My first visit to the Kettle restaurant was back in 2016 at its now-defunct location at SM Aura Premier in Taguig. The visit served as my younger brother’s 18th birthday celebration – with him, me, and my former partner in attendance. We had lunch at the joint and tried out several of its specialties, including the signature Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
We also tried the Baked Brie and Pork and Potato Strips during our visit. As of writing, only the Pork and Potato Strips side dish – which is a favorite among patrons – is available on Kettle’s current menu. The Baked Brie is no longer being offered, unfortunately.
At its heyday, Kettle had other branches aside from the one in Taguig. It even had branches at Eastwood Mall and Shangri-La Plaza. Two years after I visited the SM Aura Premier branch, I paid its sister restaurant Fireside (originally Fireside by Kettle) at its now-defunct SM Megamall branch.
Just like Kettle, it served the Buttermilk Fried Chicken – albeit in a different form. Fireside‘s Buttermilk Chicken Fingers are served with cornbread in the shape of doughnut holes, but still come with gravy and honey. A serving of this, sans rice, was more than enough for me.
But over the years, several Kettle and Fireside branches closed down. Fireside reduced its branch to the single one located at the Central Square mall in Taguig, some distance away from SM Aura Premier. Kettle likewise closed down other branches – including the one in Eastwood Mall – with the Shangri-La Plaza branch the only remaining one.
Let’s talk about Kettle for a moment. The restaurant is part of the four establishments under the Meat Plus Group alongside Tender Bob’s, Meat Plus Cafe, and Fireside. Chef Chiloy Santos helms Kettle’s kitchen, having grown up in the kitchens of the first two establishments. His take on country fried chicken with country muffins, which is a specialty in the southern United States, made Kettle and Fireside must-visit joints.
It had already been some time since my last visit to Kettle, and that was back with my former partner. I took the chance to visit the restaurant once more now that I am single, and that opportunity came during my trip to Ortigas back in March 2022.
It was around one hour before lunch, so there weren’t many people in the establishment. Shangri-La Plaza often sees a lot of patrons on the upper and mid-upper classes on Sundays so it was a good decision for me to have visited Kettle early. I chose a table for one and placed my orders so I wouldn’t have a problem when the influx of people arrive.
I ordered a cup of Kettle‘s Pour-Over Coffee (P135) for my drink. While the coffee was good, I admit that I found it rather overpriced. Good thing it came with free sachets of creamer and low-calorie sweetener, which I definitely availed of.
Now, the star of the show. Six years had already passed since I first tried Kettle‘s Buttermilk Fried Chicken (P605) – and I had companions that helped me finish it that time. The platter remained the same, just like that June 2016 visit to Kettle‘s SM Aura Premier branch.
The Buttermilk Fried Chicken consists of two boneless chicken fillets soaked in buttermilk and seasoned with spices, which are then deep-fried to a crisp. The delectable-looking fillets are served with cornbread muffins and come with country gravy and honey. Simply drizzle the gravy and honey on both the chicken and muffins, and dig in.
Consistent with its 2016 presentation, the 2022 edition of Kettle‘s Buttermilk Fried Chicken did not disappoint. The breading kept the chicken fillets moist and contributed to a crispier chicken skin – which most people like, unless they’re on a low-fat diet. While the chicken was well-seasoned on its own, adding the gravy contributed significantly to the taste. The honey’s sweetness, meanwhile, served to neutralize the savory explosion from the chicken fillet.
The muffins were also moist, and even stood as a dessert with the honey included! The gravy also imbued the cornbread muffins with a savory hint, which the cornbread absorbed well. These already served as the carbohydrates to match the chicken – to the detriment of rice-eaters like me.
A meal in the Philippines is never complete without rice, so I ordered an extra serving of Garlic Rice (P85). While the rice itself paired well with the chicken, it came to a point where everything became overwhelming. I guess I hit the limit prematurely, so I slowed down my eating pace.
I eventually finished the entire platter, but at the cost of eschewing dessert. I originally ordered Kettle‘s Mini Apple Pie, but was forced to cancel it as I was already bloated that time. Nevertheless, I will definitely return to Kettle for the Buttermilk Fried Chicken – this time avoiding the mistake of ordering rice.
Kettle also has other noteworthy menu items aside from the Buttermilk Fried Chicken. There’s the Miso Glazed Salmon served with cold soba noodles for those swearing off meat. The Orange BFC with Soy Garlic Noodles are a good choice for those craving orange chicken from a Chinese restaurant. The Honey Tamarind Pork Ribs with its sweet and tangy marinade is also a surefire hit.
But those will have to wait for the meantime.
Until the next review, bon appetit!
5/L East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza
Mandaluyong City 1552