I’m sure you’ve heard about Kanto Freestyle Breakfast. Reading a review before heading to any of its branches may no longer be necessary. It’s a hit restaurant known for its Pinoy comfort food served ala gourmet style but at reasonable prices. If you are looking for a recovery food after party, a midnight snack in the wee hours, or a comfort food at any time of the day — Kanto could easily pop into your mind.
It’s admirable that I’ve seen how it grew from a humble eatery into a full-fledged restaurant. Six years ago when I ate in the Mandaluyong branch, it was just a simple sidewalk eatery with a few tables and chairs, and a tattered signage used in most sari-sari stores or carinderia. Back then, its food was already creating buzz for its artsy presentation and quality taste despite its unassuming location.
Longing for the good ol’ days, I visited the new branch in Makati just recently. One was with friends, one was with my family. It’s amazing to notice the apparent transformation — the restaurant is already situated in a more decent location with huge space, with more servers, and a more organized kitchen system. I also noticed that the prices increased a bit.
Kanto is famous for Filipino breakfast fares with a twist. We had the following:
Generally, the food taste is okay. Imagine enjoying your usual breakfast staples in the carinderia with enhanced taste and presentation and with more filling portions. It’s Kanto meals leveling up!
The New Zealand Tapa is one of my favorites. The beef is so tender and savory with its own signature marinade. The Honey Garlic Chicken is also one of its popular best-sellers. The flavor is a marriage of garlic and sweet notes of honey — a perfect combination.
Their Pancake versions are not only luscious but are in trend with the latest dessert flavors. My sweet tooth will always go for the Oreo Cookie Butter Pancakes and Mixed Berry Pancakes. You should give it a try.
Their Hot Pandesal gives you the joy of choosing among different spreads. The bread is soft and compact.
I also heard that their Chocnut Champorado with Tuyo (Php 99) is among the popular breakfast choices of customers.
The food is not all about nice presentation — I’d say it’s good to try. Every item on the menu is creatively executed in terms of preparation and taste. You’d be surprised that the unusual combinations are being served here and that they could actually go well together.
Service is a bit slow, but it’s understandable since they have a huge customer demand and the business is running for 24 hours. I just have a comment on their consistency. Before, our rice meals were served with spring onions but none was included when we visited it last week. Before, butter is included in the pancakes but now there was none. The quality changed a bit. I’m unsure if this depends on the available supply or volume of customers coming in, but for a customer who’s previously a fan, this could be a downgrade. Quite disappointing because I brought my dad here for the first time and he just said: “We can do this at home”.
Anyway, I hope it’s not like that forever. After all, I’m still rooting for Kanto Freestyle for its affordable yet delicious food.