Kabila is a posh Filipino bistro restaurant located at the Ayala Museum Complex, in Makati City, Philippines. A spin-off of Raintree Restaurant Group's Museum Café, Kabila features dishes from the different regions of the Philippines, sending its guests to a culinary tour around the country within the confines of its stylish interiors.
Food items in Kabila's menu include a mix of haute cuisine versions of traditional Filipino dishes and modern twist to classic Filipino favorites, while keeping the fresh the simple flavors of Filipino cooking. The restaurant appeals to expats and foreign business travelers wanting to have a taste of Filipino cuisine right inside the financial district, as well as to the locals in search of their familiar home-cooked dishes served in a gourmet setting.
The menu was handed to us, together with a trio of complimentary pika-pikas. For a foreigner, this provides a preview of the characteristic flavors of Filipino cuisine. The shrimp crackers (kropek) reflect the Malay-Indonesian origins of Philippine cooking, the garlic roasted peanuts introduces the bawang (garlic) as one of the major ingredient and flavor in many Filipino dishes, and the corn puffs represent the western and modern culinary influences. For a Filipino, these treats bring childhood nostalgia of our favorite sitsirya (crackers) we used to buy from our neighborhood corner store. These treats got us very busy that we almost forgot that we were just about to order.
We began the meal with Kabila's signature salad, the Ensaladang Kabila (P195). Served in a huge salad bowl was a mixture of tropical fruits such as cubed guavas, ripe mangoes, green mangoes, singkamas (jicama) and pomeloes, which are then topped with sliced salted eggs and caramel coated pili nuts. When mixed, the salad become an interesting medley of flavors and colors. The sweet taste of ripe mangoes is a contrast to the sliced salted eggs. The sourness of the green mangoes and pomelos is toned down by the guavas and the juicy singkamas. The caramel coated pili nuts added an exciting crunchy texture to the salad. To add more Filipino kick to the salad, it is served with bagoong (Filipino shrimp paste) on the side. Altogether, the flavors, colors and textures complement each other resulting to a refreshing and exciting salad that we truly enjoyed. Ensaladang Kabila is an absolute must-try!
We have been craving for chicken inasal and thankfully, Kabila serves this famous grilled chicken dish from the Western Visayas region. BBQ Chicken Inasal (P350) is in fact one of the must-try items on the restaurants menu. We were astonished by the very ornate way it was served: two sticks of chicken inasal lie on top a small grill with burning charcoal underneath. More than the presentation, what we liked about Kabila's BBQ Chicken Inasal is that the chicken has well balanced flavor, not too salty and not too sweet, and despite being grilled, the chicken skin wasn't dry and the meat was juicy. We did enjoy every bite we had of this chicken inasal!
|BBQ Chicken Inasal|
We are big fans of adobo and Kabila's U.S. Beef Adobo (P350) is a new addition to our list of favorite adobo dishes. Seldom do we see beef adobo being served in restaurants and it has always been the pork or chicken adobo that takes the credit of this iconic Filipino dish. With the swift growth in popularity of adobo comes the constant need to reinvent this dish in order to maintain the curiosity of its lovers. Kabila on the other hand chose to keep it the dish traditional but leveled it up by using U.S. Beef. The meat was super tender that the meat's fibers separate easily as soon as you start chewing. Oh it was pure heaven!
|U.S. Beef Adobo|
Lastly, we had Kabila's Jackfruit Sans Rival (P295 per slice). It's the restaurant's best-selling cake, and although I'm not a big fan of jackfruit, I did find this cake delectable. At first I doubted if I'd like it, but it was love at first bite! The taste of the jackfruit didn't overpower the buttercream and the crunchy roasted cashew topping perfectly matched the soft layers of meringue. I loved it so much that I brought a slice of it to my office and everyone who tried it loved it too. Two thumbs up for Kabila's jackfruit sans rival!
|Jackfruit Sans Rival|
Overall, we had an absolutely enjoyable dining experience at Kabila Filipino Bistro. It was a lunch of discoveries and rediscoveries. We got to try new dishes and introduced to recreations of traditional Filipino foods. It was like falling in love all over again. We invite you to visit and try Kabila and experience Filipino dining on a different level. Many thanks to Raintree Restaurants for inviting us for lunch at this lovely restaurant.
Kabila Filipino Bistro
Ayala Museum Complex (Greenbelt 4)
Makati Avenue corner Dela Rosa Street
Makati City, 1200 Philippine
Reservation: +63.2.757.3000 or +63.2.757.6000 or +63.2.391.4197