Whoa! We’re doing all sorts of things that weren’t in the blog description. Remember the PSA post? Totally out of character, right? Well here’s more, a foodie post!
Last night, my girlfriend and I tried KKK. No, that’s not the white supremacist group, but the restaurant at the basement of SM Megamall B. KKK offers Filipino cuisine, taking both typical home cooking fare and fiesta (that’s feast day for you Spanish-challenged folks out there) favorites and giving them a crazy twist. How crazy? We didn’t order it, but their menu boasts sinigang na lechon. Now, when you say sinigang, it’s typically stewed pork, cooked in broth and a sour tamarind base, with vegetables added in for texture and variety. Lechon, put simply, is a whole pig roasted over coals while constantly being moistened with an herb sauce.
Now put both of them together. You now have herb-roasted pig cut into chunks and cooked in sour, tamarind-flavored pork broth, vegetables, and green peppers, served piping hot. Get your utensils and cups of rice, ladies and gentlemen; we’re in for a long fight.
Again, this mythical masterpiece was not what we ordered last night. We took our time looking at the menu and reading the Tagalog descriptions of each item, snacking on free kropek and herbed vinegar all the while. We had two ideas at the time – go for an exotic dish and simple rice, or go for exotic rice and a familiar-sounding viand. We chose the latter for this visit – next time, and I can guarantee there’ll be a next time, we’ll go the other way!
We ordered KKK’s special rice, which is rice cooked with liempo bits and scallions (a platter of which is good for 2-3 people depending on their appetites), bottomless tanglad (lemongrass) iced tea, and KKK’s bistek (a corruption of the words “beef steak”) flakes. We were totally not prepared for it. The rice was good enough to eat on its own, the tanglad drink had me wondering why not every restaurant that served iced tea wasn’t offering it, and the flakes – oh wow, the beef flakes. It would be better I think to call them crispy beef strings, because that’s what they were.
|Front row: bottomless tanglad iced tea. Back row: KKK's special rice (bowl), bistek flakes (plate). Not shown: free kropek and vinegar.|
If I’m any judge, they prepared bistek the traditional way, marinating it with soy sauce and pepper, frying it to a crisp, and then shredding it. Once shredding was done, they drizzled some sweet sauce (quite possibly the same mix the beef was marinated in) onto a plate, arranged some chopped onions and tomatoes on it, and placed a heaping pile of beef awesomeness over the garnish. Genius!
|It's eat or be eaten! Strike now! A close-up of the bistek flakes tower.|
It’s hard not to like KKK. The decorations are amazing, from the colored bottle light pieces hanging over our heads, the dried straw / leaf lattice on the walls evoking the feel of a bahay kubo (nipa grass hut), the paired papier-mâché dolls on the tables, to the counter that looks like someone cleaved a jeepney in half and took the left side to use as decoration. The staff was attentive, and two of the waiters looked like a comedy act waiting to happen, even as they seriously went about their duties. Perhaps it’s their faces – one of them looks like he’s just barely keeping a grin from breaking out, while with the other guy’s face makes you wonder why he’s waiting tables in a mid-range mall restaurant, instead of living off his looks.
KKK was a surprisingly pleasant experience. The place was charming, the staff was great, and the food was how I like my red (Magic: The Gathering) creatures – cheap and awesome. In six weeks time, or whenever my buddies decide to have a meet-up, I’ll take them to KKK and split the sinigang na lechon three ways – I can’t wait to see their expressions and hear their opinions.