The last weekend (prior to my hubby's departure for Malaysia) was a food-trip weekend. My husband has been raving about the good food at My Family Kitchen located along Kamagong St. in Makati. Owned by our good friends, Rey & Dada Dayrit, this quaint resto, which used to be an apartment, offers not just good home-cooked dishes (specializing in Filipino and Spanish cooking) but a nook or hang-out place/tambayan where you can easily feel so welcome and so at home. True to its name, My Family Kitchen gives you that ambiance of hominess and warmth.
We dined at the 1st floor which can accommodate up to 20 guests while our kids made tambay at the 2nd floor where there’s plenty of space to hold intimate gatherings or reunions.
The tables are elegantly set (reminds me of Victorian times) and fluffy throw pillows adorned the chairs and sofas. Lovely.
Upon opening their menu I couldn’t help but be completely engrossed in reading the story behind each dish that it took me a while to place my order. The menu speaks about Dada’s passion for cooking and how she puts a soul to every dish she prepares. I wanted to order everything on page 1 until the last page because I felt “attached” to each dish already. Weird but true.
We ordered kare-kare (one of the dishes that I can’t cook at home) and paired it with gambas.
The moment I tasted the kare-kare which was served on a white pot, I tell you, I was lost for words. It was a knock-out! All I could utter repeatedly was, “Ang sarrrrrapp!” The thick peanut sauce was made from scratch. The meat and veggies were cooked perfectly. My tot on the other hand, loved the saba. The bananas, by the way, added more texture to the kare-kare. Even their bagoong was already an ulam in itself. It was addicting! I could taste the kare-kare as I write about it now and I feel like I’m infanticipating with Dada’s kare-kare, hahaha!
The shrimp dish was a perfect match for the kare-kare dish. For Php350.00 this is so worth it. The shrimps were big and topped generously with toasted garlic. But the taste of garlic was never overpowering. My tween loved it so much that she even made the olive oil & garlic where the shrimps were fried on, her “pangsabaw sa kanin.” She almost finished the whole serving probably because hubby and I were so pre-occupied with the kare-kare.
The funny thing about having a meal here is even when you plan to eat just a little, you will end up eating so much because the food is just so good. In fact, I told myself that I wouldn’t eat too much rice and just enjoy sampling the kare-kare and gambas. Well, what do you know…I ate so much.
with Vigan longganisa
But just when I thought I already had enough, here comes dessert – Cookie ala Mode with a cherry on top. I enjoyed it too much that I forgot that this dessert was served for my kids to enjoy more than me, hehe.
Then, came the final beating… Dada’s signature ensaymada. Her ensaymada has been written about in magazines and newspapers.
My first impression of it was that it looks like an ordinary big ensaymada. One noticeable difference, though, from other ensaymadas was that this was (again) generously topped with a mixture of powdered sugar and super-finely grated keso de bola. As I was about to taste it, I noticed how easily my fork cut through it. With the other ensaymadas I tried, I would have to twist the fork from left to right before I could make the perfect cut. But not with this ensaymada. Then, when I finally tasted it, I had this “melt-in-your mouth goodness” experience. The taste was perfect. The texture was perfect. It was simply so yummy. I learned that this recipe has been handed down to her from her great or great great grandmother.
At first, my tot didn’t want to taste it because of the keso-de-bola smell, which to her wasn’t her kinda smell. But when I finally convinced her to have a bite, she was hooked. Until, the last crumb, my tween and tot kept on saying, “So yummy, mom.” It was short of asking me, “Can you please bring home a box of that ensaymada?”
Aside from the delicious food, what I also enjoyed about My Family Kitchen is the fact that everything that is served on the table has a story to tell. Dada also engaged us with how she prepares each dish, the kind of meat cut she uses for a certain dish, the techniques she uses in cooking, etc. Well, except for the ensaymada recipe which remains to be a top secret to this day.
Those who live in Makati are so lucky to have a neighborhood resto like My Family Kitchen. Good food, very reasonable price, generous serving, friendly service with an ambiance of hominess and warmth, wi-fi, and you can even request for a mood music while enjoying your food – what more can you ask for?
with Dada Dayrit
If only My Family Kitchen is near our house….
Ahh, this is exactly the kind of home-cooked dishes hubby would certainly miss when he's already in Malaysia.