Panda Kitchenette — Hole-in-the-wall Sichuan Fix in Makati

The weather has been erratic for a few weeks now, cold, chilly, bed weather got me craving for a lot of things. First was ramen, some piping hot dim sum, and lately I’ve been craving for something else, something spicy that’s enough to set your … on fire. Then I came across this meek, hole-in-the-wall diner at Dela Rosa Street in Makati, Panda Kitchenette. With its quirky name, it’s a nice surprise that the place actually serves some promising Sichuan dishes. Oh that weirdly addicting spice from the Sichuan peppers, it’s really spicy usually not in a good way (I have low tolerance for spicy stuff) yet you keep on munching, craving for more.

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Wu Xiang Beef Rice Bowl (P150)
Wu Xiang Beef Rice Bowl (P150)
Wu Xiang Beef Rice Bowl (P150)
Wu Xiang Beef Rice Bowl (P150)

WU XIANG BEEF RICE BOWL – tender slices of slow cooked beef topped with various herbs and some chili and peppers for that weirdly addicting spike of spiciness. With the beef braised, slow cooked until tender, it yields a savory flavor that went perfectly with the chili. Then you get notes of that distinct aroma and flavor of cilantro balancing the heat and all the flavors together. It’s a more rice, more fun kind of dish. And kudos for the presentation, I for one wasn’t expecting a well plated rice bowl to be served in that kind of place.

panda_kitchenette_mapo_tofu_posterWe also tried their Mapo Tofu, delicate, silky tofu slices swimming in this bright red concoction of oil and chili, the consistency reminded me of the chili bean paste we often see in Korean restaurants. This one’s actually really good too, chunks of pork giving the dish a nice contrast in texture then you hit the garlic and the other components giving this notes of various flavors that goes well with the tofu and pork bits, good stuff.

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Crispy Pork RIbs with Green Tea (P450)
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Crispy Pork RIbs with Green Tea (P450)

Ever had Pork Ribs with Green Tea? A peculiar combination that struck our fancy. The pork ribs had this nice thin and light batter then you hit the pork simple seasonings, tender meat. The green tea leaves actually acted as another source of savory flavor, when eaten with the ribs, it gives this nice spike of saltiness to it, what amused me the most was I can still taste traces of the green tea flavor, that deep, earthy taste. Really good stuff that’s best eaten with your hands 😀

Panda Kitchenette is a good find, If you’re craving for decent Sichuan fare, give this place a try, the restaurant doesn’t even try to impress you, with its quirky name and the old diner feel of the place, but the food is good and it’s definitely worth the trip. Will definitely go back there to try a bunch of other stuff.
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Panda Kitchenette

7667 Dela Rosa corner Medina St.,
Brgy Gen Pio del Pilar,
Makati City
(0916)335-7938 / (0927)350-1470

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