ginataang tinola

if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

then again, when people challenge commonly thought notions you have out of the box thinkers, people that pave the way for newer things to happen. admittedly, some end up as a horrible disaster but there is that one chance that something may just turn out right.

ask anyone and the standard "tinolang manok" recipe would be a hearty soup of green papaya and malunggay mixed with chicken pieces and flavored with garlic, patis, salt, and pepper. A generous portion of ginger is used to infuse the clear broth with an aromatic fragrance.

variations will use sayote, otherwise known as chayote squash instead of the green papaya and malunggay is replaced with chili leaves. to give the broth more of a lemon twist, people use tanglad (lemon grass) together with the ginger.

apparently, kuls is taking the common chicken tinola to the next gustatory level by using kangkong instead of manlunggay. surprisingly, i found chunks of red bell pepper in the mix which does not really add any distinct taste.

what makes the dish unique is the use of coconut cream to turn the otherwise clear soup into a thick creamy delight. out of the box? definitely. my advise - lose the bell pepper and retain the chili leaves or malunggay.

my only other "concern" over this dish is the use of the bony backbone, neck and rib parts of the chicken. this could be used to create standard chicken stock but when serving a dish, i'd prefer chicken nuggets and or standard chicken cuts. then again, for a whole bowl worth ninety pesos i couldn't complain.

and since i wanted to avoid pork for the day, i decided to order the "shicken ala crem" for my main course. a smart play of words that simply meant creamed chicken nuggets, longganiza, green peas, corn and onions served on a sizzling iron platter. a classic favorite in kuls.


i usually eat in IT park for my kuls fix but for this meal, i visited their new branch in osmena boulevard right across cebu doctors. loved the interiors that followed the same design elements as the original branch. loved the light fixtures.

what caught my attention though is the unique wine holder with various people in a row doing poses designed to fit the wine bottles. it doesn't really follow the general design of the place then again it seems to fit right in. just like most of the food in kuls, fits a wide range of tastes but always bordering on the slightly "off" side. the good side.


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