Rediscovering Filipino comfort food at Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Do you remember the food served during your family’s get-togethers? The recipes passed down from your great-grandmas? The dishes that your mom and titas magically put together in the kitchen before calling everybody in to partake of the meal?

These are comfort food: down-home cooking that evoke a feeling of well-being. They may not be haute cuisine nor even exciting at times but they do call to mind the joys of childhood and family.

At Kusina Moderne, the recently opened restaurant in Poblacion, the comfort food passed down through generations of Filipino families are elevated through imagination and technique.

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Tucked away in one of Poblacion’s side streets, Kusina Moderne is a hidden gem for ardent foodies to discover and share.

The restaurant’s modern yet warm interiors welcome guests into an exciting gastronomic experience: wood tables, benches and chairs provide color contrasts to the industrial-type unpainted concrete walls and exposed ceilings, and diners can take a peek into what goes on during food preparation through the open kitchen. Small bric-a-bracs and potted plants add some personality to the space, evoking the feeling of home even in such a modern setting.

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne offers classic dishes we grew up with but prepared using French cooking techniques and presented in a deconstructed manner, adding a veneer of sophistication and excitement to familiar viands while still remaining affordable for families and friends to enjoy.

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

During a #ZomatoXListerine foodie meetup, my fellow foodies and I got a taste of Kusina Moderne’s menu items such as:

Mechado Tacos (Php195). Honestly, I almost never eat mechado unless my mom prepares it but this reimagining of the braised beef dish is so refreshingly different from its usual iterations. The tender shredded beef seem to melt in your mouth in a burst of flavor enhanced by the addition of guacamole, cilantro, sour cream and pickled onion, with a satisfying crunch with every bite thanks to the fried wonton wrapper which takes the place of the taco shell.

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Adobong Pusit (Php195). Sauteed squid heads on a bed of garlicky squid ink adobo sauce. Never have I seen adobong pusit served as prettily as this!

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Embutido Scotch Egg (Php195). Your tita’s embutido gets a makeover with this dish: a runny soft-boiled egg is placed inside chicken embutido, and deep-fried theb served with banana ketchup.

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Lumpiang Sariwa (Php200). In this classic merienda dish, sauteed veggies are wrapped in freshly made crepes and served drizzled with sweet and savoury peanut sauce.

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Sotanghon Soup (Php345). A rainy day favorite, this Pinoy-style chicken noodle soup is made with thin glass noodles and sauteed veggies in flavorful chicken broth served with a soft-boiled egg.

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Halaan Soup (Php395). Manila clams in a clear broth flavored with chili leaves, ginger, corn and kamote tops, and served with garlic toast.

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Isda Tanigue (Php395). The tanigue or chub mackerel is often served plainly fried in Filipino dinner tables but this version it is served seared, sandwiched between a bed of pureed vegetables at the bottom and a medley of chopped and sauteed carrots, papaya, cabbage and pumpkin on top. If this was served to me when I was a kid, I would have eaten more fish and veggies!

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Tuna Belly with Chimichurri (Php450). Marinated tuna belly is broiled then charred for that smokey flavor, and well-complemented by its chimichurri sauce.

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Binagoongang Baboy (Php395). Roasted pork belly drizzled with binagoongan sauce and served with strips of green mango and radish salad on a bed of pureed roasted egg plant.

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Cheesecake Flan (Php175). Graham cracker crust topped with smooth and creamy leche flan served with mango bits, sliced walnuts and Marie biscuit crumbs giving this dessert nice contrasts in flavor and texture.

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Sans Rival (Php215). This dessert is definitely without rival. How else can you describe balls of meringue studded with chopped walnuts and filled with buttercreama and served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream?

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

With these creative reimaginings of classic Pinoy dishes, Kusina Moderne adds a bit of excitement to its comfort food.

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Check them out for yourself!

Many thanks to the management and crew of Kusina Moderne for the warm welcome and awesome food, and to Zomato and Listerine for making this event possible!

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Kusina Moderne, Poblacion

Oh, and watch this space for my blog post on the importance of mouthwash for foodies, coming soon!

Listerine x Zomato

Get a free dish when you and a friend dine at Kusina Moderne, thanks to Zomato Gold! Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 (Buy 1 Get 1) deals on food or 2+2 (Buy 2 Get 2) deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use the code VOLT0979 to get 10% off the membership fee.

Kusina Moderne is located along Caceres Street, Poblacion, Makati, open Sundays and Tuesdays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 927 0830688.

Kusina Moderne Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I attended a foodie meetup held here wherein food and drink items were served to allow us to sample the fare. These were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Hearty and tasty comfort food at Chef Robert, Greenhills

So, what is comfort food?

It is a repast that triggers nostalgia or sentiment in someone: your mom’s signature chicken soup, crispy fried chicken that your family treats you too when you get good grades, or freshly baked pan de sal whose smell waft into your nostrils as you walk by the panaderia.

This is food ingrained with our personal memories, and aside from sating our hunger, it also soothes out soul.

This is the kind of food that Chef Robert serves. Hearty and tasty, his dishes remind us of the food that mom used to serve at home for Sunday brunch, or the ones your titas used to make for family gatherings while also introducing new ways to enjoy classic Filipino viands.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Together with my fellow foodies, I visited the newly opened Chef Robert branch in Greenhills, where the restaurant transfered after closing its branch in Banawe, Quezon City.  Carlo, the restaurant’s marketing manager, and Chef Robert himself was there to welcome us and give us a taste of the restaurant’s signature offerings which included:

Mushroom Fritters (Php195).  A light starter for the meal which has the crispy feel of chicharon (pork rind) but less of the guilt.  It is well complemented by the restaurant’s house vinegar blend.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Salad Rolls in Kani Mango (Php145 solo | Php245 regular).  A fresh way to enjoy salad rolls, this has Japanese element to it with an interesting interplay of salty flavor from the kani and sweetness from the mango.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Bicol Express Pasta (Php225).  According to TV host and foodie Tonipet, this dish is “matapang, masarap saka malasa.” This is a pasta dish that you will definitely come back for.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Alamang Fried Rice (Php175). Good for up to four people, it goes well with many of Chef Robert’s viands.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Tofu Sisig on Eggplant Torta (Php265).  The smokey flavor of the eggplant lends well to the savory tofu.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Bangus Sisig (Php205 regular | Php325 big).  A bit sweeter than the usual sisig, it also makes for a healthy alternative to the classic pork sisig dish.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Crispy Kare-Kare (Php345). Crispy deep-fried pork belly slices accompanied by steamed veggies in a rich peanut-y Kare Kare sauce and accompanied by bagoong (fermented shrimp paste).

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Crispy Embutido with Egg (Php205). The holiday staple embutido is given a makeover by coating slices in panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and deep frying them to a crispy golden brown. These are accompanied by garlic fried rice and sunny-side-up egg, making it a hearty breakfast meal.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Coffee Jelly (Php140). Cubes of coffee jelly in a sweet cream and topped with a scoop of ice cream, a perfect cap to the meal.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

With these flavorful and hearty dishes, it is easy to see that Chef Robert brings his ten years of culinary experience to bear to serve mouth-watering fare to San Juan city denizens.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Thanks to Dom of Around the City by iDomne and Jen of Sand Under My Feet for extending the invitation.

Have an appetite for pasta? Check out Chef Robert’s Unli Pasta offer! For only Php299 get unlimited refills of your choice of pasta among Bicol Express Pasta, Linguini Alfredo and Chicken Parmesan Spaghetti. Your order already comes with refillable red iced tea and a single serving of coffee jelly. See if you can beat the current record of eight refills!

Chef Robert is located at Os2 Providence Building, 55 Annapolis Street, Greenhills, San Juan City, open Tuesdays to Fridays from 11.30am to 9pm and Saturdays to Sundays from 11am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 2556309, +63 917 8654780 or +63 933 8664503.

Chef Robert Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants: