This New Restaurant in QC Is Bringing Back the Kouign-Amann
Specifically, The Community Kitchen's version.
The Community Kitchen
G/F The Community Building, Metropoli Drive, Libis, Quezon City
Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Saturday) and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) In simplest terms, a “community” is a group of people sharing the same interests or agenda. At The Community Kitchen in Quezon City, that agenda is good food. Chef Bernadette Olivares, Paul Perez (well known for starting the revolutionary ice cream flavors of Papa Diddi’s Handcrafted Ice Cream), and Oman Tanchingco have perfected the art of having friends and families over—and closer, with The Community Kitchen’s menu.
Long tables and bright lights greet everyone when they enter The Community Kitchen, making it perfect for big families and friends who are always ready to order the maximum. Sharing seems to be the gospel here as they even give you the option to have bigger servings of pasta to make sure everyone at the table can have a plateful of it. Scampi (P350/Solo, P525/Sharing), a very light, citrusy, and garlicky pasta, is a good introduction to their menu. A heavier and more savory option is the Beef Shank Ragu (P440/Solo, P650/Sharing), made with red wine, marinara, and beef shank with a tenderness that can only come from being simmered for hours.
And if we’re talking about sharing, you have to have pizza on the table. The Capricciosa (P550), topped with ham, artichokes, mushrooms, and a soft-boiled egg, is as unpredictable as the sweet and sour flavor that sing in your mouth with every bite. Those who aren't fans of tomato would enjoy the White Clam pizza (P450)—Chef Bernadette makes use of white wine sauce to complement the clam and arugula on top. All their pizzas are made with a sourdough crust, a defining factor that helps elevate the flavors even more.
Chef Bernadette loves her seafood and she doesn’t skimp on her seafood dishes. Their Seafood Stew (P495), for example, has prawns, snapper, and clams, and even fresh chorizo to spice up the tomato broth. Pro tip: The chef recommends dipping your complimentary sourdough bread in the stew.
But Chef Bernadette’s Le Cordon Bleu background can be seen best in the pastries. Kouign-Amann (P400), literally translating to “butter cake” in Breton, a language native to the people of Brittany, France, this pastry takes eight hours of hard labor and pure love to bake. It’s pretty much a hybrid of a sticky bun and an extremely sugared croissant (you'll see caramelized sugar at the bottom of the loaf!), and it caught everyone's attention locally in 2015 thanks to Chef Dominique Ansel, who introduced the pastry to New York diners in 2011.
Take it up a notch by having a scoop (or two) of any available Papa Diddi’s ice cream (P120/scoop) on top of your kouign-amann. “Tres Leches or Queso Blanco would go perfectly well with it,” Pappa Didi’s founder Paul Perez shares—but he won’t stop you from getting the Avocado Rum or any of their 60 unique flavors if you're feeling more adventurous.
On Sundays, Filipino breakfast favorites take center stage as families assemble here for their weekly brunches. The Community Kitchen makes sure they accommodate this surge by opening two hours earlier on that day. You can choose from everyday classics like the Homemade Tapa (P250), Homemade Tocino (P195), Adobo Flakes (P200), and Longganisa (P150).
Every person’s definition of “comfort food” may vary—some want their pizzas, others have a sweet tooth, and a lot of us can’t get enough of rice. The Community Kitchen has something for everyone—you could say they’ve got the entire community covered.
Photos by Ian Santos