Kanin Club is probably the most popular restaurant Paseo de Sta. Rosa has today. However, our first dining experience here is almost forgettable. The foods that we've initially tried did not offer a satisfying gastronomic encounter. The Sinigang sa Miso na T'yan ng Bangus for instance, tasted like it came out from the instant sinigang mix sachet. Also, the bangus is no longer fresh. The Canton Guisado is too oily without much character. That's why trying it out again is nearly a no - no. Nonetheless, its popularity in Paseo is unstoppable. It's always packed with diners. In fact, there are people who will not mind waiting from the long queue. Some of our friends who have tried it have nothing but good impressions to share. This then intrigued me. Maybe we just had the wrong choices from the menu during our first visit. Perhaps it might still be worth to give it another try. From our recent visit, these were what we had and what I have to say...
clockwise from top left: Binukadkad na Tilapia, Crispy Dinuguan, Loaded Fried Rice and Lumpiang Sariwa
Binukadkad na Tilapia is your usual fried tilapia that is cooked in an unusual form. There's nothing real innovative here in as far as taste is concerned. It's just plain acceptable. The most raved about in Kanin Club's menu is the "Crispy Dinuguan". I have big reservations in ordering this dish. I can’t help but imagine how noxiously it'll land into my blood streams. But because I’m over-ruled by curiosity, I gave in. It's simply lechon kawali mixed with dinuguan sauce. For a Dinuguan to be served dry, the concept is something different. But the taste is similar to any typical dinuguan recipe. The good differentiating factor is the texture. The crispness of the pork skin from the lechon kawali added an enjoyable twist. The loaded fried rice is your typical fried rice. There’s nothing so special about it. If you feel like complementing the pinoy dishes with more varied rice, it's an available option. Lumpiang Sariwa is another distinctive Filipino dish that we found pleasing to our palate. The sautéd vegetables enclosed in the lumpia wrapper are cooked just right, matched with the sweet sauce finished with peanut bits on top.
Apart from the featured dishes above, other foods we found worth ordering are Sinigang sa Miso na Salmon, Seafood Kare-Kare, Bistek, Daing na Bangus and the much talked about Turon KC a la mode. It's a fried, sweet banana roll made together with ube halaya, mongo beans and macapuno glazed with sugar syrup and sesame seeds.
So, was it worthy giving Kanin Club another try? Generally, yes. There are dishes that will make your digestive elements happy and filled. On a cost per dish, there are foods that are fairly priced considering the serving size and taste. But for the same reasons, there are also those that may come out a little over priced. The rule of thumb then is to simply make the right choice.