Karen's Kitchen is a real treat for the senses. From the second you step through the doorway, you feel you have somehow left Manila behind. The decor is bright, cheery, and charming. The dessert case will mesmerize you, and if you're able to get past it, you can find a seat and order some tea. If you're lucky, Karen herself will greet you!
It's pretty clear that it's not just her famous desserts, but also Karen herself that keeps drawing customers back. Her joy is infectious, and her bubbly personality can be spotted throughout the restaurant. I knew my readers would absolutely love this place, so I had to share it.
Karen already had her successful dessert business, but as her children went off to college, she felt that she needed something to help her through the "empty nest" years. A devout Christian, she prayed for answers. Soon, she found a building in nice, quiet part of Kapitolyo - a building that, amazingly, looked just like the logo was already using.
Next, she needed a new direction to go in. She came across a bible verse which inspired her to create some wholesome, healthy dinner options to compliment her desserts. "...and settle down; plant gardens...and eat what they produce", the verse read.
One bite of Karen's desserts, and you will understand why she is so loved by sweet-toothed foodies! By far the highlight of my visit, my personal favorites were the sticky toffee pudding, frozen ube-cado brazo, and red velvet cake.
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Not just a feast for the belly - Karen's Kitchen is a feast for the eyes, as well! This is truly an Instagramer's paradise. Note the small details like the vintage accessories and the tea cup chandeliers! The design and atmosphere of the place is thanks to a partnership with friend and decorator Joi Cutter (she is a lot of fun as well, and if you're REALLY lucky, you'll get to meet both of them!)
Upon learning that her son was sick one day, Karen realized that her healthier options might help to heal him, and she began to dial in her dinner menu even more. I personally love the idea of offering wholesome, healthy food along with her famous, decadent desserts. As we all know, it is quite challenging to make healthy food that really tastes good, but for me, she really pulled it off with the Dalandan Chicken, pictured below.
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No matter what the dish, though, it is clear that they are all created with a healthy serving of love. In fact, hearts can be found decorating the plates of just about every dish! You could say she serves the most "hearty" meals in all of Manila....haha. Seriously, though, Karen's passion and artistry shines through with every single offering. What a presentation!
The restaurant can be found on a quiet street directly behind behind Privato Hotel in Kapitolyo, Pasig. I heard some customers park in Capitol Commons and walk if there is no street parking.
Best for: Mouth-watering desserts, a memorable afternoon tea experience, wholesome and unique dinner options, people who need a place to cheer them up!
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/mykarenskitchen/
Karen's Inspirational Blog: https://ButterflyInTheSpring.com/
My Kapitolyo Blog with Map can be found here
- Nathan Allen
Thanks for reading, and feel free to share!
Like my page to follow along with me:) - Nathan
Related blog: In Defense Of Filipino Food
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