Kayu Kitchen + Bar: Modern Cuisine Prepared with Passion

One of my favorite TV shows is Masterchef Australia. I can't believe how amateur cooks and chefs can come up with amazing dishes using unusual ingredients. Their creations were restaurant-quality and something that we don't normally experience when dining in Cebu.

Nutella Cheesecake-  Hazelnut Nutella Truffle, Candied Hazelnuts, and Granola Crumbs

And so when I first entered Kayu, it was like walking into a California restaurant. It had that Napa Valley atmosphere to it. Dark wood interiors, hardwood table tops, artsy lighting, and the only thing missing was a fireplace. For some, the place might be intimidating, but for me it was cozy.

It's not every day that you get to sample dishes made by chefs who are passionate about their food. Each dish is presented with enough joie de vivre to infect anyone and everyone who try their dishes. Food artistry at it's finest.

Kayu's food is not your typical Filipino or Cebuano fare. You have to prepare your taste buds for its modern fusion cuisine. Some might not have the feel for it, others might enjoy it. What I can advise is to try it first and decide for yourselves. Unfortunately, the food portions are not family-size or good for sharing.

Napa Valley vibe

If you're wondering what Kayu means, it's the Cebuano word for fire. And that's what the restaurant has, fire and passion. The restaurant also advocates locally-produced and locally-sourced food elements.

Since most of the ingredients might be new to us. I've added descriptions to each dish. 

The restaurant is open from 11:30 AM-2:30 PM (Lunch) and 5:30 PM-10 PM (Dinner). They also have a Breakfast menu which starts at 7:30 AM during Weekends. Kayu also offers a Lunch set for 450PHP. It's a four-course meal with Appetizer, Soup, Mains, and Dessert.

The following are what I've eaten in Kayu Kitchen + Bar.

Belly Chips: 190PHP

Fried pork belly and Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese dipping sauces). Goes well with ice-cold beer.

I like the Colander serving plate of the Belly Chips

Fish Taco: 220PHP

Crispy Fish skin, spicy glazed tuna, Sesame, and pear. An appetizer enough for one.

I could eat a lot of this.

Beetroot Salad: 320php

The beetroot has a tart flavor. It complements ingredients that are combined with it. The salad has goat's milk ricotta, Tzatziki, Guara gel, orange, and Garam Masala vinaigrette.

Tzatziki is yogurt mixed with cucumber, garlic, salt, olive oil, vinegar, mint, parsley, dill, and lemon. Ricotta is Italian whey cheese. Garam masala is a blend of ground spices.

A refreshing salad

Tomato Sriracha Soup

Sriracha is the hottest chili (in terms of popularity) in the culinary world. Mixed with tomato soup, spiced black beans, and chorizo makes a hearty spoonful. The concoction has a thick-based consistency.

Not your usual Tomato Soup

Scallion Pancake: 380php

The flaky pancake is based on a Chinese savory dish that is made of unleavened flatbread made of dough and green scallions (onions). Kayu packs it with USDA Ribeye, house pickled slaw, chili bean aioli, and honey glazed peanuts. 

Scallion Pancake with chili bean aioli

Poached Red Snapper: 450php

White fish meat that has banana puree paired with coconut cream rice topped with Gochujang foam. Gochujang is a red chili paste from Korea.

a healthy take on a fish meal

Glazed Salmon: 490php

Who doesn't like a good salmon? This was the best plate that was served that day. Perfectly seared salmon on top of a Sushi rice cake with Bokchoy and teriyaki sauce.

Not a complicated dish to eat.

Glazed Salmon

Pork, Pork, Pork

Filipinos are pork-eaters and what better way to celebrate our love of it by offering a dish that serve pork in 3 ways. You have pork belly, sirloin, and belly chips. It's so special, it's not even on the menu.

Would you be sharing this with anyone?

Duck Confit: 490php

Confit is the French-style of preparing duck. They fry the duck which works with the Soybean cassoulet (slow-cooked beans), strawberry braised cabbage, and cilantro.

I'm not a fan of duck but frying it eliminates the gaminess of the meat.

Fried Duck and beans

Pan Seared Scallops: 490php

Seared scallops, couscous, sweet potato puree, saffron emulsion, rice cracker, and whiskey glaze.

Couscous are small steamed balls made of semolina. It's a staple dish in Northern Africa.  

Dainty Pan-seared scallops

Charred Octopus: 390php

Squash Risotto, Grilled grapefruit, and Romesco. Risotto is a Northern Italian rice dish that has a creamy consistency since it's cooked in broth (fish, meat, vegetables). It can contain butter, wine, and onion. Romesco is a nut and red pepper-based sauce mixed with bell pepper and garlic.

Charred Octopus with Squash Risotto

Sizzling Caramel Bar: 185php

A hot dessert since it's served in a sizzling skillet topped with Vanilla ice cream and banana. Drizzled with caramel sauce.

I was excited to eat that I slightly burnt my tongue. 

Served Hot: Proceed with caution

Potted Chocolate Tiramisu: 240php

Made of Sabayon (Italian dessert of egg yolks, sugar and sweet wine), crunchy hazelnut meringue, coffee sponge, chocolate sand, strawberry gelee, and vanilla sauce.

Too pretty to eat. 

Don't eat the pot!

Chef Francis Uy shares his innovative cuisine through Kayu Kitchen + Bar.

Best to make a reservation when planning to dine here. You can reach them at 032 - 5165842. The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Saturday. The usual operating hours are 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM and 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM.

Kayu: Kitchen + Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato