In a time when home and family has never been more important, we were delighted to hear about a new restaurant opening that put the two together in the name Kasa and Kin. Sabi Phagura pays a visit to this contemporary Filipino all-day restaurant & bar, bakery and patisserie in the heart of London’s Soho to put it to the taste test.
There are plenty of eateries in Soho you’ll pass without a second glance, but not Kasa and Kin. From the outside, its bright orange colour shouts, ‘come on in and take a seat’. And the vibrant colours continue inside with one entire wall adorned with an art mural by Ulay Labitigan depicting a kaleidoscopic tropical rainforest inspired by the epic poem of Ibong Adarna, an eponymous legendary Filipino bird.
It’s a buzzy place with ample seating (90 covers), a serving area to the front and a bakery lining the right-hand side of the wall displaying tasty bakery goods. This restaurant is an addition to the well-established Filipino institution Romulo restaurant in the London borough of Kensington.
The menu at Kasa & Kin is very much centred around BBQ items off a Robata grill. But before diving into a couple of those, we kicked off our Friday night feast with the starter options.
Choosing from broths, marinated bowls and chilled fresh rice paper rolls, we settled for Salmon Fillet, thinly sliced in cane vinegar and Cornish salt flakes, Chilli Chicken with coriander and lemongrass pesto and Spiced Shrimp with shrimp paste. The latter, in the form of spring rolls, were amazingly see-through, super light with a satisfying crunch. It was a perfect starter ahead of the meal to come.
With heaps of hearty food choices on the Robata grill menu, we were pleased to learn five dishes were substantial enough for a meal. The dishes were small but enough to be shared between two people. So we duly picked Lemongrass chicken and spring onion, five-spice duck, chilli and salmon fillet, Padron peppers and hand-dived sea scallop.
To accompany them, we settled for garlic rice and a selection of all our salt seasonings (truffle, smoked chilli, lemongrass, Schezuan pepper and ginger and garlic). A restaurant team member reliably informed me that Filipino food is traditionally already quite salty.
All the dishes were jam-packed with flavour and were distinct from one another. The meat and fish dishes were cooked just right, and to be honest, I really couldn’t fault any of the dishes. If I was really picky, though, they didn’t have the amount of heat in the form of chilli to my liking, but that’s only because I eat incredibly spicy food.
Other than that, the food was delicious and rather healthy. My favourite, though, was the lemongrass chicken. There was a really good balance of the lemongrass coming through the chicken without it being overpowering.
There’s a strong selection of cocktails, including some based on the local Don Papa Rum, as well as wine and mocktails. But it was tea that my tastebuds wanted, especially to go along with the dessert. The Sticky Turons, deep-fried fruit fritters with caramelised coconut and roasted peanuts, won hands down. It was so delicious that I would go to Kasa and Kin if only to eat that!
They say no one makes food quite like your grandmother, and that’s exactly the concept here at Kasa and Kin. Many of the dishes are inherited from the owner Rowena Romulo’s elders and contemporised by executive chef Jeremy Villanueva. You could literally eat the whole day here, starting off with pastries from the bakery, grab lunch with a savoury imbento box and then dine in for the evening meal.
I’m pretty sure I’ll be making several visits in the future to this lovely place.
Kasa and Kin – Where and How?
Kasa and Kin are at 52/53 Poland Street, London W1F 7NQ. To make a booking call 020 7287 5400 or visit www.kasaandkin.co.uk.
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