June 12, 2017

Mabuhay! Of Food and Fiction (Table for Two #6: Kuma Inn)

Happy Philippine Independence Day! I'm thrilled that Rachel & I are once again sharing a post for Mabuhay, a feature where we celebrate Filipino culture and literature in our own small way. Both of us really enjoy getting the chance to share a little of our cultural experience, as well as working with authors who share our Filipino heritage. This year is pretty special, as each of our posts is a three-for-one deal - there's a featured author, books we're interested in reading and a Table for Two featuring the restaurant Kuma Inn.

For this year's (mini) Q&A, we reached out to authors Kate Evangelista and Randy Ribay (on Rachel's blog!) and asked them what aspects of Filipino culture they would like to see more of in literature. 

I may have a TBR list a mile long (or possibly longer), but it doesn't stop me from adding new books to check out - especially by Filipino authors. It was really difficult to narrow my list down to three titles, especially because I am interested in checking out more #romanceclass titles (and since I'm going home later this year, I'll be able to pick up copies of novels to try and read). But I did wind up choosing my top three authors whose novels I would love to check out, and you should definitely let me know if you've read any of these titles!

As previously mentioned, Rachel & I paid a visit to Kuma Inn recently. We were trying to decide which New York restaurant with Filipino cuisine we both wanted to try (and we didn't want to go to one we'd already been to), and when we saw the name of this place, we knew this was going to be our pick for the month! (In case you were wondering, Kuma Inn is a play on the Tagalog word kumain, which means "to eat".) 

It's disconcertingly tiny, with an entrance that you wouldn't look twice at unless you were specifically trying to find it. But don't let the outer appearance fool you - the inside is charming and simple, if a bit dark and small. The service was great, and though we were surprised that it was more Filipino fusion (apparently, it's mixed with Thai and Southeast Asian), it was all very good! The portions were more appetizer style, which meant we could order a bunch of things to try (and we enjoyed every single item we ordered). 

If you're interested in finding out the main dishes that we ordered, Rachel will be talking about those. But if you're curious about what we had for dessert, well, I've got you covered! We picked two things for dessert - turon (crispy pan-fried plantains) and coconut lemon grass panna cotta. While turon is a classic Filipino dish that both of us thoroughly enjoy, it was really the panna cotta that stole the show. It was a perfect blend of sweet and savory, and I would 100% go back and have some more! 

If you're interested in paying a visit to Kuma Inn, here are two things you need to know: 1) they're a cash only restaurant and 2) you can find it at 113 Ludlow St., New York, NY 10002. Let us know if you ever decide to go!

I really hope you enjoyed this year's Mabuhay posts! If you're interested in seeing what else we've done for Mabuhay in the past couple of years, I've linked to all our posts below.

on Alexa Loves Books

on Hello, Chelly


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