I love fried food, which is why whenever we eat anywhere, I almost always look for something crispy on the menu. Even when it comes to Japanese food, as much as I enjoy sushi and sashimi, I do still love my tonkatsu and tempura. So when my sister suggested Kimono Ken, all I could think of was the Panko-breaded pieces of meat I could get.
Kimono Ken’s SM North EDSA branch is a bit on the small side, and even with the tables outside, it probably gets full fast during meal times. Inside, the restaurant is clean and neatly decorated, and the servers are polite (they greet everyone with a chorus of “Irashaimase!”) and accommodating.
We ordered the Tonkatsu, Sakana Fry (breaded and fried cream dory), Chicken Cheese Roll, Maguro (tuna sushi), and Omu Rice (an omelet rice with chicken and mushroom). For drinks, my sisters ordered the iced tea and brewed coffee. I was dreading how sweet Kimono Ken’s special (blended mixed fruit) would be, but went with it anyway to see what made it special.
I have to admit, it was pretty special. It was cold, not too sweet, and had a nice thickness that tells you it’s in fact real fruit, not just a mix of powdered drinks. The waiter told us their iced tea was brewed as opposed to the instant variety, and my sister liked it. Kind of like fresh calamansi, she noted. My other sister said the brewed coffee was really good too.
The Maguro and the Omu Rice got to our table first. There are six pieces in an order of Maguro, and I got first taste because I couldn’t wait anymore (I’d been craving raw tuna for a while). It was pretty good. The texture told me it was freshly made, not pre-made and sitting in a fridge somewhere waiting to be ordered.
Swaddled in a thin sheet of intact scrambled eggs, the Omu Rice looked like a big burrito. Or a small baby. When my sister broke into the thing and I saw the color of the rice, I thought it was going to be sweet, but it wasn’t. It was nicely seasoned, and with the chicken and mushroom chunks, it was pretty stuffing on its own. But then the fried stuff started coming in and the real eating began.
The Sakana Fry was… interesting. Although it was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, it was pretty bland. The tartar sauce that came with it didn’t really help because it didn’t taste like tartar sauce. It was more like the same dressing they put on the coleslaw-looking side the fish came with. The Chicken Cheese Roll tasted underseasoned too. It also came with a special sauce, which tasted a bit weird to me, so it didn’t do much either. At first I thought it was just my taste buds being weird, but my sister said the same thing.
The Tonkatsu was a little more favorable. While it still could’ve used a tad more seasoning to me, it was crunchy and tender. It was served with the same sauce as the Chicken Cheese Roll, which did not do it any favors, but I didn’t mind since it tasted OK without it.
Among the three of us, we racked up a bill of around Php 1,200. Not bad if you think about serving size, but a little over if you consider the taste. Their fried stuff didn’t really cut it for me, so maybe next time I’ll concentrate on the the raw items.
Overall rating: ★★★✭☆
Third Floor, The Block, SM City North EDSA, Quezon City
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