Kusina Ilonggo: Most Affordable Best Tasting Chicken Inasal and Other Authentic Ilonggo Dishes Now In Manila


When in Manila and craving for some authentic chicken inasal and other Ilonggo favorites, our newly found food haven will surely provide you with the real deal!



Your weekly epicures are on the loose once again and this time, Frank and I were joined by his niece Badeth and “bestestfriend” Mitch who also happens to be my closest “amigas” so I feel really fortunate that our “barkada” was once again complete! Woot! woot!


Frank with “bestestfriend” Michelle


Allow me and my best buddies to treat you onto something really really satisfying,  authentic yet oh so affordable which your whole family will surely enjoy! Experience a taste of  Barrio style Ilonggo cooking and fulfill your inasal addiction at Kusina Ilonggo located at the heart of Pasig City!


the super affordable menu


As you all  know, inasal chicken restaurants have been popping out like mushrooms allover the metro, each claiming to serve authentic Ilonggo cuisine. What I find very special about this place though, is that their ingredients are all imported from Iloilo!


Barkada Promo for only 499php!


The whole idea according to one of its owners Mark Tanlu, is to bring the taste of traditional barrio style Ilonggo cooking right here in Manila! From the meats, the freshly made molo wrappers and right down to the local yellow coloring which they call “kalawag” are all shipped from Iloilo. My friends, you can’t get more authentic than this! This is definitely something which you foodies ought to experience!


we discussed about Ilonggo food and culture


Frank, Mark and Me!


As our orders were prepared, we had the chance to meet the owners namely Mark Tanlu and cousin Glenn Gustilo. Mark told us so many things about Ilonggo cuisine and culture as well! How nice it is to learn and discuss about the food which you are actually enjoying! Food can tell a thousand tales about its place of origin. It’s more than just filling your tummies and tickling your taste buds. It’s more of a “culture thing” and I have high regard to  people who wanna preserve its authenticity that’s why I’m so impressed with its owners! Mark really knows his inasal! According to him from the root word “asal” meaning “tuhog,” inasal simply means “tinuhog” or skewered. He even educated us about the authentic Ilonggo way of cutting the chicken as well as tips on how to correctly grill chicken! It’s not as easy as it looks! You really need a lot of practice to master this skill! 



ready for grilling

grilled to perfection



…. ok ok, we won’t keep you  guys waiting! Here are our recommendations!


Chicken Inasal (72php/pc, 86php with rice and iced tea)   – Mark said that  most marinades for Chicken Inasal share the same recipe but what I like most about theirs is that the meat remained very juicy because they have mastered on how to cook it the proper way! My buddy Frank said that unlike other  Inasals he has tasted, he found  this one to actually have more meat in it as opposed to the others where there seems to be more bones that meat. Great quality for less the cost!



most affordable great tasting Chicken Inasal!


meaty and very tender!


nom nom nom nom…



Molo Soup (39php) – The best molo soup I’ve tasted so far due to its freshness and subtlety. Mark and his team are the ones who make their own Ilonggo molo wrappers to assure its quality and freshness! I must admit, I’m not a big fan of soups and stews but I immediately fell in-love with this one! It had no overpowering tastes. It made me remember how my grandma would serve warm bowls of soup along with a warm loving hug whenever I was under the weather.  Comfort food at its finest! We all loved it! And for only 39 pesos? Wow!! Speechless!

Best Molo Soup hits Manila!


Michelle savoring her soup!


perfect this rainy season!

Arroz Valenciana (49php) – This I may say was the one I’ve been most curious about. Glutenous rice cooked with meat and liver chunks, locally available spices, green peas and  raisins. Their Iloilo grown turmeric which they call “Kalawag(yellow coloring) gives it its yellow brilliance! It reminded me about mom’s recipe. She used to make this every Christmas day when I was a kid. I like its simplicity! The taste is superb! I recommend you eat it while warm. Mark said he wanted to keep it as simple and as authentic as possible like how the locals would prepare it. It reminded me about my favorite Spanish Paella which I cook at home. The only difference is that, paella uses saffron instead of turmeric, huge pieces of meat/seafood  and cooked in a special paella pan. I appreciate this soooo much!


authentic Arroz Valenciana


still couldn’t get over it! I want more!!!


the photo speaks for itself!


Grilled Hito (90php/pc, 105php with rice and iced tea) – The reason why I rarely eat Hito (catfish) is because the ones I’ve previously tasted were  very slimy and had an odd fishy aftertaste. To my surprise, it was decently prepared! It was very flavorful! It had no fishy aftertaste and the meat was very soft and tender! The whole gang liked it a lot! Very different from the usual… a must try as well! =)


grilled Hito (catfish)


a must try!


I remember chatting like crazy that night! Laugher and cheer filled the air making the experience even more memorable! How nice it is to be yourself and be with the people who truly accept and understand you for who you are… to be in a place where you don’t have to worry about what you should wear or how you should act… and to be welcomed and entertained by people who are passionate about food and  the preservation of their culture.


Oh yeah! Truly we were at the right place and time! We were all surprised because we lost track of time! We dined for more than 3 hours! waaaaaaaaahhh!!!


we had a hearty feast!


the right place and time with the right people!


How To Get There:

It’s really easy!  From Robinson’s Galleria, take a bus bound to Cainta and tell the conductor to drop you off the the RCBC bank right before The Ever Gotesco Mall along Ortigas Extension. From there, you will easily find the Riverside Arcade 2.  The place I may say isn’t really fancy but clean and presentable enough for casual “cowboy”  eaters. Invite your friends and family and have a heck of a time! You can definitely be yourself here! The place is ideal for everyone who would like to experience the taste of Iloilo!



the menu


I find Kusina Ilonggo to be very promising!  We all feel very positive about this! I won’t be surprised to see branches popping out soon! =)

So when in Manila and would like to experience a taste of Iloilo without hopping on a plane, I recommend you march down to Kusina Ilonggo!


In behalf of my friends (Frank, Mitch & Badeth), allow me to extend my deepest thanks to the whole friendly staff of Kusina Ilonggo especially to Mark Tanlu for the great experience!


owners Glenn Gustilo and Mark Tanlu


meet the crew!


Join us again next week for yet another mouthwatering food adventure!!!



Kusina Ilonggo
Riverside Arcade 2, Baranggay Sta. Lucia, Pasig City
(Riverside Drive, near Ortigas Ave. Ext.,  back of Mini Stop)
Operating hours: 9am  ’til late!
Contact no: 544-13-40

Owners: Mark Tanlu, Eliza Natividad, Glenn Gustilo
Manager: Jonah Montalban

Special thanks to Frank Ruaya and Badeth Compuesto for providing us with these delicious looking photos!
the talented Frank Ruaya =)
To read  more about the behind the scene happenings… kindly visit Eats A Date!

 Most Affordable Best Tasting Chicken Inasal And Other Authentic Ilonggo Dishes Now In Manila at Kusina Ilonggo!!!


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