Kusinata: Back to Nature, Back to our Roots

The name Kusinata is a portmanteau word derived from the blend of words ‘Kusina’, which means kitchen, and ‘Ata’, one of the indigenous tribes in the Philippines. The Atas (or to some dialects: Aetas, Agta, or Ayta) are one of the earliest known settlers in the country. In the modern-day setting, they are living in mountainous areas around the archipelago.

This unique ethnic fusion concept was conceived from Chef Jay Grey’s college research paper about the indigenous peoples on the island of Negros. Now spearheading as Kusinata’s resident Chef de Cuisine, he works closely with our Ata brothers and sisters, providing them culinary skills training and jobs where they work as hosts, cooks, and servers, adding great value to Kusinata’s diverse and vibrant team.

Since it opened almost two years ago in the Municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto, they have become known for its ever-surprising, taste buds-teasing menu, thus their fearless introduction of transportive flavors, like the Tamalata, a redefined version of the Mexican Tamales and Shakshuka, their own take and style of this famous Mediterranean dish.

Kusinata’s advocacy is not only centered on the Ata indigenous people but also on supporting local produce, sustainability, and nature preservation. Kusinata is also tapping products from farms toiled by Atas to be used as ingredients for the restaurant’s food and beverages.

A weekend meal with the family at Kusinata is truly an amazing back-to-nature gastronomic experience whilst enjoying the majestic canvas of the Malatan-og Mountain and the Malatan-og Falls. They take early table reservations for Friday to Sunday, 8am – 5pm; but if you missed to book or you just happen to pass by the area, walk-ins are welcome too.

Location: Brgy. Kumaliskis, Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental
Reservations contact: 0995 915 9229
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kusinata/

Image credit: Kusinata

#KabiseraNYC: The not-so-new-kid in Lower East Side

Situated at the Lower East Side (LES) of Manhattan, Kabisera Café is one of the most trendy cafes along Allen Street. It opened its doors in December of 2017 and it recently moved to a newer and bigger space (just right beside its previous spot which is now Angela’s Ice Cream & Desserts).
 
Kabisera still takes pride in its specialty coffees and other Kabisera-curated favorites such as: Iced Espresso Oat Latte, Almond Chaitado, Affogato, Ube Latte, Matchube (Matcha cum Ube), Golden Latte (Turmeric infused beverage), White Spice Mocha, Vitalitea and many more.
 
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It has become the go-to place by Lower East siders and tourists alike, either to hang out, dine or grab a to-go cuppa. “Our regulars know their coffee and we’re happy to slush their favorite beverage to jumpstart their day. It just feels great to become a part of their daily routine.”, shared Carla Mongado, Actor/Singer and part-time Barista at Kabisera.

The Menu

This Filipino-inspired cafe has pioneered in introducing the Purple Rice Bowl (Tofu bowl), Pork Longganisa Quesadilla and Chicken Adobo Panini in New York City. Their menu includes interesting fusion of contemporary and traditional Pinoy flavors. As for desserts, they have pastries like Lemon squares, Smores brownie, Pecan pie, Maja Blanca, Bibingka, Cassava cake and Ube ice cream which perfectly complement their food menu. Kabisera also features seasonal desserts such as Halo-halo, Frozen Brazo de Mercedes and Palitaw.


 
The Kamayan

Kabisera is also known for its successful Kamayan lunch and dinner parties. Kamayan is the Filipino traditional way of eating sans the knife and fork. The dishes are served on top of a banana leaf and it’s meant to be shared and enjoyed as a family or as a group. You may contact Kabisera for their available Kamayan packages or if you want to customize the menu and style for your feast.

 
For huge groups who need space for closed-door soirees, the place easily transforms from a cafe into an event venue with a seating capacity of 20 to 30 persons and a maximum room of 35 pax. Meetings and parties may be booked at least two or three days before the event schedule.

The Beans

Kabisera has teamed up with a roastery in Brooklyn to customize three coffee bean varieties: Kaulayaw, Silakbo and Dalisay. Kaulayaw is the balanced and smooth variety which they use for their espresso-based drinks. Silakbo is strong and full-bodied which make for their iced coffee, drip coffee and cold brew. The Dalisay roast is the fruity and sweet variety. Kabisera’s coffee beans come from Central and South America with its roastery in Brooklyn, New York.

The Heads of the Table

The term Kabisera means the head of the table. Hence, let’s introduce you to its heads of the table–the hospitable couple Augee and Joey. Augee aka Dj Chinita is the big wheel when it comes to the coffee, food and banquet departments while Joey takes care most of the purchasing and the physical attributes of the cafe. Together they formed an awesome lot of personable baristas and kitchen crew to take care of their customers.
 
When asked about what made them decide to open a Filipino cafe in Manhattan, Augee Francisco, owner of  Kabisera said, “I want Pinoy flavors to have a representation in the New York City’s food scene–in such a way that’s casual yet inventive and high quality yet affordable.”
 
 
Kabisera for Everyone
 
While it’s the first Filipino establishment in LES to introduce the Filipino hospitality to the neighbourhood, it has already gained patrons of diverse culture and ethnicity since it opened. Kabisera continues to embrace and respect everyone’s individuality as it is one with the Women and the LGBTQI community in the struggle for gender equality.
 
“It is a joy to be able to share with everyone who comes to Kabisera, what Filipino hospitality is like. As I always say, we value, respect and take good care of our customers, otherwise, we won’t be living this dream of ours now.”, Francisco added.
 
What they say about Kabisera
 
“I live on the other side of the street and there’s also a cafe near my apartment building but I choose to come to Kabisera because of the good service. They’re all friendly and they treat me like family.” — Nenad, Manager at The Box NYC

“I start my day at Kabisera with my cortado, perfectly prepared by genuinely friendly baristas.”, Hugo, LES Resident.

Visit and follow #KabiseraNYC on social media. For every coffee-based beverage you purchase, you get your loyalty card star-stamped and your fifth drink is free. Ask your barista for your own personalized card.

Kabisera Café
151 Allen St., Manhattan, New York City 10002
Contact: 929 920 8250; kabiserakape@gmail.com
 
Photo credits: Kabisera, Carla Mongado

Singapore’s largest Epicurean Market

National Day fever is still very much in the air and as a treat to all foodies and drink lovers out there, we would like to share with you 51 awesome images guaranteed to tickle your palate and make you fall in love again with your favourite restaurants and celebrity chefs.

More information on Epicurean Market 2016.

Marina Bay Sands’ 4th Annual Food & Wine Fair, 12th-14th August 2016, Sands Expo and Convention Centre

Celebrating with a French Flair

My brother and I have stopped ‘celebrating’ our birthdays for quite some time now. Perhaps mainly for the reason that we live far from each other, living in different cities and different time zones; and both of us are far from home, too. But when my brother decided to celebrate his 26th, then we better celebrate it in style! As one of our life goals is to travel to Europe together, he chose to celebrate it in Paris in France.

We arrived in Paris on the eve of his birthday and after doing some touristy stuff and walked for more than 18,000 steps in just a couple of hours, we decided to have our dinner somewhere nearby. At that time, we were already by the foot of the Eiffel Tower and it was getting chillier.

Frame Brasserie Paris
Frame Brasserie Paris
Frame Brasserie Paris
Frame Brasserie Paris
Frame Brasserie Paris

“Pick a restaurant, dinner’s on me!” Oh-my-ghowd.. he picked Frame Brasserie, a restaurant that’s only a few metres from La Tour Eiffel. Frame is a modern designed restaurant that is attached to the Pullman Hotel in Paris. It serves California-style dishes in fusion with traditional French taste. Since it’s supposed to be a brasserie, but with its modern interior, it has a refreshing feel as opposed to the traditional brasseries.

The concept is an open kitchen type with indoor and outdoor seating and it also has a resident DJ who continuously sets the mood, both at the bar and in the restaurant. There was a group of young professionals at one end, a dating couple on the other and a family next to our table. It was a good blend of dining customers and the staff were very friendly to every table–creating such a very welcoming vibe.

Shout out to Mr Sam who assisted us so professionally and he was also my collaborator in preparing the surprise Carrot “Cup” Cake and the birthday song towards the end of the dinner. All the best to you in Australia! Santé!

Aside from the delicious food that was freshly prepared, the best part was, our seat had the best view of the Eiffel Tower. It was indeed a magical dining experience and an unforgettable celebration we had together. Bonne Anniversaire!

Frame Brasserie Paris
Seared Duck Foie GrasPistachio Banana Bread

Frame Brasserie Paris
Surf N turfScallop, Beef Carpaccio, Shaved Asparagus, Coffee Potato Puree, Maple Syrup

Frame Brasserie Paris
Wok NoodlesTeriyaki Curry, Peanut, Wanton Chips and extra Chicken

Frame Brasserie Paris
Frame Brasserie Paris


FRAME BRASSERIE
Address: 28 Rue Jean Rey 75015 Paris, France
Telephone: +33 144385777
Culinary Team: Chef Andrew Wigger
Facebook Page

Savouring Singapore: The 2015 Roundup

Enjoying a great meal is one of our greatest pleasures in life; and, that’s why we always wanted to indulge ourselves with new flavours and different food places to try. So this year, we’ve come up with a unique blog series called: Savouring Singapore; with a mission to promote the delicious food places (big and small players) that you may find in and around the Lion City.

Makan! Makan! Makan!

While we aim to publicise Singapore as a ‘food trip’ destination, and since Singaporeans are known for their penchant in eating out (with family or with friends); this blog series was conceptualised with the main intention of helping those small food stalls in the Hawker Centres and Kopitiams with little or no digital access/capability.

Savouring Singapore

Though some of our featured restaurants serve foreign cuisine, they sure were customised to be palatable to the meticulous Singaporean taste buds. We have opened the submissions to anyone (locals, tourists and foreign workers) who wants to share their food photos and gastronomic experiences.

Here’s a roundup of this year’s and here’s looking forward to more new places in 2016. We hope that you will continue to join us in our mouthwatering journey of Savouring Singapore!

1. The Tea Party – ONE-NORTH, SINGAPORE

2. Heng Ji Chicken Rice – CHINATOWN COMPLEX, SINGAPORE

3. The Bravery – JALAN BESAR, SINGAPORE

4. Yoshimaru Ramen Bar – HOLLAND VILLAGE, SINGAPORE

5. Ye Shang Hai Teochew Porridge 夜上海潮洲粥 – BUKIT MERAH, SINGAPORE

6. Mad For Garlic – SUNTEC CITY, SINGAPORE

7. Yayoi – BUGIS+, SINGAPORE

8. Ann Chin’s Popiah – CHINATOWN COMPLEX, SINGAPORE

9. Gurkha Palace – LITTLE INDIA, SINGAPORE

10. Aura – CITY HALL, SINGAPORE

11. Aeiou – JALAN BESAR, SINGAPORE

12. Day & Night Bistro – TIONG BAHRU, SINGAPORE

13. Niqqi’s – CLEMENTI, SINGAPORE

14. Food Street Fried Kway Teow Mee – CHINATOWN COMPLEX, SINGAPORE

15. Tolido’s Espresso Nook – KAMPONG GLAM, SINGAPORE


Though we believe that good food/restaurant easily spreads by word of mouth, we hope that this will further promote especially those who don’t have a website, a Facebook page or a Twitter account.

How many from this list have you visited? Let us know where do you think we should be going next. Email: eugephemisms [@] gmail [.] com

*Makan is a Malay term which means: food or to eat.