Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017
Karen Young of Karen 's Kitchen in Kapitolyo

We've all been so accustomed to our glaring smartphones and the mesmerizing muzak outside that we sometimes fail to appreciate meaningful meals. Chances are, you're reading this article while you're mindlessly snacking on something. Such has been the case with diners in Metro Manila even in the dining hub of Kapitolyo in Pasig City where foodies frequent for new dish discoveries.

Most restaurants here look attractive and provide customers with dining extras like Wi-Fi access and games. However, they are easily forgettable for having no character. One exemption, though, is Karen's Kitchen. It stands out for being down-home from its thoughtfully assembled menu which literally covers a whole wall next to its entrance to the charming dining area that can sit a total of 48 guests. Here, diners tend to set aside their gadgets and immerse in the joy of dining. For a duration of a meal, they find themselves connected to something comforting and delicious which is what really matters anyway.

Quiet Side of Kapitolyo

Located along San Rafael St. (behind KFC-Shaw and Privato Hotel) that's a quieter side of Kapitolyo, Karen's Kitchen is popular among foodies for its roster of cake flavors that include Chocolate Ganache, Caramel Mousse, Red Velvet Cake, Strawberry Shortcake and Frozen Brazo-Manila Vanilla. Its pasta flavors and traditional Filipino dishes are also beloved by patrons. The restaurant receives a lot of family diners but since it's just less than 30 minutes from the city proper of Pasig, it's also potentially an ideal date place for local diners who are looking for a romantic dining venue that's comforting to the senses.

Located along San Rafael St. (behind KFC-Shaw and Privato Hotel) that's a quieter side of Kapitolyo, Karen's Kitchen is popular among foodies for its roster of cake flavors...

Apple Cider Iced Tea
Chocolate Ganache
Mushroom Truffle Pasta

Mushroom Truffle Pasta and More

For my afternoon meal, I ordered one of the best-sellers called Mushroom Truffle Pasta. Its light creamy sauce grew on me as I forked halfway the hefty plate. It's definitely something that can be shared by two guests since it's quite flavorful. I paired it with a jar of Apple Cider Iced Tea which went down as a fantastic contrast to the creamy pasta. For dessert, I had the Chocolate Ganache and Sticky Toffee Pudding which equally tasted great with the Makabayan Coffee, a Benguet brew.

Charming Dining Area

One can take time dining here as the ambiance is like being in someone else's home which is neither intimidating nor overwhelming. Dining at the restaurant was like catching up with a good friend -- familiar yet filled with surprises -- because most of the decoration details are either reinvented or preserved. The dining tables, for instance, are actually repurposed sewing machine tables and the mini-chandeliers are decked with porcelain cups for light holders. What the whole space successfully does is drown out the neighborhood hustle outside to make the dining experience memorable. If you're with a date or with a family member, you'll tend to focus on the food and your company instead of your next scheduled activity.

Sticky Toffee Pudding
Makabayan Coffee (Benguet arabica beans)

Memorable Detail

What I loved the most about the dining area is the presence of colorful placemats that have bible verses or positive messages. The placemat I had during my visit was one that lifted a part of the verse from the book of Ephesians (2:10): "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

Seeing the decorations reminded me of "Joy", a wonderful song by VaShawn Mitchell:

Joy by VaShawn Mitchell

There's beauty in my brokenness
I've got true love instead of pain
There's freedom though you've captured me
I've got joy instead of mourning
You give me joy
Down deep in my soul

Finally, dining in Kapitolyo is no longer just about being trendy. It's being true to the God-given, down-home character that a restaurant has which resonates more for me as a Pasig City resident who's constantly looking for meaningful meals.

Karen's Kitchen

Official website of Karen's Kitchen

Address: 17A San Rafael St., Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Phone: (02) 696-3332/30 or 234-5118
Mobile: (0917) 539-4968


  1. The food is totally mouthwatering. I love the bistro---so cute and dainty like a dollhouse.


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