Panda Peeks – Kahuna Makati Bistro
I am writing this with still a bit of a hangover from what was literally a fishbowl of Mojito, ordered under the impression that my girls and I were going to share it (we didn’t). I was there sipping a cocktail through three different straws that were never intended to be just for me, but it kept me going anyway – and I’m not even much of a drinker. Happily wobbling to the bus station that night convinced me that Kahuna, without a doubt, always meant a pretty darn good time.
Kahuna Makati Bistro had its beginnings all the way from La Union as a resort. Owner Darcy Lalonde recognized the beauty of the Philippines as a haven for beach lovers and surfers (just like him!), so much that he decided to create a second home for them in the island. He eventually expanded its restaurant to the Metro, making the vibe of La Union felt all the way in Makati.
I am a lover of burgers in all sizes, so I was more than glad to kick off my surfer meal with Beef Sliders – miniature burgers with tomato, lettuce, and bleu cheese spread. These cute little patties were full of flavor and it was in that moment I realized that even the tiniest of burgers could change your life for the better. Slightly dramatic, but that really was how I felt. This had me picturing how much more wonderful their giant burger would have been, considering that the smaller versions were already that yummy. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try it; my girls wouldn’t even share the mojito with me, let alone a giant burger. Here’s a photo for your consumption anyway:
Every week Kahuna holds Wow Wednesday, a hump day too good to be true for all of us. They serve everything extra large – from main courses down to alcoholic drinks. It’s easy to imagine why employees flock Jupiter street right after clocking out every Wednesday. Who wouldn’t want a gigantic meal with everything in it after 8 full hours of work? I know I would.
Next in line for me were the Quesadillas – tortillas brimming with onions, bell peppers, and loads of grilled chicken with melted cheese, generously served with Kahuna salsa and sour cream. I was so happy with how thick they turned out to be, since I’ve already developed a peeve with other quesadillas that are paper-thin and equivalent to just a single stroke of cheese (really, I could’ve made the same at home). Kahuna’s quesadillas were the total opposite. They were merely supposed to be appetizers, but these were good enough to get me full for an entire afternoon.
I had their Kahuna Spiced Buffalo Wings, cooked in the style of New York and served with celery and bleu cheese. I had their signature flavor out of their wide selection: Smoked, Sweet Barbecue, Honey Mustard, Lemon-grass Lime, Apple Sesame, Flaming Teriyaki, Lemon Pepper, Slow Burn, and Suicide. I’m glad I got to try what best-represented Kahuna’s vibe in taste – very much alive with just the right kick; not too spicy and not too sweet either.
For my main course, I had their Blackened Tuna – marinated portions or tuna with buttered vegetables and yellow rice. It was the perfect meal for someone looking to get full without the unsettling feeling of bloating; everything on my plate was as healthy as can be. The doneness of the tuna was perfect for me as it was tender in all the right places and also had the redness I always look for. Kahuna’s other mains include Smoked Salmon, Chicken Parmigiana, Thai Green Curry Chicken, Baby Back Ribs, and Tomahawk Steak. This choice was a great way to end my meal, and it got my body full enough for that notorious mojito.
I left Kahuna that night thinking about the next time I’ll be there again. In between dishes (especially more so while I was having my mojito), I found myself announcing to every group chat just how great of a hang out place Kahuna would be for Friday nights. In fact, every time we set nights out with the team, Kahuna would always be the first restaurant yelled across the office. When deadlines and meetings prevail over night outs, however, the first thing we do is order Kahuna anyway.
Christa is a visual artist who spends most of her time illustrating stories in her head alongside looking up pictures of sloths online. She relies on crunchy tacos and/or egg-wrapped Pad Thai to fuel her creativity without limits.