Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Meal in the City: Kanin Club Redux

The first time my partner and I had a meal at the Kanin Club at the UP-Ayala Technohub, we went into such raptures over their house specialty Crispy Dinuguan that I wrote about it, including a warning for people who might find the idea of blood stew strange and/or disturbing.

[Though there ARE a lot of other cuisines where blood features as an ingredient in some preparation or another. THIS! IS! BLACK BROTH! /Sparta

Wikipedia: Blood as food]

On Sunday the 14th we went out to get something to eat. While commuting we were able to catch the pretty much non-event of the Pacquiao-Clottey fight; he and I had called it right. My partner said Pacquiao would win on points; I said that the fight would last around ten rounds.

Getting down at the Technohub just as the unanimous decision was being announced, we noticed that people were looking disappointed as they left the restaurants where they had watched the fight. And in the general confusion of that Sunday afternoon we managed a coup: we simply walked in to Kanin Club and scored a table. No lines, no waiting.

Remember, this was Sunday at lunchtime - normally, anyone who wants to try the same trick will have to wait for a table to be freed up. Not us.

As we were itching to try something new on the menu we went for a couple of other house specialties.

Here's the whole meal, minus the additional cup of plain rice we ordered halfway through.

In the pot is Tokwa't Baboy. Essentially it's fried cubes of tofu combined with boiled pork in a sour-savory sauce of vinegar, a little soy sauce, and lots of onion and garlic. Popular all over the Philippines as an accompaniment to lugaw [savory rice porridge, like congee], or as something to accompany beer and other hard drinks.

Our rice dish: Sinigang na Sinangag. I think Kanin Club was the first to try an idea like this: cook some rice and let it get dry and fluffy; cook a big pot of sinigang na baboy [pork, finger chili, and vegetables boiled in a sour broth]; drain out the soup and use elsewhere, then stir-fry the rice and the veg and the pork all together. The result is a very popular soup distilled to the basics, and mixed with rice for a meal-in-one. Garnished with tempura-fried leaves of kangkong and served with an extra red siling labuyo on the side, it was definitely a new encounter and a delicious meal.

Washed down with numerous glasses of iced tea, it was a hell of a summer lunch - and then we headed to UP-Diliman itself to walk it off! It was a great way to spend a summer day!

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