Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kuse: An Authentic Filipino Cuisine

KUSE – short for Kusinero, a local town “chef” who cooks for big gatherings like wedding, baptismal and other special occasion to almost everybody in the neighborhood. Every rural town in the country has its local “Kuse” and each kuse in every province has its specialty noted for every it’s expertise. 

The Chef Quarter Group of Restaurants opened the KUSE Traditional Filipino Cuisine last 2009 at Venice Piazza, Mckinley Hill to capture the authentic taste and look of the most love Filipino delicacies of every region in the country. These are the food that Filipinos would expect to eat at any weddings or Baptism celebrations cooked at the back of the celebrant’s house in charcoal and wood.

Last week, I was invited to experience the masterful creation of Chef Mau of Chef’s Quarter which surprisingly, was originally from Liliw, Laguna. I discovered also that his dad was used to be the local Kuse of Liliw, and eventually got the inspiration of becoming like one. Along with other food bloggers, we were served some of the specialty and best sellers of the house.

We started our food tasting by trying out a few appetizers. The Mini Ukoy with Visayan Sauce is a crispy fried mixture of taro, shrimp and vegetables. The Ukoy is just one of the usual dish a Filipino family would serve in any given day, but this one was definitely special. A much better version of the one I normally cook at home. 

We also tried their Pork Sisig but take note, it’s the Kapangpangan style. I’ve tasted a lot of sisig in my life and each region has its own version of sisig, but I admit, nothing beats the original style –the Kapangpangan style. 

Another memorable dish that were served was the Salmon skin Chicharon. What makes it special was the crispiness and the vinegar mix for dips. Another food in their menu that many would look forward to is the Sinigang na Bangus sa Bayabas. For some who are used to eat Sinigang in other styles like Sampalok, or with Gabi, the Sinigang Na Bangus sa Bayabas can be an acquired taste, because it’s not very common. But for some who likes Sinigang like me, this one is definitely a treat.

The Paco (Fern) Salad ng Laguna is one blast-from-the-past experience. A delicacy that’s very common among Laguna, Quezon and Bicol natives. Although each province has its own version, the we had was a much simpler yet very tasteful with just a mixture of good vinegar dressing, onions and tomatoes and that’s it! :)

Of course, these were just among the many delicacies Kuse has to offer its guests who want to taste the best foods served in the local home town where the “kuse” can only give. 

Visit Kuse in the following branches:
Kuse Venice Piazza, Mckinley Hill (Tel. 836-4969)
Kuse Lucky China Town Mall, Binondo, Manila (Tel. 708-9576)
Kuse Eton Centris Walk, EDSA, Quezon City (Tel. 709-9817)

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