Music blared from the speakers of a van, invading our ears with a catchy jingle of some politician campaigning for the coming May 13 election.
With our tables at the side of the road, a few feet away from the van and no walls barring the sound, all conversations momentarily stopped.
It’s definitely not for its decors or design that I travel to this section of Mandaluyong to dine at Kanto Freestyle Breakfast but what keeps me coming back is the quality of food and friendly service that comes at an unbelievably low price of less than 100 Pesos/meal.
Located along San Joaquin Street, a few blocks away from Mandaluyong’s ever busy Boni. Avenue, this simple eatery is easy to miss. Apart from their white and blue signage, there isn’t anything that distinguishes its façade from a regular carinderia.
It’s not until food is served that one’s put under a spell, making your surroundings irrelevant.
A 24/7 hole in a wall type of restaurant, Kanto Freestyle Breakfast, offers gourmet breakfast food right at the side of the road. It is owned by brothers Vince and Chef Archie (owner of Lime 88), along with DLSU schoolmates Eugene and Ian.
Together with fellow food bloggers, we sampled old and new items on the menu, some of which are yet to be offered. Gleeful guinea pig I was inside, I tried my best to look composed as each dish was served on our table. But I couldn’t. They were all a treat to the eyes and an even bigger delight to the stomach. I had to say one word repeatedly, “Sarap!”
I’ve dined here before with friends, fell in love with the food and been in love with it ever since. Food is normally served hot, prepared on the spot and served with class, a glaring contrast to the humble environment around it.
Among the new items that are yet to come out on their menu : Churros Con Chocolate, a fried snack served with 5 ps. of Churros and a cup of melted tablea from Batangas. It tastes like a rolled-up pancake and slices easily with a fork so it’s easy to chew. Its sweetness complements the chocolate dip very well.
Healthy eaters rejoice! Kanto will be offering Oatmeal. Doctors and the media has bombarded us with its health benefits. As it’s whole grain, it can help lower the risk for Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure. You can’t go wrong with oatmeal mixed with apple, mango, raisins and milk. I failed to ask which milk they used but it’s very light on the stomach. It’s good. However, I am loyal to rice and I’d probably turn to this one as a dessert. 😛 This would be a great pre-race meal though.
When asked about our favorites, I enthusiastically pointed out these two:
Hashbrown with eggs benedict and lima beans looked gorgeous. The potato is crisp and though fried, wasn’t greasy at all. If you’re looking for a power breakfast, this is it. The sliced tomatoes glazed with pesto sauce and lima beans were successful in balancing all the flavors coming from the eggs benedict and the hashbrown. The hollandaise sauce, a combination of egg yolks and spices were a nice touch but its taste was negligible.
My second favorite, quite ironically, since I don’t enjoy unprocessed pork, is the Pork and beans. The beans reminds me of the fillings placed in a burrito. It has a powerful flavor, on the verge of becoming spicy but not quite there. It comes with a big piece of pan de sal with pesto sauce and butter. We were told that the bread is from Pan de Manila, a favorite local bakery.
Another interesting new item that is yet to come out on their menu is champorado with tuyo. Trying this was monumental for me. Although this dish is so popular and craved by many, this is the first time I’ve tried this. The combination never made sense to me until now. The saltiness of this fried fish jives well with the sweetness of the chocolate rice porridge! I love how the fish was so crispy that my teeth cuts through it effortlessly.
For drinks, we tried Scramble, delightfully crushed ice mixed with strawberry & milk powder, marshmallows, sprinkles and topped with chocolate syrup. It’s aptly sweet, perfect for summer refreshing and goes well with fried dishes.
As the moon advanced into the sky, so did the amount of food on the table. We were also served with the existing dishes on their menu.
French Toast with bacon and eggs – It’s easy to love bacon and with soft, sweet French Toast and eggs prepared according to your liking, I wouldn’t wonder why the it’s a favorite among their patrons.
By the time the plates of the savory Batangas beef arrived, most of us were about to burst around the middle, but still, it was only fair to our hosts to do our share of shoving this inside our mouths. It proved to be an easy task for one of our companions who was able to consume two plates. I can only watch with jealousy as he enthusiastically finished it. I on the other hand, could only take a miniscule bite.
I was full and feeling lethargic from all that food as we closed the tasting session but I know I’d be back for more.
More photos from Kanto Freestyle Breakfast are on our FB page. Please click here -> Pinakbet.Net.
Kanto Freestyle Breakfast
Address : 549 San Joaquin St. Brgy. Plainview , 0550 Mandaluyong, Philippines
They deliver too! Contact : +63(02)400-22-68
Facebook Page :https://www.facebook.com/kantofreestylebreakfast
How to get there by Public Transpo:
From EDSA-Boni MRT (under Mc Donald’s, Southbound side), ride a jeep going to Kalentong. The terminal is at the side of Mercury Drug. Ask driver to drop you off at San Joaquin St. It would take you around 30-45 minutes depending on traffic condition.
Check out the map below. If you need to ask for directions, just show the picture of the facade on this page.