I’ve got a little bit of Ron Swanson in me: I think breakfast food should be a food group all on its own. So when I first heard of Kanto Freestyle Breakfast and how it’s supposedly the place for affordable but delicious all-day morning meals, I started bugging everyone around me to try it with me. I finally had the chance to do it, friends in tow, just recently on Halloween.
Kanto is located along 1st Street in Kapitolyo. It’s easy to miss if you’re not looking hard enough because it doesn’t have a big bright sign outside, yelling at you to come in. When you finally do find it, what you’ll see is basically a residence-turned-restaurant. The kitchen is in front of the house, and the garage has been turned into the dining area and bar. The place is a bit on the small side; they crammed as many tables as they can in the small space so, as expected, it does get full pretty fast. Service is a bit slow and the servers are far from being the warm-and-friendly type, a deadly combination for the un-morning person.
Eating at Kanto is like going on a gastronomical trip around the world. They don’t just serve Filipino breakfast items; they also have quite the selection of American and European favorites. Choosing my lunch for the day was a no-brainer; I immediately went for the pancakes-bacon-eggs set (Php 95), while my friends went for the rice meals: New Zealand beef tapa (Php 110), Pampanga tocino (Php 95), and tinapang galunggong (Php 65).
My pancakes, while thick, were a bit smaller than usual, but that was actually good since I probably couldn’t scarf down the rest of the food after a couple of large ones. The eggs (I had mine scrambled) were fluffy but needed just a tad more salt. The bacon wasn’t crispy all the way, but the flavor I love about these thin strips of heaven was definitely there.
I sampled the beef tapa because I got excited seeing red pepper flakes all over it. It did have good flavor, but I kinda felt cheated since it wasn’t as spicy as it appeared to be. It’s been a long time since I’ve had tinapa so I just had to try a bit of my friend’s order, and it had the smoky-salty flavor I’ve been missing in a while now. (Sorry, no review on the tocino since I don’t eat it.)
Most of us just ordered canned fruit juices, but one asked for a Scramble (yes, the bright pink, shake-like concoction they sell on the street topped with powdered milk and chocolate syrup). Their take on the Scramble had a bit of a modern twist: they used some sort of strawberry flavoring, maybe to compliment its Barbie hue. I was just looking forward to it being the kind you get from a peddler where the color was just color, so I didn’t really like Kanto’s version.
When we were finished with our meals, I asked for some deep-fried Oreos. I keep seeing them at restaurants but I’ve never had the chance to try them until today. Honestly, they didn’t blow my mind the way I thought they would. They were OK, but still pretty much just warm sugarless doughnuts stuffed with cookies I could hardly taste.
Portions are also substantial, especially for what you pay. All-in-all, a trip to Kanto gets you pretty good home-cooked breakfast meals for those days when you’re craving for something other than the quick and humble bowl of cereal. I’m looking forward to coming back and trying their rice meals next.
Overall rating: ★★★✭☆
Kanto Freestyle Breakfast
1st Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
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