Monday, August 5, 2013

IMC Kavino ♥ ♥ ♥




Published on Manila Bulletin Sunday Lifestyle, August 4, 2013

Modern Cantonese Fare at IMC Kavino

"Hi Fatties! Please come and celebrate Dad’s birthday with us at IMC Kavino, 136 Jupiter Street, Makati." 

“IMC… what??? Is that a restaurant? Serving what kind of food? And what does IMC stand for anyway?”

It’s a surprise that many people do not know about this Chinese restaurant in the heart of Makati. It is, after all, one of the better places to get good Cantonese fare in the city.




The Fatterside invaded IMC Kavino 



Let’s start with the complimentary snack. While most restaurants give us peanuts, IMC Kavino gave us kimchi. Not the red and spicy Korean kind, but a much paler, not at all spicy, but equally appetizing dish made with lettuce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. I love it when things are done differently.






Mr. Wilson Tan, the restaurant owner and manager who helped me create the dinner menu, threw in complimentary Birthday Misua into my set. Happy Birthday, Daddy! 

Errr… I am not going to kid you. It was not a pretty sight. The misua was a messy heap of stringy noodles with bits of seafood and vegetables peeking out from everywhere, and pieces of wrinkled orange quail eggs awkwardly surrounded the unattractive pile. But oh my, it was such a tasty mess that everyone reserved his take-out portions even before we got to the second course. Me included!



Birthday Misua



The Takoyaki was probably the most fun dish I had ever eaten in a Chinese restaurant. Unconventionality at its finest, I daresay. Breaded cuttlefish, bonito flakes and spring onions on a bed of crisp lettuce and drizzled with mayonnaise and a secret red sauce. The staff instructed me to hold the lettuce cup in my hand, fold and crush the fillings a little and ravage it wildly like I would Anthony Bourdain. Actually, she just said “eat it like a taco,” but I guess I got too excited.







Fold and eat like a taco



The Pumpkin Puree Seafood Soup was again, like the birthday miswa, not very appealing to the eyes. I thought the color was a bit faint and the consistency too thin, but I couldn’t stop at one spoonful, or eight. The sweetish soup was generous with bits of fish, shrimps and mushrooms. It was smooth and rich but not heavy, and it was very big on taste.



Pumpkin Puree Seafood Soup



I wasn’t too sure about Cheesy Baked Scallops in a Chinese lauriat, but Wilson insisted this dish was a crowd pleaser. Turned out he was right. Aside from my mother who is emotionally allergic to cheese and cream, all the guests wiped clean their scallop shells – scallop meat, crabstick, spinach, cheese and all.



Cheesy Baked Scallops




Scallop innards



My favorite dish of the night was the IMC Kavino Superior Hotpot. It was a pot of sweet, savory and sticky indulgence filled with perfectly-braised-until-fall-off-the-bone tender pork knuckles, sea cucumber, Chinese mushrooms, taro and hair moss. During the cooking process, the pork hock melted into a gelatinous gob covering and seeping into the taro, the mushrooms, the…. Oh, but I really cannot continue talking about how good it was. If I tried, I might start crying. The IMC Kavino Hotpot was definitely superior!



IMC Kavino Superior Hotpot



I was thankful for the clean, simple and fresh flavors of the Steamed Lapu Lapu after the continuous albeit very beautiful and very welcome assault on my taste buds throughout dinner. Unfortunately, many restaurants in Manila cannot get their steamed fish right. Fortunately for us, Chef Lau has perfected the art. 



Steamed Lapu Lapu



After our healthy fish break came the cholesterol bombs - Prawns in Salted Egg served on a bed of fried kangkong. These killer crustaceans were too rich for me, but the younger ones were more than willing to fight for my share.



Prawns in Salted Egg



The Taosi and Chili Crabs were mighty tasty and meaty that I still managed to force down two legs even if I had hair moss coming out of my nose. This dish won the first place for The Most Wanted Take-Home Item that night. Mom made a mean crab omelette out of it.



Taosi and Chili Crabs



The Lotus Rice was soft and fragrant and perfect to fill the last empty crevices in our tummies. 



Lotus Rice



Malay Cakes and a sweet Taro Black Rice Soup made for a sweet ending.



Malay Cakes




Taro Black Rice Soup



Of course, in true Fatteride fashion, we brought 5 birthday cakes and bottles of wine which the restaurant staff very happily served without any corkage. At the end of the meal, the very modest Chef Lau came out to say hello. He wished my dad a happy birthday, and Dad congratulated him for the excellent dinner.



Santa Ana Moebius Tempranillo 2009




Casas Patronales Wines




Dad's Birthday Cakes (clockwise from top left): Banapple Banoffee Pie, Estrel's Caramel Cake,
Diamond Hotel Le Royale, Pacita Pandan Cake, my cousin Nikko's Homemade Key Lime Pie 




Fatterside Rule #717: The Birthday Hat has to be put on before blowing out the candles




Fatterside Rule #718: The more candles you blow out, the more cake you can eat!




Happy Birthday Kiss ♥
Not a rule. They just enjoy doing it! ;) 




I love my family ♥


By the way, IMC stands for International Master Chef. Chef Lau brought home the gold in 2003.  

IMC Kavino is located at the Ground Floor, Jupiter Place, 136 Jupiter Street, Makati City. For reservations, please call (02) 964-7545.


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