It’s so hot!!!
I’m sure you guys are getting tired of me sharing how hot the weather is here, but I’m excited to report that I now have a solution for that, and it makes my tummy happy too!!!
Presenting the Kuya J Halo Halo Espesyal, Kuya J restaurant’s summer addition to breeze through the piping hot season.
I initially had very little expectations for this one, but I was pleasantly surprised by it! It’s definitely the best value for money halo halo you can find this side of town. What makes this halo halo stand out is its paper thin shaved ice, with a very rich and creamy milk base, and a myriad of tasty ingredients mixed in. A bit of digging through the ice reveals sweet and meaty macapuno strings, red and green nata de coco, caramelized saba, velvety ube jam, and glazed langka. Kuya J Halo Halo Espesyal is topped with a thick chunk of leche flan, crunchy corn flakes, and drizzled with ube cream. That’s a lot for a price tag of just Php 99.
Taste-wise, the Kuya J Halo Halo Espesyal is every halo halo lover’s dream. The shaved ice and milk melt to something that’s as smooth and suave as the restaurant’s endorser, Jericho Rosales.
Of course, Kuya J Restaurant doesn’t just serve halo halo, they also serve up delicious Filipino cuisine. Bestsellers include the Kuya J Crispy Pata, Kare Kare, Sizzling Sisig, and a whole lot more. Hit the read more break for a full restaurant food review for Kuya J.
Being a Filipino restaurant, I was half expecting to see a more traditional looking dining space. It’s great though that they stuck to using more modern and chic elements to appeal to a bigger crowd.
Kuya J restaurants are well lit, spacious, and adorned with soft wood furnishings. I liked how one side of the restaurant is decorated with those wooden box shelves, so it feels more cozy.
The shelves are filled with little trinkets, books, and small plants, stuff you can use as props when you’re making a food flatlay! Yay for bloggers like me who love taking photos of food.
Kuya J Food (Menu)
Kuya J’s menu consists of local Filipino cuisine, with most of the dishes staples in our own homes. What makes their food different from your mom makes is that they have different takes on some of them, and might be even better than mom’s cooking. But don’t tell her that 🙂 *wink wink*
Kuya J Lumpia Presko Php 95
- Sauteed crab meat and bamboo shoots filling rolled in malunggay infused wrapper with sweet garlic sauce
- this was surprisingly good for something that resembles a fresh spring roll. The crab meat and bamboo shoot worked well together, and brought out a fresh but still savory flavor
- I love that the wraps are infused with malunggay making it even healthier! Don’t forget to drizzle with a bit of the sweet sauce to make it even better.
Kuya J Grilled Scallops Php 230
- grilled scallops with cheesy butter topping
- the scallops are a bit small, but the generous amount of cheese, butter and garlic for each one more than makes up for that
- each one was a burst of flavor, you can’t eat just one!
Danggit Rice Php 175
- Garlic fried rice with fried danggit, danggit bits and chives
- The serving for this one is huge, good for abour 4-6 people
- the rice was mildly flavored, which was perfect since the danggit (dried fish) was already salty
- This rice is the perfect companion to dishes like sinigang, kare kare and crispy pata
Kuya J Kare Kare Php 399
- Kuya J’s take on the traditional kare kare, with reinvented peanut sauce
- to be honest, it doesn’t stand out as much as the other dishes, but I liked how creamy the sauce was.
Kuya J’s Crispy Pata (Family) Php 695
- whole pork leg with perfectly deep fried pork skin and tender juicy pata meat. crispy delicious!
- this one was my absolute favorite out of everything they served that day!
- It was crispy, seasoned well, and the meat inside was tender, what more could I ask for!
You can also ask the wait staff to cut out the meat and skin for you. We did, and we were glad with that decision because it could get messy, of you didn’t know how to use the scissors and tongs properly.
I will never ever ever get tired of saying this: I LOVE CRISPY PATA. Boy does Kuya J give great justice to this dish.
Crispy Catfish Php 295
- battered deep fried catfish seasoned with spices, served with chilli tuba vinegar and bagoong mayo
- Both the sauces went well with the crispy catfish, but I personally preferred the bagoong mayonnaise. I normally don’t like mayonnaise, but the fishiness of the bagoong was cut out by the mayonnaise, and the resulting sauce was salty and tangy at the same time
- The catfish was perfectly golden crisp, but you have to watch out for fish bones
Relyenong Talong Php 120
- Filipino style omelette
- pan fried grilled eggplant with ground pork and egg
- good ‘ole tortang talong but it tasted way more flavorful
Sizzling Sisig with Egg Php 199
- The all time Filipino favorite sizzling, crispy, and crumbly chopped spicy pork belly
- this one was as good as sisig can get: crisp and tasty
Desserts and Drinks
Kuya J Halo Halo Espesyal Php 99
- paper thin shaved ice with rich creamy milk, filled with meaty macapuno (coconut sport) strings, red and green nata de coco (chewy coconut gel product), caramelized saba (banana variety), velvety ube (purple yam) jam, glazed langka (jackfruit), topped with leche flan (creme caramel), crispy corn flakes, and drizzled with ube cream
- I already said it earlier, but it’s so unreal guys. The smooth texture of this one is unbelievable. It’s sticky, smooth, creamy, and sweet all at the same time!
For drinks, they have a lot of options, but we got to try these:
Fresh Buko Juice Php 75
- fresh and inside the coconut shell, you can even ask the wait staff to carve out the coconut flesh once you’ve finished the juice
Kuya J’s Fruitshake Special Php 95
- mango, cantaloupe, cucumber and pineapple blended together
- it was a bit too sweet for me, but refreshing nonetheless
What made my Kuya J restaurant dining experience even better was meeting the restaurant’s endorser, Mr. Jericho Rosales. I’ve met a lot of celebrities already, but I couldn’t believe how down to earth he was! He kept asking us about the food, and even shared a few jokes, as also sang a few songs for us, some from his latest album Korona.
All in all I had a great time at Kuya J, food was great and service was awesome. Definitely coming back for the crispy pata, scallops and halo halo!!!
Kuya J Restaurant (35 Branches Nationwide)
SM Manila Branch:
Fourth Floor, Floor, SM City Manila, Ermita, Manila
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday 10am to 9pm, Friday to Saturday 10am to 10pm
For Reservations Contact: (02)7420305, +63 9988417211
Facebook Page: Kuya J Restaurant