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[Review] Kanin Club

I can honestly say that Kanin Club located in UP Ayala Technohub is one of my favorite restaurants along the Philcoa/Commonwealth Ave. area. They have a good menu selection with oftentimes innovative twists to the typical classic filipino cuisine classics and their menu is actually fun to read. Athough I cannot claim to have tasted all of the food items they have to offer, I am on average happy with what I have tasted so far and have identified certain favorites that I do not mind ordering time and time again. I think I was first introduced to Kanin Club in Sta. Rosa Laguna so when I have learned that they have opened a branch relatively nearby (all those years ago) I had to go check it out. 

What I like the most about their food is that they are not afraid to be creative with their interpretations of some classic filipino favorites. A good example is their signature dish: Their crispy dinuguan (pork blood stew) remains to be one of my favorite items in the menu and is probably one of the best out there in terms of taste. There are of course a lot of ways to prepare this dish and for me, what sets a good dinuguan apart is the richness of the consistency of the blood stew and properly boiling off the vinegar (if the vinegar is not properly boiled off the vinegar taste can be overpowering). The consistency of the pork blood is so thick and the taste for me is just spot on that it has become the standard in which I have come to compare other versions of this dish. If I can nitpick a bit though, the only thing that is lacking for me is the pig intestines that is traditionally used in dinuguan. Instead they have mostly substituted it with crispy pork (presumably chopped crispy pork skin cracklings and belly I am guessing) and while this gives it a delightful crunchy texture (quite unusual than what you would normally expect), it lacks that tender chewy texture I have come to love when eating dinuguan. It is also not just a matter of texture. I do understand that not everybody is a fan of the hint of bitterness in pork intestines but I believe that it even enhances the overall flavor of the dish. 

Top left clockwise: Sinanlay ma Tilapia, Crispy Dinuguan, and Kare Kare
You can see a copy of their menu in this link from MunchPunch. Other notable food items I have tasted include their Aligue Rice (crab fat infused rice), the Seafood version of their Kare-Kare (ground peanut stew with veggies and assorted seafood served with sautéed fermented shrimp paste), Binukadkad na Tilapia (crispy deep fried butterflied tilapia), Sinanglay na Tilapia (whole tilapia wrapped in leaves and simmered in coconut milk), stuffed Squid, Sinigang na Salmon Belly sa Miso (salmon belly in sour miso broth), and their tomato, onion,  cilantro, and kesong puti (Carabao or water buffalo milk white cheese) salad in vinaigrette dressing. I have to say that I really liked that kesong puti salad but I later found out that some of my friends whom I have recommended this dish to either really liked or really hated it. I think it all depends on whether you like cilantro or not.

Aligue or crab fat infused rice

Adobong Kangkong - thought I'd include a photo but I actually did not like this particular version

Seafood Kare-kare. Rich peanut sauce and good taste overall but I was not too thrilled with the size and how the mussels were cooked.  

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Overall a good dining experience each visit, but over time I have gravitated to certain personal favorites in their menu. I wouldn't mind trying out a food item I have not tasted yet every now and then but I do tend to stay away from certain items that I have already tried and did not really stand out from other restaurants that also offer them. These food items weren't really bad but I'd rather say that they were "forgettable." That is just my personal opinion however and I encourage anybody trying out the restaurant for the first time to go ahead and try whatever looks appealing to you in their substantial menu. 

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