114 - 2922 Glen Drive, Coquitlam
The last time M and I had a gathering, she suggested a place call Kulinarya which serves Filipino food. However in the end, we decided to go to Hong Ma No instead. This place has been in the back of my mind for awhile now, as my first encounter with Filipino food at Rekados was a good one.
Since R and I were heading towards Coquitlam center, we decide to dine around there too. Although we like Pearl Castle, but have just been there way too much. So I vaguely remember M said that Kulinarya is around Nagano. We decide to try our luck, and lucky for us, we found it right away. It's located in the open mall right behind Nagano.
The minute I walked in, I didn't really know what to expect. I mean it looked more like a cafe than a actual restaurant. I was confused if I should order at the counter, since they had a big black board listing all their dishes. The owner (I assume) came to greet us and brought out a 1 page double sided menu. So it is indeed restaurant with service, instead of a cafe. The decor was rather interesting. It was very urban and innovative, I would have not known this was a Filipino restaurant if it didn't say so on the signage outside.
They quickly brought out water and some snacks for us to munch on was we contemplated the menu. These rice crispy type 'nut' were quite good. It remind me of of those Japanese seaweed crackers.Since I loved the Crispy Pata (deep fried pork hock) the first time I tried it, I just couldn't resist but ordered it again. I believe this was around $10. Although it may looks small, but it was a fair portion. I loved the skin part, it was glutinous yet very crispy. Chewing on the skin result in sticky texture that will stick to your teeth. This was perfect with the sauce they provided (lemon/pepper/garlic/soy sauce). The meat was infused with flavor as well. However it wasn't deep fried evenly, thus it resulted in some really dried patches.
For our 2nd dish, we decided to be adventurous and order something we haven't tried. We ended up ordering Grilled Stuffed Milk Fish ($12). So when this came, we didn't know exactly how we are suppose to 'attack' it. We mistakenly teared a piece off like a sandwich. The owner quickly came over to explain that they only eat the meat/stuffing, not the skin (I am glad he was watching us). So basically you have to open up the fish and just dig in, the skin was rather thick, so there was no problem avoiding the skin. The meat was moist and soft, but rather dense. The stuffing was really similar to salsa with a nice lemon salt/pepper taste. Both R and I enjoyed this dish.To finish off our meal, we ordered dessert to share. This is the Leche Flan ($2.50), very similar to a caramelized pudding, except it's much denser and very sweet. Also this was very creamy due to the usage of cream cheese. R and I both prefer lighter dessert, but if you love sweet dense dessert, definitely give this a try.
In the end, we liked what we ordered at Kulinarya. The food was different (since we rarely eat Filipino food), but good. Also we got to chat with the owner for a bit, when he came to check on us. I told him that I love Crispy Pata when I tried it at Rekados, and he told me the chef he hired used to work for Rekados. There you go, if you loved Rekados (now closed) or just want to try Filipino o food, I would definitely recommend checking this place out.