Vinz Juanta and his brother, New Zealand-based chef Archie, own Kanto—a breakfast place open 24/7. Since 2011 it now has four branches.
My friends Pam Yatco Ang and Marco Montes prodded me to give it a try.
I visited the Kapitolyo branch which I almost missed after passing by a number of times. The brown gate was deceiving, it did not look like an entrance to an eatery. The place actually looked like a garage turned makeshift restaurant.
Vinz was there and freely described the menu as evolved “kanto food.” The goal, he said, is to bring the regular tapsihan,turo-turo and carinderia to a whole new level.
A new level, indeed, as the brothers have turned everyday fare into a visual feast.
Kanto has a concoction of toasted breads—pan de regla, Spanish bread, and ensaymada, served with its rendition of crème anglaise, a custard sauce.
Other interesting offerings are Spanish Sardines Tempura; Bacon Congee with Poached Egg; Champorado with Goya Ganache; Grilled Buttered Suman with Ube, White Chocolate and Goya Ganache; and pancakes of all sorts.
Like its menu, Kanto’s beverage list was also quite interesting—it even serves ice scramble!
Vinz confessed that he loves breakfast food and does not mind having it all day. But restaurants that offer it are usually costly.
At Kanto you can custom make your own breakfast, say, a slice of Spam with a little tapa, one or two eggs, scrambled or fried—mix and match the options.
You may also order the regular Tapsilog (New Zealand beef tapa); Tocilog (Pampanga tocino); and Longsilog (Vigan longganisa) served with tomato pesto, garlic rice and two eggs freestyle.
Except for the tapa priced at P110, everything else is below P100.
I noticed how packed the restaurant was, with no empty table. People walked in immediately after earlier diners had finished.
The kitchen was also very busy. I could see some cooks assembling takeout boxes while the others prepared the dine-in orders.
Kanto is a melding of Pinoy street food with creative touches of continental fare.
Looking at the customers, it was obvious that all the hard work that went into Kanto’s cuisine was well-appreciated and heartily partaken.
Kanto Freestyle Restaurant is at 6-A 1st St., Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Call 7755428.