Kettle, located at the 5th level of Shangri-la’s East Wing has been open for a couple of months, but it has been largely overshadowed by Green Pastures. I’ve been waiting for the restaurant to open because the chef, Chiloy Santos, is a basketball mate of mine. Kettle bills itself as upscale American comfort food taking inspired by Chef Chiloy’s travels from San Francisco to New Orleans.
I’ve been to Kettle a number of times so the photos will be a mix of day and night time and you will see a large number of dishes.The ambiance is nice, seating is comfortable and the waitstaff pay just the right amount of attention to each table.
Kettle House Salad (P339). A simple salad mix of Romaine and Arugula with Manchego Cheese, toffee walnuts in a berry vinaigrette dressing with bacon sneaked in for a bit of fun.
Pork and Potato Strips (P339). This is one appetizer everyone will enjoy with crispy strips of potatoes (think thinner Pik-Nik). The potato is fried together with tarragon and basil giving it alot of herb flavor Deep fried pork belly cubes are thrown in because we all just love pork. Generous shavings of parmesan cheese and a drizzling of truffle oil finishes it off. It’s a mess to eat as the piling is so high moving pieces off of it is like playing Jenga. The playful textures and myriad flavors kept me grabbing for more and more to the detriment of my diet.
Clam Chowder (P229). This hearty soup is served in a sourdough bread bowl that mimics the ones you might see in San Francisco. Some like me may see it as a waste but other diners do finish it all including the bread. I’ve always been looking for good clam chowder but something is always amiss. Kettle’s has just the right amount of creaminess that does not venture into cloyingness. Generous amounts of clams and crunchy celery bits shares equal space with rough cubes of potatoes and carrot. Irene said our quest for clam chowder is over, we’ve found our favorite at Kettle.
The other soup I’ve tried at Kettle is the Oven Roasted Squash Soup (P249). There’s a bit of showmanship here as the soup comes deconstructed, shrimp salad sits on a bowl while the squash soup is places in a container on the side. The waiter then pours the hot soup onto the shrimp salad. There’s some interesting flavors in the soup, a bit of lemon oil and tarragon, that separates it from the usual.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken (P519), this is my current pick for best fried chicken in the metro. Two boneless pieces of chicken leg quarters, marinated in buttermilk for 24 hours, expertly fried to a perfect crisp, coated with Chef Chiloy‘s Cajun seasoning. Served with 3 pieces of cornbread, honey with more cajun seasoning and country gravy. For me, the best way to eat this is to drizzle the honey then gravy on the chicken to get a multitude of flavors, spicy, sweet and savory all in one bite. People have been known to come back again and again just for this dish. The cornbread (P29/extra piece) might be playing second fiddle to the chicken but don’t forget to take a bite or you’ll definitely regret it. It’s been sweetened a bit to suit local taste buds but we still want to put a little more honey on top before digging in.
With all that food, we need some liquids to wash it down. Kettle has three nice Ice teas (P149/750ml carafe), Peach, Lemon and Green. My pick is the peach for a flavor that’s not too common but equally refreshing.
The Shrimp Po’ Boy (P419) is a big sandwich that a bit of a mess visually. Cajun breaded shrimps sandwiched between a soft ciabatta roll drizzles with a tart remoulade and topped with two banana peppers. A bit spicy with fun and playful textures, at no point does this become too heavy. I’ve not had many Po Boy’s but I imagine this is a facsimile of the ones I see on American television shows.
The Australian Lamb Adobo (P449) is gamey meat heaven that’s big on tempting fragrance. The lamb meat is super tender and has the distinct adobo taste. The truffle mushroom brown rice just complements it very well, that its a joy to eat everything together.
The Steak and Marrow (P2599) is the most expensive item on the menu. It’s the least interesting thing for me but that does not mean its not done well. A 450 gram prime aged USDA steak grilled with just salt and pepper to let the flavor of the meat shine. A big piece of herb crusted bone marrow on the side, that did not interest me one bit.
Kettle’s desserts are all made by his mom, Vilma Santos (not the actress). She expends great effort in assembling the Checkered Cake (P209), a towering piece of alternating red and brown squares enveloped by a cream cheese frosting. The caramel cake had a nice caramel icing but I felt the sponge cake was not fluffy enough. I’ve also tried the Pistachio cake (P229), Banana cream pie (P149) and Peach Trifle (P269), the peach trifle is the only one that I liked among the three.
Kettle‘s menu is small and well curated with many items that are great options for solo meals or group sharing. Eating with the group is infinitely more fun as comfort food is meant to be shared among friends with endless stories to match. Chef Chiloy has created a winner and I’m not saying that so he’ll take it easy on the court.
Take a trip to Shangri-la East Wing and try out both Green Pastures and Kettle, two of the best new restaurants this year.
Kettle5th Floor, East Wing Shangrila Plaza Mall, Edsa cor. Shaw Blvd. Mandaluyong City Philippines. Contact No.: (02) 654-7077 Operating Hours: 11:30am to 9:30pm daily