Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kaffir Restaurant and Deli

As usual, I'm back on my feet and searching for those restaurants  still out of view from many.  This has been becoming a habit, though I've been seeing many foodies do this as well.   I've noticed also that more and more restaurants had turned to serving healthier dibs or using vegetarian or organic as a theme, while others just stay off the foodie course and mind-cranked with watching their diets.
Do live a space in your notes for this quote:
  There's lots of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven't the time to enjoy it. - Josh Billings
Still for me, eating is a matter of being conscious of what you put in your body.   Whether be it for pure consumption or mere pleasure, eating is a part of ones normal life.  I'm not guilty of eating as a way of gratifying myself for a well lived life and hard work, either am I guilty for staying fit though being everywhere to try out different restaurants and cuisines.  But you know what the best part of it- I enjoy every bit of it! (Literally).
In terms of healthy eating outside home, allow me to give you one good sample.

We found this restaurant at the Collective along  Malugay St., Makati, when we were checking out something in the said place.  I've actually read something about Kaffir Restaurant from a blog, just that I can't remember anymore.   With the sound of the name of the restaurant, Kaffir, it did entice me to search for it.   Knowing that kaffir is an herb used to Asian cooking, an image evoking Asian, healthy, freshly prepared dishes came to mind.  Kaffir is a restaurant and deli hidden in plain sight.  They actually are located at the corner most place inside the collective, which is beside Wabi Sabi.
Seing Kaffir, what came to my  mind first was kaffir lime leaves, however, when I searched the net about kaffir, I found out that it is a derogatory word for black Africans.
But hope that doesn't deter you from trying the resto out.
Let me also tell you that it does somehow have the concept of a whole in wall.  Being a small place with a few sitting and some stacks with  Indonesian noodles and  delicacies, and some other East Asian products.  When you enter, the kitchen is just at your left so once you open up the door, even with a few customers inside, the scent of all the herbs, ingredients and other cooking elements will welcome you and for sure will tickle your fancy for Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese dishes.  You can actually watch the cooks prepare your food while the aroma wafts across the room.
 After much scrutinizing I ended up getting Pad Kra Pao.  An extremely popular one-plate dish served at many roadside stalls and restaurants throughout Thailand.   The pork  stir-fried in oyster and soy sauce with a combination of chillies, green beans, garlic, sugar and holy basil.
The Thai word for stir-fried is ‘pad’ which may also be written as ‘pat’, ‘phad’ or ‘phat’ e.g. Phat Thai (stir-fried rice noodles).  So basically you know what this dish is all about.
Another thing to note is that krapao is served with rice and comes with the option of an additional fried egg (khai dao). The fried egg might seem an odd choice of topping at first glance, but this is the way Thais tend to order this dish and the egg really does add to the combination of flavors and is something I would definitely recommend trying at least once.   It's just like eating sisig or tapsilog.
And about the basil, all along I thought that basil is used only by Italians, only on their pasta sauces, and I really thought this is a brilliant idea to incorporate in cooking at home.  This dish was so comforting, I'm actually not a fan of pork, except in rare cases like this that I have to rely on my adventurous foodie instinct. So thanks to my instinct it was indeed a good choice.
Bhogs had this slightly milky (coconut milk only) look of Green Thai Curry.   Funny at lunch we had the Filipino style Chicken Curry which I cooked, you know the ones with potato and carrots.  This dish however is Thailand's take on curry dishes.  Pork is used on these, with vegetables like, eggplant, string beans and chilies.   The green curry used is a combination of  ten or more different herbs and spices.  Making it a distinct character of Thai cooking.   Another peculiar taste and aroma is evident in this dish.   Digging for more of the soup I found two kaffir lime leaves at the bottom.  The leaves gave a very heavy aroma which is pungent and lemony at the same time.  Let me tell you that it's not for eating so be careful not to munch on it.

Both dishes were equally delicious and with one or two cups of rice with the serving of each made our tummy happy full enough not to order more...Till next time...
Will definetely be coming back for these and some veggie delight from Cha Gio a.k.a. Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Char Kuey Teow,  stir-fried noodles in soy sauce with prawns, Chinese sausage, bean sprouts and fish cake.
Now, being a coffee addict that I am, I ddin't let this opportunity pass by without trying their said "crowd-pleasing" Vietnamese Iced Coffee.    Too bad I wasn't able to see how this was prepared making sure it was done the Vietnamese way, where brewed robust coffee is dripped on condensed milk.   Let me tell you this cold glass of coffee is enough to be your dessert, since it's really sweet due to the condensed milk.

Kaffir Restaurant and Deli
The Collective, 7274 Malugay Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City

Phone: 208-4343, 0922-896-0034, 0922-878-2296


  1. Vietnamese Coffee is really mixed with condensed milk unlike ours which is usually with fresh milk or creamer. Anyhoo, I love it! :)

    1. AS uch as I love coffee, this one didn't actually win me over. But will check out other Vietnamese coffee from other restos...


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