Kettle: 'Brewing' only the best southern style comfort food in Manila

So the day came when I finally got the chance to try Kettle.

Richie aka 'The Pickiest Eater' recently asked me if I had tried it at Kettle, I was basically clueless that I thought it was another newly opened restaurant. But when he told me that Kettle is the place to find the best buttermilk fried chicken in town...I thought for a minute and gave him a reply.

"I better be ready with my meds, for my allergies...", although behind it I was already browsing a number of reviews from other foodies saying that Kettle's fried chicken was indeed, the best. To relief, he said, "..at least it isn't pork...but don't worry they have a lot of other country dishes". When I told him I can still try Kettle's buttermilk fried chicken despite my condition, I laughed incessantly when he jokingly asked me to sign a waiver first before I eat it.

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It was a shame I didn't notice Kettle before during my recent visits at Shangri-la mall, although it was just right next to restaurants that I've tried and loved, Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen and Kimukatsu.

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Kettle is a cozy restaurant that offers a lot of southern style dishes with different twists and turns that can make you want to drool for more.

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They also offer an array of cakes, which I have tried later that day.

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These three carafes of their Regular Iced Tea, Green Iced Tea and Peach Iced Tea were served to quench out thirst while waiting for the food at Kettle. The Peach Iced Tea was a hit because of its natural sweet kissed flavor, but I prefer the healthier Green Iced tea instead.
  
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But if you are currently avoiding sugared drinks, you can enjoy their infused water nevertheless. I just adore the combination of colors thanks to the slices of lemon and mint on this carafe.

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Kettle's Pork and Potato Strips makes eating potatoes an amazing experience that you might just forget how french fries look like. It's strips of fresh potatoes, fried until they are cooked with a perfect amount of crunch, and just carefully stacked below a combination of more potato strips and crispy pork belly, with fried herbs, red pepper aioli, cheese shavings and truffle oil. 

You have to gingerly handle this dish if you don't want to spread it out on the table, but just in case, it's normal if someone catches you picking up the pork and potato pieces and eating it. 

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Kettle also serves some yummy Clam Chowder (pronounced as chow-dah) served on a sourbread dough bowl. You know it's good when there are indeed clams, potatoes, and lots of it. It's thick and filling, but I have yet to try more so I controlled myself as I waited for the other dishes.

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And so it came: the famous Kettle's Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Two in-your-face huge chicken pieces, skin on, spiked with cajun seasoning, and served with cornbread, and a unique combination of cajun honey and country gravy. You might have read a lot of review about Kettle's crazy popular fried chicken, but the reason why this is a hit is that aside from the convenience of having it boneless, the cooking technique is just phenomenal. It's that the most innovative of them all, but cooking fried chicken is not easy as you think. It's all about proper oil temperatures, and this goes for the chicken as well. It should not be frozen or be too warm before it gets cooked because it affects the result. 

As for Kettle, each bite is crispy on the outside, and ultimately tender, moist and tasty. It's fresh, hot, and sexy. Not to mention, it's really a simple plate of fried chicken yet it shifts into an exquisite one, especially if you try to combine both the gravy and cajun honey. Have this with wine, rice, or just by itself. Had it with a splash of tabasco and I was all set. Oh and yeah, I was so in trouble with my allergies that day, but this was just so damn good I had to eat it again soon. 

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If you would notice, the cornbread above might seem to be burnt, but actually we preferred to have it a bit more toasted that day. But normally you can get them like this below.

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If you are interested to try something with an Asian flair, the Miso Glazed Salmon is a healthy alternative, complete with marinated cold soba noodles with a pan fried norweigan salmon fillet and topped with mango cilantro salsa. The noodles had hints of mayo and wasabi, while the salmon is tender and flaky, with a good amount of tang, sweetness and spice from the salsa. 

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Kettle also has this excellent Corned Beef Hash, made of in-house corned beef, combined with fried potatoes and topped with a sunny side up egg. It's best to cut the egg first and mix in the yolk with the rest of the ingredients in this dish, and it'll surely send you off to a great start. It is perfect for brunch, but you can have it anytime of the day once you get it at Kettle.

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You would think that this is just another bread pastry drizzled with chocolate sauce, but this is Baked Brie, wrapped in puff pastry, served with balsamic syrup and side salad with LOTS of cheese. I got a piece and surprisingly it's creamy and a bit sweet because it also had a bit of jam inside, made with forest berries.

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What is it with Kettle and cheese? Because there's more of that when you order this Half Pounder Angus Burger, with smoked white cheddar, greens, caramelized onions and horseradish dressing. You can cut it into threes like this one, but if I was hungry I don't think there's such a thing as sharing.

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If you want more of Kettle's in-house corned beef, then maybe you might want to try it between two pieces of honey oat bread, braised cabbage, plus a marriage of Havarti and Fontina cheeses and more grated cheese on top. The Reuben at Kettle changed the way I see corned beef. I had one mouthful and I'm just deliciously satisfied even though it only had a few ingredients. It's a taste that's very hard to describe until you try it yourself, plus I really liked the crunchy and sweet potato fries.

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The dishes at Kettle are very impressive and all with big servings, so it's not really an issue if you wanted to share the bill with some friends in order to eat here. Most of the dishes are good enough for two to three people so it's advised that you eat here with some company if you don't want to splurge on your own.

Even the desserts are big enough for sharing, like this tall slice of Checkered Cake, with layers of red velvet and chocolate cake. I'm not really a fan of sweets, but I had a piece of this and it's really not that bad.

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But when there's fruits in it, I am likely to give in, like having a spoon or two of Banana Cream Pie, which is like eating a deconstructed banoffee pie sans the coffee.

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And also this dense Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Yellow cake which is baked underneath a bed of pineapple pieces until it gets caramelized to its perfect sweetness. It's sticky, fruity, but not overly sweet. Too bad I was so full, but I definitely loved this!

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Despite all of the non-stop raves, I loved the fact that the guys at Kettle remain humble and grounded. It's quite a revelation on how Chef Chiloy Santos started working in the food industry, and it's just astounding that he didn't reach success on a silver platter. 

A mix of Kettle gurus and newbies with Chef Chiloy Santos (4th from the left)
There was no magical brews of potions on this kettle. The restaurant's achievement, simply put, was a result of hard work, dedication, reaching beyond the standards, and keeping that standard to a right level of satisfaction, even in the smallest of details. It's no wonder that Kettle is truly one of Manila's best restaurants today.

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See more from Kettle on their official accounts:
Kettle Official Facebook Page
Follow Kettle on Instagram

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*Disclaimer: The following post is entirely made from the writer's own thoughts and views on Kettle.
*Special thanks to Kettle's Chef Chiloy Santos & Richie Zamora.

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2 responses

  1. I've eaten at ikkoryu and kimukatsu, zao and spatzle save for The Strip Hollywood Steakhouse. =)) And, have never seen kettle too or maybe I didn't bother finding out because all my probable dining companions have already try it. >.<

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    1. Agree! Before I tried the dishes at Kettle, I felt that a lot of people already talked about the same thing already, but I tried my best to make my post a bit more interesting for those who haven't been there. At first I thought that Kettle is overrated, but actually, I realized that the resto really deserves that much attention and more. It's really good Stacy, you should try it!

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