Kettle, Shangri-la Plaza East Wing

More than a month before our January visit home, I've been hearing friends and fellow food lovers talking about this new restaurant called Kettle that recently opened at Manila's newest hangout spot, where else but in the East Wing of Shangril-La Plaza. This new structure of the mall houses a number of interesting food concepts from Chef Rob Goco's Green Pastures to another addition in the ramen competition, Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen to name a few. Since I don't get to go home that often, I have a long list of restaurants to try and one of those is Kettle.

I am very lucky to be blessed with really supportive high school friends. As we were planning for our dinner out, they allowed me to choose where I want to eat as they are very much aware of my long running list. We all agreed to dine at Kettle and to ensure that we have a table ready for us as we're dining on a busy Friday night, a reservation has been made.

We were a loooong table of 12 so it can be quite chaotic to order family-style. Paul and I were seated opposite my two best friends T and E so we agreed to order 3 dishes for the four of us to share. Yay!

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T and E started their meal with a bowl of Oven Roasted Squash Soup (Php. 249) split into two. I love the presentation wherein the bowl first comes with a small portion of shrimp salad at the bottom. Do not dig in yet as you have to wait for the server to pour in the creamy squash soup. I was able to try a spoonful of it and while it was okay, T and I admit that the best Squash Soup in town award still goes to our all-time favorite C_ _ _.

Over at the other end of the table, our friends C and J ordered a huge plate of Pork and Potato Strips (Php. 339). I love how they called me to try this as well. See how supportive my friends are? :) This is a good appetizer choice especially when you're dining with a group. As we catched up with one another, we happily munched into the thin potato strips that reminds me of Pik-Nik. A bit oily though but I have to admit, it can be darn addicting.

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Finally, our main dishes were served. Paul and I ordered the most talked about Buttermilk Fried Chicken (Php. 519) which was HUGE! It was a good thing that K has dined at Kettle before and she warned us of the gigantic size of this dish. We got 3 orders of this which was shared by almost everyone in the table.

The verdict? It was crunchy, yes. Well coated and flavored, definitely. I love that it was served deboned and the meat stayed really juicy. Will I order this again? Maybe not. This is the case of the "it's not you, it's me" love affair where I find this to be interesting after hearing all the good things said about it but after enjoying a quarter of the huge fried chicken, I realized that it was just what it really was... a fried chicken. Sadly, it's not the kind of dish that has caused numerous daydreams or even a return visit right after. Add to the fact that I don't like chicken skin and wasn't able to enjoy the corn bread too but even Paul commented that it was quite dry. So there, once was enough for me and should I visit Kettle again, I will definitely try the other dishes on the menu.

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We also tried the Truffle Gorgonzola Pasta (Php. 289) which, I have to say, was disappointing. I could hardly taste or even smell the truffle oil and instead it was way too creamy to be enjoyed thoroughly. *sigh*

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Over to T and E, they shared the Corned Beef Angus Hash (Php. 519) and commented that while it was okay, the chef went really potato-happy. Even T, who's a big potato fan, ended up leaving a good amount of diced potato on her plate as it was just too much.

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To cap off our meal, we were surprised that the kitchen gave us two complimentary desserts -- Kettle's signature Checkered Cake and Banana Cream Pie. Well, what do you know, we loved both desserts! I guess this is where the saying "the best things in life are FREE" can be applied to. The Banana Cream Pie was really delicious even if it reminds us of Starbucks Coffee's Banoffee Pie deconstructed style. Still, we each had a tiny spoonful and all gave our nod of approval.

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What save the night though was the Checkered Cake. I'm a big fan of Red Velvet and I totally loved the moist chocolate chiffon that alternates with the really delicious red velvet cake. This was truly a winner!

It was nice to finally try Kettle and while the dishes were pretty good, I just find it to be a bit over-rated to be enjoyed over and over again.

Kettle is located at Level 5 East Wing, Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Shaw Boulevard cor. EDSA, Mandaluyong City. Call them at 654-7077. 

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