oil and tarragon. Genius!!
I wasn’t able to take a picture of the finely minced shrimp in the bowl before they poured the soup. This is one soup you definitely should order.
While most of my friends had the squash soup two others shared the clam chowder in a bread bowl. These two declared the clam chowder even better. Rich but not too thick and thankfully not filled with only potatoes. Does anyone really eat the bread bowl? It looks nice but what a waste of bread.
I believe the fried chicken is Kettle’s most popular dish. You may wonder who would be crazy to pay P519 for 2 pieces of fried chicken thighs when you can get a bucket at the nearest fast food chain for less? I had my doubts too until I got a knife to cut the chicken into 7 equal parts. I was shocked when my knife went through the boneless chicken as if I was cutting lasagna. The experience was actually similar to cutting lechon de leche with a plate. Effortless.
Next was the taste. I don’t eat dark meat because of a certain taste and smell that I don’t like. I much prefer chicken breast. Kettle’s chicken was soaked in buttermilk (the liquid left behind when you make butter out of milk or milk added with vinegar or lemon) for 24 hours and this probably was the reason for the absence of ‘dark meat’ taste. The chicken was also very, very juicy. My only wish was for more seasoning. It was a bit bland but nobody really complained after oohing and aahing over the crunchy skin and delectable meat. It didn’t even need the gravy or cajun honey but putting both on the chicken made it even more special.
But what I really loved even more was the honey glazed cornbread. Other than a roast chicken QSR there is no other restaurant in Manila that I know of that serves cornbread this good. I could easily eat all three super moist cornbread on its own or maybe with some bbq ribs.
Whenever I go to the US I never fail to eat a Reuben sandwich at least once. I just love fresh corned beef with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and specially rye bread. Kettle’s version was a twist on the classic. They used toasted honey oat bread, braised cabbage and Emmental cheese. The corned beef was generous and excellent. It wasn’t too salty nor dry. I just wish they didn’t toast the bread which became hard when the sandwich cooled. I would have preferred the bread be briefly pan grilled instead or left fresh. I would recommend this sandwich to any American missing a Reuben sandwich. Just don’t go looking for a 3″ pile of sliced corned beef like those in New York.
I upgraded the regular fries to sweet potato fries. As much as I love sweet potato fries I preferred their regular fries.
In New Orleans the po’ boy (poor boy) is a very popular sandwich. These are usually made with roast beef or fried seafood and fully dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayonnaise on crusty French bread. Kettle’s version used a soft ciabatta roll, Cajun breaded shrimp and remoulade.
I’ve never tried an authentic po’ boy before so I can compare but this was a very well made sandwich. The breaded shrimp was very crisp and not oily. I actually only ate the shrimp since there was so much food I had to try. It was also almost impossible to cut this sandwich into 7 portions. If you do eat this sandwich on your own you’d need a big mouth and a big appetite. It’s one overstuffed sandwich.
For those who don’t think eating a sandwich constitutes lunch Kettle has several entrees with rice or potatoes. Smart of them to do so in a country where rice is eaten with steak.
If I wasn’t so preoccupied cutting and eating the sandwiches I would have eaten more of the fragrant and umami lamb adobo. Even the truffled brown rice was a nice surprise. Everything in this plate is a winner.
The only dish I didn’t like, love, swoon over was the lone pasta that tasted neither of truffle or gorgonzola. All I tasted was very thick and rich cream. Kids would probably enjoy this mild pasta.
You might think the food at Kettle is expensive but the portions are definitely for sharing. With all the food we ate and finished we were extremely full, satisfied and happy and our bill was only an average about P600 per head including tip. I will definitely go back to Kettle to try their famous pork and potato strips as well as the beef brisket sandwich, short ribs and Angus roast beef hash. Oh and I’m taking home 6 pieces of cornbread.
5th Level, East Wing,
Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong
telephone: (02) 654 7077