Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dude Food at The Southern Kitch

After moving back to Las Piñas from Bonifacio Global City last year, it was so frustrating for me to have to take a tricycle or car almost everywhere - 7-11, grocery store, fruit stand - when back at The Fort this was all just a walk (albeit a long one) away. And being a foodie, the proximity of decent restaurants is a must - which unfortunately are few and far between in this area, which is why I always end up heading over to BF Parañaque for new places to try.

But things seem to be looking up for me in the restaurant department, with a few good places popping up here and there. One of the recently opened restaurants at BF Resort Village is The Southern Kitch, a comfort food joint that offers dude food. Now, I don't exactly know what dude food is, but it was something definitely worth checking out, so Jericho and I headed over there one afternoon to check them out. And we were not disappointed.

You can find The Southern Kitch along Gloria Diaz street in BF Resort, on the right when you come in from the main gate on the way to Philam Village. It's a pretty small place with a car wash behind it. A place that offers dude food with a carwash right behind it and an LCD TV for you to catch the latest game or boxing match? These guys thought of everything!

The restaurant is still on a dry-run, so as expected, the food and the service is still hit and miss, as everybody's still trying to figure things out. I admit, this isn't the best time to visit any restaurant, but with a friend of mine raving about the food, we just had to get our butts over there and try it for ourselves.

Jericho and I eased into lunch sharing a plate of their Poutine Overload (P165). This wasn't really poutine, but then again, I don't think cheese curds would go over well with the Filipino palate. My bowl of fries was topped with mushroom gravy, bits of bacon, and grated cheese. This is also supposed to come with a spiced cheese sauce, but I think the mushroom sauce must've drowned it out since I didn't taste anything.

Jericho wanted a hearty burger for lunch, so he got the Chuck's Burger (P230) - an all-meat patty grilled on a stove top with bits of bologna, lettuce, cucumber, and onions on top, all smothered in a bleu cheese dressing. I took a few bites of this but found it weird.

The burger by itself was nice, meaty, and packed in pretty well - it was the toppings I didn't like. I expected the bologna to have a smokey flavor, but this was really sweet, like putting chunks of tocino on top. Not being a fan of sweet burgers, this was a big no-no for me as it didn't work with the patty at all. The same goes with adding cucumber slices to a burger - blasphemy! I also wish their bleu cheese dressing was a lot thicker, to cut through the flavor of the meat and give the burger some personality, as the dressing was pretty flat. I felt like one of those kids whose parents try to trick them into eating more salad - by hiding it in a burger.

I did love the Chipotle-ish dip that came with the side of fries though, that things was the bomb! I came back again a few days later and asked to have that with my order of mojos, but either the server didn't understand me or they were out of it and the cook had to make it from scratch, because the dip I got was painfully, painfully hot - and this is coming from a girl who loves all things spicy. But they're still on a dry run, so I get that they're still ironing things out.

The star of our lunch was the Rub My Belly (P185) - a beautiful monstrosity that seems to be a magical invention of liempo meeting a plate of fish & chips. Thin strips of honey-glazed bacon is coated with a spiced beer batter and deep-fried 'til oh-so-crispy, being served with a side of pechay, and java rice. I loved everything about this - the batter made the thin liempo slabs crisp on the outside yet soft and tender on the inside, the pechay looks like it was simply braised then quickly sautéed in soy and garlic, and even the java rice could hold it's own, being perfectly done and very flavorful.

Our server recommended we try the For Goodness Steak (P199), which we did, but I ended up very, very sad after taking a bite. The sirloin steak was grilled and smothered with mushroom gravy, served with pechay and java rice. After reading the menu, I found out you can also have this with compound butter instead of gravy, which I would have preferred, as the gravy was so blah. I found the meat to be tough and stringy, heck, the java rice tasted better.

After going back a second time, I found out that the owners are still looking for a steady supplier for their steaks, which is why their steak dish has had such mixed reviews. I suggest their swap out their pricey sirloin for a hanger or flatiron cut which is cheaper but has more flavor, and add a swig of red wine when they reduce the gravy to give the sauce a lot more body without having to up the price of the dish.

On the dessert stand was mostly cupcakes, I found them to be quite ordinary and expensive. The Rainbow Cupcake (P70) didn't taste like anything (but it was pretty!), the Chocolate Cupcake (P70) was so-so, and I was so bummed out with dessert, I skipped the Oreo Cupcake (P75).

The Red Velvet Cupcake (P70) looked really good, but after biting into it, sadly discovered it was mostly coloring and no flavor. My dessert highlight that afternoon was the Sanrsrival (P40), which was nice and creamy. They're coming up with desserts-in-a-jar as well as milkshake soon, so hopefully that'll improve their dessert line up.

Overall, I like what the guys at The Southern Kitch are doing - they're not afraid to take risks with their food and they experiment with different flavors and layers of spice. It may still be hit and miss, but this place is brimming with potential and I see it being the next hang out for foodies in BF Resort who want a good meal. I just hope their desserts selection improves.

When mucking around Las Piñas, head over to BF Resort and check out The Southern Kitch for comforting dude food (read: burgers and lots of rice). I've already been back there twice since my first visit, and will still keep coming back for the Lord of the Mojos, Chili Grande, Rub My Belly, and the Fish Be With You.

Just mucking around Manila,
Follow @_muckingaround on Twitter and Instagram.
Like the Mucking Around Manila fan page.

The Southern Kitch
+63 22 945 0866
41 Gloria Diaz st.,
BF Resort Village, Las Piñas
Open Daily: 11am - 11pm