One fine mid-week lunch, Kirsty, Liane and I ventured to Kumare. Kirsty had been previously and vouched for it – I trust her because she had just come back from a trip to the Philippines! We combed through the menu, which is pretty extensive and tried to narrow is down.
In the end, we settled for Pancit Palabok, Laing, Garlic Fried Rice, Filipino Style BBQ and Ukoy.
Starting off with the Filipino Style BBQ – first off, a lot of people also ask me about this and why the BBQ is red. I’m guessing the mix of ketchup and the other ingredients make for the vibrant colour of the meat. Back to the review – this was probably my favourite thing we ate. One skewer is quite large, we ordered a chicken and a pork skewer and both were very tender and juicy. The flavour isn’t too overpowering but its a nice mix of sweet and salty and a hint of spice to it. I would definitely recommend ordering this.
Up next is the Ukoy. Think of this similar to Korean seafood pancakes but in a fritter form. The way they create the ukoy here is different then how my dad makes it at home, but I liked it. It had various layers of batter, vegetables and some seafood to it. I would’ve love to see more seafood or meat go into the ukoy. Served with vinegar – perfect!
The Pancit Palabok was ok, but nothing really to write home about. The sauce was fine, but there was no unique or distinct flavour to it and besides from having some chicharron, green onions and eggs on top, there wasn’t much else in the palabok. I’d love to see some more protein added to this dish.
The Laing is a dish I don’t get at home, I’m assuming it’s because its not from the regions my parents are from. Laing (lah-ing) is made with dried taro leaves, coconut milk and other ingredients. The Laing here is a nice light version that worked well with the garlic fried rice. I’ve had laing previously and it was more spicier and had a bit more of a seafood taste to it (with the shrimp paste and shrimp added to the dish), but I didn’t find that with this version. This version is fairly mild, which is pretty good on it’s own.
The Garlic Fried rice they gave us was a large heaping, very fragrant and delicious.
Overall, there are some hits and misses here at Kumare, but I would come back again and try more of the dishes. I think I will bring my parents here to give me a better assessment of what they think of it.
What I do want to mention is that they have a big dessert selection from ube cake, sans rival cake , buns and a lot more. These are definitely on my to-try list during my next meal here.
For more information on the restaurant and their menu, visit their website here: http://kumare.ca/menu.html