If you’ve missed sun filled holidays as much as I have then the simple pleasure of visiting Kasa and Kin will deliver you to a tropical adventure like no other. This brand new all-day Filipino restaurant, bar, bakery and patisserie from the team behind Kensington’s Romulo Café and Restaurant has just opened in the heart of Soho and I was so excited to experience my first Filipino dinner.
Walking through Soho seeing bolts of colour and neon lights is nothing out of the ordinary. However, Kasa and Kin have reimagined dynamic colours and incorporated it into their new and contemporary Filipino restaurant. With an eye catching mural on the walls created by the bewitchingly talented Kulay Labitagan, you are transported you into an immersive land of fun and beauty. The mural takes you into a psychedelic rainforest, with the shapes and colours inspired by the legendary Filipino mythical birds, the Ibong Adarna.
Kasa means home and Kin means family with both elements bursting into life, from the exquisite Southeast Asian inspired food and the atmosphere of warmth and passion. Rowena Romulo, Chris Joseph and their team have added some creative and contemporary twists to family recipes that you can try throughout the menu.
Starting off with a Ibong Adrana cocktail, this was made with the Filipino mythical bird in mind. Followed by a traditional chicken tinola (broth), a combination of warmth and delicate spices makes it an ideal winter starter as the days get colder and darker. Next to spoil the senses was a marinated (soused) salmon tartare layered on a bed of smashed avocado with alluring colours of the pinks and greens. Each mouthful I was induced into a dream with flashes of lime, meaty and tender fish, and the creaminess of the ripened avocado.
The main course
The skewers are one of the starts of the show, cooked over a robata grill. With a variety of skewers, I was spoiled for choice of which one to start with. The pork belly made its way to my plate the quickest and it was tender like candy floss and complimented the range of homemade sauces provided. This was quickly followed by succulent sticky chicken then fiery yet sweet chorizo inspired by Cebu.
Next tantalising my taste buds was the grilled squid, each succulent morsel became little trips closer to a religious experience and was not complete without the robata vegetables. Our final course of savoury paradise was some wagyu steak cooked to the perfect pinkiness and garlic fried rice, crunchy green slaw and grilled octopus with each tentacle adding new depths of character to the table. The last mouthful was savoured and yet rushed.
A sweet ending
With the knowledge of how brilliant the past four courses had been, I was desperate to see the Filipino magic in pudding form. Arriving wrapped was an Ube Tsunami cheesecake. My apprehension sparked when I was told Ube is a root vegetable. As the paper was carefully peeled off a cascade of purple elixir flooded my plate and before I knew it my fork had already dived into its beauty. The arrival of each new plate onto the table meant a new glass of something to compliment the textures and flavours of the food too.
Kasa and Kin is somewhere I want to go back to again and again to try some lunchtime treats like the Imbento Box and of course a range of the famous stuffed pandesal breads, cheese cakes, tarts and more. Mixing the traditional heritage of the Philippines and contemporary modern cuisine is going to make Kasa and Kin popular with anyone who wants to go on a tropical holiday and explore foods which will make your whole-body smile whilst still being in the comfort of the streets of London.
To discover more, visit: kasaandkin.co.uk
All imagery courtesy of Kasa and Kin.
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