Sa Kanto by Ponticello: Pinoy Comfort Food


Sa Kanto by Ponticello, G/F The Podium, Ortigas


THE FOOD

If you’re craving for Pinoy comfort food usually bought sa kanto ("at the corner" in Filipino), like fish balls, isaw, kwek-kwek, “dirty chicken,” or turon, without worrying whether they’re clean or safe, you can get them at Sa Kanto by Ponticello. The restaurant serves “turo-turo” or traditional Pinoy dishes, street food, and pulutan dishes. Rather pricey, but guaranteed excellent sanitation practices-- plus presented artfully, like a carefully wrapped pandan on the delicacy. 

Must-haves are the breaded chicken isaw dipped in calamansi, gambas chorizo (PHP 330), the main entrée pork binagoongan (php 325), and the spicy eggplant (sautéed in olive oil,chili and garlic; PHP 180). The kanto-style fried chicken and the fishballs were rather bland and dry. For dessert, their leche flan (PHP 150) is excellent.

Chicken isaw, still unpriced. My first isaw experience.
 Main entree pork binagoongan: Pork belly sautéed in shrimp paste served on 
a bed of crispy eggplant. PHP325
THE AMBIANCE

High-ceilinged, a foyer with a centerpiece, a mounted deer head, a few propped up paintings, wrought-iron gates, glossy magazines in the corner, it gives an ambiance of dining in a  home—a newly bought home where the inhabitants are still experimenting with the interior,  undecided whether they want to go old or modern, Filipino or Western.

Eclectic, clean, spacious, and a bit bare, it simply feels like dining at some stranger’s newly purchased house-- comfortable enough but not aesthetically pleasing.

The eclectic home-style interior

THE SERVICE

When I was entering the restaurant, the couple of service ladies by the door was just staring wordlessly at me, not offering any assistance or uttering some form of greeting, which was a first experience for me. A wordless, unfriendly stare would make anyone feel unwelcome. It was really strange. But the experience was more odd than offensive. But once seated, the service was fine, the waiters and waitresses were competent and pleasant enough. Food was served in a timely and organized manner.



***

VERDICT: Overall, 3 out of 5 stars.

It’s an okay restaurant. Personally, I still prefer the genuine kanto street food and take the risk, like with my favorite turon and fishballs. I’d only dine in this place for the main entrée--  not for the expensive street food snacks, except perhaps for their fantastic chicken isaw.

This restaurant is highly recommended for Class A folks who've never had these favorite street foods and fear buying them in the streets. Also recommended if you want an unadventurous foreigner to taste our staple, traditional foods not in the busy, bustling streets of the metropolis, but in a quiet, clean restaurant. 

Leche Flan. PHP 150 
Perfect mix, rich and heavy with every bite.




For more photos of the restaurant's interior, the food, plus their price, my rating, and a short description, CLICK HERE.


* * *


Sa Kanto by Ponticello
G/F The Podium, Ortigas
Operating hours: 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekends. Tel. No. 477.90.45
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I would like to thank OpenRice.comAsia-Pacific's Premier Dining Guide, for the invitation; Sa Kanto by Ponticello for offering a generous dining experience; and also to Kathy of Life is Kulayful for the coaxing.


Comments

  1. Too bad I wasn't able to stay the dessert. :( Nice meeting you, BTW. :)

    http://dekaphobe.blogspot.com/

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  2. You are most welcome! It's good to enjoy food with friends :)

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  3. Their leche flan looks interesting, and I'm intrigued by their chicken isaw.

    http://www.delightmyappetite.com/2012/02/family-dinner-at-maxs-restaurant/

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  4. I hope they have other offerings, I don't eat isaw. :/

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    Replies
    1. You should try it. Believe me-- that was my first isaw experience. Hehe. :D

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  5. We share almost the same opinion about Sa Kanto.. :D I prefer the unbreaded isaw on streets though.. ^^ Btw, it was really nice meeting you. Hope to see you again soon! :)

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Sumi, oh, yeah, I totally forgot that the street isaw is not breaded! Ahaha. :D Dagdag ko nga sa article. Hahaha. Because I have never tasted the street isaw yet-- in fact SA KANTO's breaded isaw was the first ever isaw I have ever tasted in my life, and I loved it! So Im not sure if I would like the unbreaded one. For street food kasi I kinda stuck with only the pork BBQ, and of course the fishballs, kikiam and the like, and the usual merienda of turon, kamote-Q, banana-Q. Hehe. :D

      It was nice meeting you, too, Sumi! :D And thanks for the umbrella-walk to Robinsons! :

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  6. The leche flan looks heavenly! Yum yum! Saliva dripping na naman ako ai! lol!

    I would love to try Sa Kanto's breaded Isaw kahit di ako kumakain ng isaw! Parang ang sarap kasi sa picture mo!

    http://travel-on-a-shoe-string.blogspot.com/2010/09/day-two-2-high-in-sky-lake-sebu.html

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    Replies
    1. Hinahanap-hanap ko nga ngayon ang chicken isaw! Hehe. :D Thanks for dropping by! Yum yum yum talaga yung leche flan. SIGH.

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