Filipino food will always bear special spot in our hearts especially those classic home-cooked meals that is indelibly part of the Filipino culinary tradition. Nothing compares a good bonding moment together with classic Filipino favorites served on the table while exchanging good conversation from the past and present. As we all know, Philippines is rich in customs and traditions that include the Filipino food having been called the original fusion cuisine – a mixture of different taste, flavors and inherit patterns of Spanish, American, Chinese, Japanese and other Pacific influences.
Everything in this world is rapidly changing over the years including the different modern versions of Filipino cuisine showcasing more creative and imaginative interpretations.
Here in the Philippines, there are so many restaurants propelling into modern Filipino concept dining brand following the trendy twists and influence of the contemporary lifestyle while maintaining the authentic and well-loved local cuisine with a strong local identity. One of the long-standing and familiar Filipino restaurants serving exquisite and modern Filipino cuisine in the metro is Kabila Filipino Bistro.
Kabila (derived from the word kabila which is a local translation for “the other side”) is another innovative concept of Raintree Group of Restaurants serving Filipino redefined comfort food, locally-sourced and outright local cuisine with modern interpretations. Dining at Kabila is like having a gastronomic trip of different Filipino culinary flavors to different regions of the archipelago through their dishes served in the menu. Kabila is prominently located at Ayala Museum complex just beside Museum Café (also walking distance away from major shopping malls, department stores, offices and hotels), also under Raintree and the company’s pioneering dining café serving modern Asian cuisine and striking mixed cocktails.
Kabila promotes a relaxing casual, no-fuss but satisfying dining experience with the restaurants warm atmosphere and gourmet Filipino menu. The restaurant’s over-all ambiance is clean and classy with a soothing vibe alongside its bright lights converted into subdued dim lights during nighttime, generous space, cozy chairs and wooden (and marble ) tables, eye-catching aesthetics and fine fixtures. Adding to its pleasing designs are the various creative display of traditional Filipino pickles in clear jars just in front of the main dining area.
This modern Filipino restaurant which incorporates Filipino ingenuity in terms of cuisine and artistry is a perfect fitting place for lovers of Filipino food especially balikbayans (A Filipino visiting or returning to the Philippines after a period of living in another country) and foreign guests (expatriates working along the area) as they get to taste the finest of Filipino culinary offerings, creativity and hospitality. The place is recommended for business meetings, lunch outs and dinner with friends and office colleagues and get together and intimate gatherings with your family and loved ones.
Kabila is your go-to place modern Filipino restaurant serving contemporary and finely-prepared local cuisine with a trendy twist and flipped imagination through its eclectic dishes of festive appetizers, hearty soups, meaty and fishy mains and luscious desserts and beverages.
First in the menu line and a top-rater is Seafood Guava Sinigang (P 525), a Filipino classic and popular piping hot (usually a sour soup that uses tamarind as its base flavor) meal dish. For this one, it gives a little flavor twist by using different line of ingredients like scallops, bangus belly, fresh water prawns, clams, kangkong, labanos, sitaw and cherry tomatoes. This overflowing dish with big flavor and comfort is sure to satisfy and warm your body especially on a cold and rainy weather.
There’s more soup dish to enjoy like Kabilas’s version of the traditional and all-time favorite Batchoy Noodle Soup (P 275) that is made more interesting with the merging rich flavor that contains bone marrow and pork bagnet aside from the basic pork liver, egg yolk, and crispy garlic on top. Another perfect dish on a cold night and rainy day if you are craving for something warm and savory.
There are also other great tasting Filipino dishes in the menu line like the all-time favorite and ubiquitous stir-fried noodle dish pancit that is often served during birthdays and special occasions to symbolize long life. A must-try to include on your order list is Kabila: Our Special Pancit (P 350), a sweet, savory and good for sharing noodle dish consists of crispy bagnet, beef, bok choy, carrots, sayote, lucban noodles and served with peppered sinamak vinegar.
Another worth to try is the popular Filipino noodle dish Smoked Bangus Lug Lug (P 350), a great-tasting miki style luglug noodles garnished with smoked tinapa sauce and topped with prawns, egg, crispy bagnet bits, tofu and shredded bok choy.
Check out their on-going promotion Meryenda Sa Kabila where you can pick and enjoy few snack items like the Smoked Bangus Lug Lug, Batchoy Noodles, Fried Lumpia Rolls, Fresh Lumpia and Dinuguan at Puto paired with any choice of crowd favorite local refreshments like Sago’t Gulaman, Buko Melon and Guinumis. Price is only P250++.
Another perfect dish for meryenda (snack) though I tried this one as appetizer (Yes, it’s a stimulating starter dish for me!) is the amazing and yummy fusion flavors of Crispy Catfish, Burong Hipon, and Mustasa (P 375) served with calamansi and balayan vinaigrette.
How to eat: Take your Mustasa leaf, place a portion of crispy catfish, burong hipon, and vegetables. Roll everything up and dip it on your choice of sauce (transcribed from Kabila’s Facebook page).
For some all-time favorite Filipino inspirations main course, among its signature offerings is the traditional grilled street food served on a charcoal grilled BBQ Sa Kabila consists of 5 Sticks of Pork BBQ Skewers (P 295). Other choices are Tiger Prawns (P 475), Chicken Skin Skewers (P 195) and 200g of Gindara (P 375).
Another favored good-for-sharing main course here is the Filipino-style Alaminos Longganisa (P 295) served with the strong flavor of sukang (vinegar) Iloko.
For vegetable lovers, you will surely love the vegetable offerings in the menu like the mild tasting, simple yet nutritious Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa (P 250) made of rich and thick vegetable dish of squash, string beans, dried fish and coconut cream milk.
For some stirring desserts treat, one of the best-sellers is the Leche Flan Turon (P 195) served with chocnut chocolate dip. An innovative concept of the typical Filipino snack dessert of deep-fried banana rolls turon and popular Filipino leche flan dessert made-up of eggs and milk with soft caramel on top.
Summer season is already over but we can’t refuse having the smell and sight (of course the taste!!!) of Kabila Halo-Halo (P 250), a year-long layered Filipino classic refreshment and elegant cold snack with mixtures of shaved ice and evaporated milk with added colorful ingredients like mango, macapuno ice cream, ube halaya, leche flan, sweet banana and sweet condiments. A good option too to stay cool on a sunny day is the season to taste and freshly-prepared Ultimate Avocado Crush (P 250) with a string of fresh ingredients like avocado pudding, ice cream, queso, sago and pomelo shreds.
Thinking of something to eat on your break time after lunch? How about having a sweet slices of its best-seller and confectionary baked cakes for some sweet tooth moment like the tandem of heavenly, rich and moist Impossible Cake (P295) and Table Cake (P 295).
Currently, you can enjoy all the cakes available in the menu including the aforementioned cake specialties through the afternoon delight Meryenda sa Kabila where you can pair any of the cake items with a choice of coffee or tea for only P250++.
For refreshment, they have their own signature must-try tropical shakes like the Watermelon + Cucumber (P 175) or a Fresh Buko Juice (P 165) made from young coconut water served in a coconut to complete your meal abundantly (especially your craving tummy).
What good about dining at Kabila gives you many good reasons to explore many Filipino rich culinary flavors with modern interpretations (which is like transporting you to different regions around the Philippines). Enjoy!
Ayala Museum Complex
Makati Avenue Corner Dela Rosa Street,
Makati City, Philippines 1200
+632 757 3000 / +632 757 6000
Store Hours: Open Daily 8am to 11pm