CHECK IT OUT: Sunshine Kitchen at The Fort Strip, Taguig
Comfort food that’ll make you feel like you’re walking on sunshine
2/F Fort Pointe Building, The Fort Strip, Global City, Taguig
Things are sunny-side- up in the Cabanatuan Longganisa Paella (P480)
(SPOT.ph) It is not bright inside Sunshine Kitchen. The side where the sun blazingly shines is, in this summer heat, conveniently concealed by an adjacent building. But the name comes with certain expectations: quaintness, spring, yellow, breakfast. The interiors are dark, woodwork included, illuminated only by a few yellow chairs; stone bricks paper the walls and panels. "We wanted it to look like a bistro," explains owner Tanya Chua. There you go. The name, as it turns out, is inspired by Chua’s nickname for her daughter rather than a derivation from the theme. "She’s two years old and I call her ’My Little Miss Sunshine’ so I wanted something to that extent."
Bistro-style interiors with sunshiny chairs
Owning a restaurant had always been Chua’s dream. Prior to Sunshine Kitchen, she’d cook for her friends at home, and the recipes of such affairs were the first items on the menu. "Instead of doing that (serving at home), I just put up a restaurant," she says. The entire research and development process roughly took a month.
It looks unassuming but the Green Salad (P290) packs a pow with it’s zesty vinaigrette.
Of the variety of comfort foods listed on the menu, much promise is given to the Sunshine Pizza (P550), the signature item, and the dish which gave Chua and Chef Sansan Clemente the most grief in creating. "It was really difficult to get that dough right," she says with a little laugh. Bell pepper and porchetta over Cabanatuan longganisa and arugula over mozzarella and ricotta over marinara. Oh, and there’s a poached quail egg on top of all that. The first bite is somewhat of a letdown: the crust was fine-chewy in a way only homebaked dough can be-but the meaty savor, albeit yummy, was nothing out of the ordinary.
Chef and owner Tanya Chua’s personal favorite, the Sunshine Pizza (P550)
Homebaked buns work well with the the uber cheesy dip brimming with giant artichoke and crab chunks.
While the rest of the menu doesn’t have as much of a perky effect, they are nonetheless up to standard. The Creamy Crab and Shrimp Dip (P320), salty, thick, and loaded with fat chunks of artichokes, will have you fighting tooth and nail. It’s not too clear though whether it’s over the four plush, homemade buns that go so beautifully with it or over who gets to lick the bowl.
Six hours slow roast porchetta (P480) with rice pilaf, herb salsa, green beans
Lamb Stew with Rice Pilaf (P490)
An Orc died here. It might not look it, but the Pizza Al Nero (P520) is a flavorful medley of squid ink, cream, ricotta, mozzarella, and grana padana.
The zing makes a roundabout in the Key Lime Pie Ice Cream (P240); it’s a homemade confection with only a hint of tart and that rough flavor of pastry courtesy of the hefty sprinkle of crushed grahams. It’s 40-degrees outside and each cool mouthful of this zesty icy treat feels nothing short of heaven sent. As you finish, you look around the dim surroundings and the peek of sunlight through the glass walls. Suddenly it’s great that the Sunshine Kitchen isn’t too bright, not literally anyway.
Crushed grahams really give this ice cream (P240) a Key Lime Pie feel.