There is something magical that happens when family and friends sit down together over a home-cooked meal.
When people get together at the dinner table, an array of freshly cooked dishes spread before them, good conversation, good vibes and good times are not far behind.
However, with today’s hectic lifestyle and busy schedules, not everyone would have the time to constantly slave over the stove to come up with mouth-watering meals.
Enter The Happy Kitchen.
And by enter, I mean invite it to your home to bring you and your loved ones the flavors you love and grew up with.
The Happy Kitchen (or THK) is the brainchild of Risa Cirineo, a full-time food entrepreneur based in Cainta, Rizal.
She originally operated a canteen in her home to take advantage of a new business opportunity presented by a new school opening nearby, as well as an office canteen in a car dealership.
When she had to close down the office canteen, she jumped on a new and more practical business opportunity: selling party trays online.
In 2018, she started doing exactly that: selling party trays of comfort food such as Beef Caldereta, Kare-Kare and Sisig on Facebook to anywhere in Metro Manila.
Today, her product lines include include party trays, packed meals and “paluto” requests of comfort food and party favorites, some of which were sent over for me and my family to sample:
Beef Caldereta (Php650 good for 6 | Php1,100 good for 10). A mainstay in many family gatherings and fiestas, the caldereta is a showcase of Spanish influences on Filipino cuisine. Named after the caldera – the cauldron where the ingredients are stewed in – this dish combines simple ingredients such as marinated beef, rough-chopped vegetables and a bit of liver pate to bring about a comforting and hearty dish. In THK’s version, the meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender while the tomato sauce was rich in beefy flavor with a bit of cheese and just a hint of spice.
Special Pork Sisig (Php500 good for 6 | Php850 good for 10). This Kapampangan dish is actually one of my daughter’s favorite viands and would usually order it whenever we dine out. She took a liking to THK’s rendition of this classic dish as it was not overly oily and the crunch chicharon bits gave it added texture and flavor. This dish is great as an appetizer or as bar chow.
Chicken Cordon Bleu (Php600 good for 6 | Php980 good for 10). Another party classic, this dish is made of chicken breasts thinned and wrapped around pieces of ham and cheese, then breaded and pan-fried to a golden brown. It’s great as a viand accompanied by rice or by itself as a finger food during cocktails, and is usually a hit with the kids because – duh! – cheese and chicken. 🙂
Korean Chicken (Php520 good for 6 | Php880 good for 10). With all things Korean being a hit in the Philippines these days, it’s no wonder that THK began offering Korean-style braised chicken to its clientele. Risa built on her mom’s recipe – a family favorite for years – by adding gochujang to this dish made with tender chicken pieces in a flavorful sauce of aromatics and herbs. This fresh take on a chicken-based viand is a hit with my son.
These dishes from The Happy Kitchen showcase the care and pride that Risa puts into her cooking. They feature meats that are tender to the bite, veggies with some crisp freshness and flavors that appeal to everyone in my family.
Many thanks to Risa for sending over these THK best-sellers!
Here’s how you can get these delectable dishes for your family dinner or clan gathering:
- Visit The Happy Kitchen on Facebook to check out its menu of available dishes.
- Text the following details to +63 922 3057613 or +63 917 5493643 at least three days in advance: your name, contact number, your orders and your preferred delivery date, time and address or your preferred date and time of pickup
- Pay via bank deposit or online fund transfer to BPI or BDO: 50% downpayment at least three days before pickup or delivery and the remaining 50% one day prior to pick up or delivery
Aside from party trays, THK’s dishes are also available as packed meals good for meetings or as crew meals, with sets priced at Php110 for 1 viand + 1 rice, Php135 for 1 viand + 1 vegetable side dish + 1 rice, Php165 for 2 viands + 1 rice and Php195 for 2 viands, 1 vegetable side dish and 1 rice.
Disclosure: Product samples were provided to enable an honest review.
Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business: