When in Manila, go far from the madding crowd and look for hole-in-the-wall places or those that have become popular through word of mouth. One such place is a restaurant called Kuya’s at the Fort / Jed & Julian’s.
This unassuming restaurant is located in the less commercial area of Fort Bonifacio, but its good food makes it worth the visit. I went there with my sisters and their kids one time, and we sampled the restaurant’s Filipino favorites over lunch.
To whet our appetite, we ordered a serving of Kuya’s Chicharon (P150). The freshly fried pork rind pieces were still warm when it arrived on our table and it came with some tangy garlic-vinegar dip. Its fatty goodness was so sinful that I had to restrain myself from munching on it like peanuts. Even my one-year-old nephew enjoyed munching on this porky treat.
We were the only ones there that time so our orders arrived soon after. Next came the Sisig Angeles (P275), a sizzling minced pork dish that was spicy even without the addition of hot sauce. The red and green chilies really gave it a kick and we did not even attempt to let the kids try this dish.
We sampled other native dishes such as the Crispy Binagoongan (P280) and Gising Gising (P200), which are both best eaten with steamed rice. Although the pork binagoongan looked like it was swimming in oil, it was very tasty and a bit salty, but its crispiness provided the palate with good texture. Small bites of it with heaping spoonfuls of plain rice did the trick.
Our lone vegetable dish that time was the traditional gising gising—minced string beans cooked with ground beef and green chili peppers. It really lived up to its name, which translates to “wake up,” as the hint of spiciness from the peppers gave a jolt to our taste buds. This was the star of the show for me during lunch.
The only kid-friendly dish we ordered was the Pasta Carbonara (P230). My nephew and four-year-old niece happily shared this creamy pasta plate. The noodles were topped with slices of sweet ham and crunchy bits of bacon, and it was served with two slices of garlic bread. I was able to sneak a taste of it while the kids weren’t looking and it was not bad at all.
Everybody seemed satisfied with the food that day–even the little picky eaters who came with us. Next time, I plan to try their pizza or fat burger. I’ve been hearing good things about it. I also heard from the grapevine that Kuya’s transforms into a nice drinking place after the sun goes down. Whether you’re in the cool indoor or al fresco dining area, there is nothing like a drink or two to help you relax and unwind.
Kuya’s at the Fort / Jed & Julian’s
21 Bayani Road, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
For reservations, call 889-0240 or 782-2802
Open from Sunday to Thursday 11am-12midnight; Friday to Saturday 11am-2am
Discovering Kuya’s at the Fort: Jed & Julian’s Restaurant at Fort Bonifacio