Karen's Kitchen, Kapitolyo Pasig City

September 15, 2015
Karen's Kitchen located in Kapitolyo Pasig City is a restaurant you would go for when great tasting dishes, impeccable line of desserts, and charming ambiance are what you are looking for. There are plenty of restaurants in Kapitolyo, but Karen's Kitchen with its eye-catching yellow and red colors is not something you should miss for oh so may reasons.

One of them is if you have a penchant for a very charming lady for a chef whose pleasant aura mirrors in every food she prepares. Take my word for it, Karen's Kitchen is your place.

Karen's Kitchen Kapitolyo Petron Dasma Blog Review
First time I have met Karen Young was during Dessert Comes Firsts 6th year Anniversary. Months after that we have become fellow attendees of Power of Pen Writing Workshop. We exchanged emails in the past when she invited me to Karen's Kitchen branch at Petron Dasma. Unfortunately, I have to reply with regrets since that was the time when I was busy packing a decade of my life in Manila to move back to my hometown.

Lovely Customized Chair at Karen's Kitchen
During our brief encounters in the past, Karen strike me as someone whose beautiful aura radiates from within. She talks and laugh with such grace and poise that made me question my inclination to speak and laugh like someone whose nursing a really bad hangover. Seriously, she's like a sunshine.

And thankfully her sun-shiny and charming personality reflects in Karen's Kitchen, specifically its branch in Kapitolyo.

Karen's Kitchen Selections of Cakes, Blog and Media Reviews and Features
The way I see it, stepping into Karen's Kitchen is like leaving the busy streets of Kapitolyo and immersing yourself into a realm lifted directly from a storybook with backdrop set against a lovely countryside. 

The great thing is that you can choose your own story plot and weave your own happy ending. 

Beautiful Chair and Teddy Bear at Karen's Kitchen
To say that the place is Instagram-worthy would be an understatement. The place, I tell you is something that you just don't want to take photos of. Rather, it is something you want to actually experience. 

I've been to quite a handful of restaurants with impressive interior design but rarely do I encounter a place that lures me to put my camera down and truly immerse myself into the surroundings other than while I was eating. Karen's Kitchen has that effect on me.

Menu at Karen's Kitchen Kapitolyo
The place in itself is an old house which Karen breathe a new life into. The decors comprised mostly of pre-loved and re-purposed items that emerged from what was supposed to be a resigned end of their usefulness into renewal. 

Dining Area at Karen's Kitchen Kapitolyo
I do not claim that I know Karen on a very deep personal level nor do I conduct an intensive stalker-like research. But judging at face value, I deem that Karen, like myself, firmly believes in the affirmative power of revival and restoration - of seeing the beauty in brokenness and of transforming something dying from neglect into something where joy and hope may once again spring forth

As with every stories that silently echoes from variety of things from the olden days that brought life to the place,  every corner of Karen's Kitchen is very inspiring. Karen herself is very inspiring.

Beautiful Vintage Mirrors and Decors at Karen's Kitchen
Speaking of inspiring, a little anecdote I would like to shamelessly share was when I was asked to play the beautiful piano for our groups' little entertainment. In all honesty, I am not a big fan of foot work when playing this musical instrument hence I prefer electronic keyboard over piano. Trust me, there is a glaring difference.

Much to my companions' persistence, I started playing the piano. I was aiming for the usual Gone by Jim Chappelle but somehow it ended up sounding like Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal by Celeste Legazpi, a piece I have not played for many years now. It was crazy I am not sure if they even noticed.

Karen's Kitchen Grand Piano
I could blame the piano for being slightly out of tune (or maybe it wasn't), but at the end of the day I know it could be a heartbreaking death of a skill. It would have been too funny if it wasn't too tragic. Such a relief that my father who taught me how to play was not there.

Then again there came the inspiring thought of renewal - of dusting yourself off and trying a second lease at something. If the people I was with managed to smile at my failed attempt to finish a piece, what more if I was able to really pull it off? Right after that day, I was inspired into playing practicing the piano/keyboard once again. Dust and all, I am back at it.

Love at Karen's Kitchen Kapitolyo
Now the thing that anyone would most likely to notice at Karen's Kitchen is the Detroit Kitchen Oven, existing for 100 years. Whether one has a knacks for vintage things or not, this oven can sure captures anyone's heart with its aesthetics.

Detroit Jewel Oven at Karen's Kitchen
Every angle of this oven including all the knick-knacks that Karen decorated it with is screaming with beauty it feels like it has a life of its own. And it probably has for it has its own story to share.

Vintage Kitchen Decor at Karen's Kitchen Pasig
I could go on and on weaving my declaration of admiration for Karen's Kitchen in terms of its aesthetics but let me leave you with such curiosity and a fervent hope that may you be able to visit the place one of these days - because it is worth it. 

At this point, this post is already photo-heavy and I haven't even talked about the food at Karen's Kitchen. I cannot help it, such beauty must be shared. But for now, let us move right along.

Wall Decors at Karen's Kitchen
I have always been a fan of mushroom, hence, the Shitake Mushroom Dip (Php295) served as a delightful prelude to our feast. It's not as if the fact that the dip was served in a heart-shaped bowl, the pastry shell crisp that comes with it were also in heart-shaped form. A clear indication that everything is made with love.

The earthy taste of the mushroom was tempered by the creamy composure of the dish. The slight sweetness of the pastry shell on the other hand compliments the savory taste of the dip.

Shitake Mushroom Dip
Karen's Kitchen isn't just about food made with love, they also serve dishes which are good for the heart. Take for instance this Kale and Sweet Potato Chips (Php155). Perfect for those who wants to keep their indulgence at bay, especially if you are looking forward to an extremely indulging desserts by the end of your meal.

Kale and Sweet Potato Chips
I was on the brink of dismissing the thought of diving into the Meatball Ribbon Soup with Parmesan Disc (Php175) simply because tomato-based pasta is not something I am very fond of these days. Good thing that I was able to talked myself into trying just a bit because I was not able to stop after that.

The sauce had that sourness of a tomato I would normally avoid but eating it with the lovely Parmesan disc worked really well. It was a combination that put my selective pickiness at ease.

Meatball Ribbon Soup with Parmesan Disc
Equally impressive, Lughanigue Sun-Dried Tomato Angel Hair Pasta (275) is a dish perfect for those who appreciate the lovely combination of sun-dried tomatoes and garlic for these are the flavor very apparent in this pasta dish. Not to dismiss the presence of Lughanigue sausages because it served as a the main star of this dish as well.

 Lughanigue Sun-Dried Tomato Angel Hair Pasta
If you have been reading my blog who would probably know how much I adore some truffle in my pasta - be it the real thing or just the essence, I've no problem with that. Needless to say, the Mushroom Truffle with Angel Hair (Php395) ended up as my favorite among the pasta dishes we were served. 

Just the though of this pasta is enough for me to salivate over the possibility of having it again. Perfectly balanced and downright impressive, this dish brought delight to my heart.

Mushroom Truffle with Angel Hair
Aligue is not something I get to enjoy everyday for the fear of sparring with a cardio. So, during our visit at Karen's Kitchen, I took the liberty to enjoy the Aligue Pasta (Php275) to my heart's content. It is without a doubt that such a nice dish would end up as one of the best sellers. 

Aligue Pasta
It was only recently that I get to appreciate the beauty and the health benefits of quinoa. Karen's Kitchen Squid Ink Quinoa (Php500 good for 2 persons) is a healthy rendition of a traditional paella, only healthier, hence, not to be missed. 

Beautiful in the eyes as well as in the palate, I tell you.

Squid Ink Quinoa
The usual manly hamburger takes a dainty form at Karen's Kitchen. This burger is off the menu during our visit but in its goodness, I sincerely hope for it to be part of the menu soon. This dish is perfect for those who wants their share of burger but would like to indulge within reasonable calories.

Mini Burger
We were also served some Crispizzas and the one I took a great liking was the Chicken Pesto (Php285) variant. I like it so much I probably had more than my fair share. It didn't surprised me since really really love thin crust when it comes to my pizza and this one can be liken by it.

Dessert was peppered with all things sweet and delicious. After all, Karen is best known for her line of desserts. One dessert that I love among Karen's creation was the Sticky Toffee Pudding, but there is more to her arsenal than that pudding.

Just like the Scones with Jam and Cream. One word that fits perfectly for a description is divine. I never had scones as good as the one made by Karen. The cream and jam were of course a delightful accompaniment. I could have these scones all day for the rest of my life, that's how I love it.

Scones with Jam and Cream
Not to be overshadowed with the scones, the Beignets with Liquid Chocolate were equally delightful. The liquid chocolate with its interesting consistency can be eaten by scooping it out or just by plain drinking the content of the mini cup. This chocolate is Karen's own concoction making it a goodness you cannot have anywhere else. The Beignets, well, it's like eating the New Orlean's specialty without having to travel thousands of miles.

Beignets with Liquid Chocolate
There were also some cake with peanut butter cups, frozen brazo de mercedes and green tea layered cakes served to us. Everything was truly exceptional, the kind of desserts combo you would want your family to meet.

cake with peanut butter cups, frozen brazo de mercedes and green tea layered cakes
Then again, as always, the Sticky Toffee Pudding has always a special place in my heart. And if you happen t have tried it as well, you would know why. If not, then I must say it can be a good starting point of a reason to visit Karen's Kitchen pronto. 

 Sticky Toffee Pudding
What we have tried is just a fraction of the great creations they have at Karen's Kitchen. And what I have written here is also just a fraction of my admiration for Karen's Kitchen. But photos and words may not be enough at times. Hence, to truly experience the enduring charm of Karen's Kitchen, one must step foot within the restaurant and savor the goodness of their food. 

So I suggest that you visit them, for behind the house in eye-catching colors of yellow and red, there lies some great food, a charming woman, and some beautiful inspiring stories you can take home with you.

Karen's Kitchen
17A San Rafael St.
Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Contact Nos.: (632) 696-3332, (632) 234-5118,  (63917) 539-4968
Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday (closed on Sundays)
Cake Pickup 11am-9pm Dine-in: 12-9pm
Website: karenskitchen.com.ph
Facebook: /mykarenskitchen

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