Experience The Sweetest Kind Of Nostalgia At Karen's Kitchen In Pasig

Karen's Kitchen in Kapitolyo is truly one of the most beautiful and casual dining destinations in Metro Manila; it's one that visually captures a combination of old European and American influences while serving some of the most nostalgic dishes that only Chef Karen Young can offer to her guests.

As the owner of her own kitchen, Chef Karen, all dressed up simply in jeans, t-shirt and her shiny shoes that I adore so much, instantly became one of my resto owner/chef inspirations simply because her concept is closely connected to her passions in life: baking, cooking, old memorabilia, classical music, tea parties and family gatherings. 

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When I visited the place, I didn't even feel like I was in Pasig anymore. Going to Karen's Kitchen makes you feel like you're being transported back in time. 

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Karen's Kitchen is originally known for creating and offering some of the best cakes and desserts in Manila, with each one of them definitely worth trying. But if you haven't had any of her signature cakes below, my recommendations would be the Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Ganache Cake or Frozen Brazo in Vanilla, Green Tea or Strawberry.

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Along with Chef Karen's ultimate dessert lineup, don't hesitate to try her selection of savory dishes as well at very affordable and casual date-friendly prices!

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While you're waiting for your order, feast your eyes on everything that are displayed inside Karen's Kitchen. Look at her old but restored oven, check out her piano that you can play with, and just look at the many kitchen equipment that you would normally see at your grandmother's house when you were younger. It's such a nostalgic journey at every angle. Don't forget to check out their super cool restroom too!

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And while I goof around inside Karen's Kitchen, I also had a chance to mingle with my KTG buddies as well! I even had a chance to show my not-so-amazing piano skills while we wait for the dishes to arrive from the kitchen. (should you be at Karen's Kitchen and hear someone playing the piano in a not-so-impressive manner, that would be me hahaha!)

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STARTERS
The Meatball Ribbon Soup with Parmesan Disc is tomato based and served with cute bread sticks that are perfect for dipping in the soup. It's light but filling, and the ribbon pasta is perfect because you can conveniently gather the ribbon pieces easily with your spoon, and with each spoonful heading straight to your mouth. 

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Meatball Ribbon Soup with Parmesan Disc 
The Shitake Mushroom Dip is a light and interesting way of eating this common type of fungi. While one would normally use Shitake mushrooms for most Chinese dishes, at Karen's Kitchen it is sauteed with cream and spices which makes it as a perfect accompaniment with three freshly baked pastry shells with the shape of hearts. That's a perfect plate of love right there.

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Shitake Mushroom Dip
PASTAS
Karen's Kitchen offers Aligue Pasta which is actually one of their bestsellers, and I found it to be true because I've tried it myself. It's very rich and tasty, with the right balance of flavors, considering that using aligue can be quite difficult if you don't know how to use it that much. I liked the Aligue Pasta too much that I forgot to take a photo of it. Hahaha!

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Mushroom Truffle with Angel Hair
You can also try their Mushroom Truffle with Angel Hair and Lughanigue Sun Dried Tomato Angel Hair which iare new items on the menu. Both look very appetizing, not to mention, delicious. So far there isn't anything that I didn't like while we wait for the rest of the dishes to be served.

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Lughanigue
MAINS
Walk down on memory lane with Karen's Kitchen's version of the Classic Hamburger, which is normally served by Filipinos in slices of bread instead of the usual hamburger buns. Create your own version as the tomatoes, mushroom and greens are plated separately so you can either out everything together or eat them separately as a side salad. I feel like a kid with this simple yet satisfying dish!

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Hamburger
Or make any moment special by ordering Chef Karen's Squid Ink Quinoa, which you would normally perceive as a stunning pan of Paella. And yes, you still wouldn't notice that it is actually Quinoa. It's a simply wonderful dish that you can show off to friends when you dine in at Karen's Kitchen. 

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Squid Ink Quinoa
You would notice that most of the dishes at Karen's Kitchen are either light, baked or stewed, only because Chef Karen has created the menu to balance it with her rich and calorie-worthy desserts that we have yet to try during our visit. In the meantime, let me offer you a plate of Baked Kale and Sweet Potato Chips with some thick balsamic dressing.

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Kale and Sweet Potato Chips
CRISPIZZAS
Feel free to try these guiltless pizzas as well, which look much more like open faced quesadillas. You can either try the Summer Garden or Chicken Pesto Crispizzas, as well as this one below wherein each piece is laden with fat red finger chillies.

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PASTRIES AND DESSERTS
At Karen's Kitchen, you can set up your own tea party of two or more just by ordering some pastries that goes perfectly well with their selection of teas and coffee (their have hand drip pour over coffee and herbal tea as well). The Scones are fresh from the oven and traditionally served with jam and some cream. 

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Scones with Jam and Cream
Feel free to sink your teeth into these Baked (yes, not fried) Beignets that are best served with a cup of the thickest, Liquid Chocolate that only you can get at Karen's Kitchen. I had mine in a small shot glass but normally you get them in a cup. This 'liquid gold' tasted divine, it's more of a cross between thick pudding and your usual hot cocoa drink. It's sinful but hey, it's chocolate so I've got absolutely nothing to complain about!

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Baked Beignets with Liquid Chocolate
Another dessert to come back for is their Sticky Toffee Pudding (which was already in my tummy by the time I realized no photos were taken) and these lovely bite sized pieces of Frozen Brazo and huge Peanut Butter Cups that are covered with chocolate ganache and topped with guess what...more peanut butter cups!!

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Tea Party, anyone? 

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Frozen Brazo, Green Tea Layer Cake, Peanut Butter Cups
Overall, 'twas such a fine day for some snacks, tea and cake with friends! Oh and how I have missed the place. I should visit Karen's Kitchen again soon!

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What is your favorite dish/dessert at Karen's Kitchen? Share your comments below!

Know more about Karen's Kitchen through these links:
Official website of Karen's Kitchen
Karen's Kitchen on Facebook

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*This post was created by the writer's own thoughts on Karen's Kitchen.

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