I’ve been wanting to try IMC Kavino, a Chinese restaurant along Jupiter St., for a long time but it wasn’t until I saw Jin’s rave review that finally pushed me to go eat there.
IMC Kavino sounds like a strange name for a Chinese restaurant but it actually made sense since IMC means International Master Chef, a recognition he won in 2003, and the chef’s name is Kavino Lao. Before opening IMC Kavino with Wilson Tan, Chef Lao used to cook at Heritage Hotel in Manila.
I took note of the dishes Jin recommended and ordered the same. Unfortunately we had a different experience from.
I’ve never seen anything like this ‘takoyaki’ in other restaurants. Takoyaki is a round ball made with flour based batter and bits of octopus and some veggies and topped with takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise.
They took the idea and interpreted it on a lettuce cup and used a fried cuttlefish ball and topped it with bonito flakes, spring onions, takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise. I really liked the play of flavors and textures in my mouth. If we didn’t order too much food I could have eaten two of these.
The chef had creative dishes like joining traditional three cup chicken and it’s spicy sauce and adding rice rolls to it. This version used boneless chicken breast which was hearty and a good match with the noodles.
I don’t eat misua, a traditional birthday noodle dish, at all since I don’t like the normally soft mushy noodles. For the first time I ate an entire bowl of misua since these had nice firm thin noodles. Plus it tasted really good too.
The superior hot pot was filled with super tender pork knuckles, sea cucumber, mushroom, taro and hair moss. Some may find it too exotic but we all liked the savory sauce which seeped through all the ingredients. It would have been perfect with white rice.
That night our pumpkin seafood soup was a big disappointment. It didn’t taste like pumpkin or any soup stock. It tasted like orange liquid. There was also barely any seafood.
The simple and small rice in lotus leaf was my favorite dish that night. It was the only dish that didn’t have a sweet touch. I confess I ate most of this rice. It wasn’t sticky rice but instead it was just soft and very flavorful.
The beef ribs actually tasted much better than it looks. It tasked like steak to me but why did it have be a little sweet? I wanted to ask for a bottle of Knorr seasoning to mask the sweetness.
Cheesy scallops looked fantastic! It smelled good and I was so excited to dig in.
I see crabstick, spinach and the scallop in the center. I took a bite and moaned at how rich the white sauce and cheese was until I tasted margarine!! Why o why did they use margarine to make the white sauce? They should use real butter and this would have been an outstanding dish. It took hours for the taste of margarine to leave my mouth.
We were in a rush to leave because MHL was about to start but the server brought out free dessert of black glutinous rice and corn in sweet coconut milk. Delicious!!!
I have mixed feelings about IMC Kavino. I laud their inventive and unique dishes of which some were really outstanding. I just wish the food had less sweetness to it. Will I go back? Possibly since there were a few dishes I still want to try. I will just tell them to hold the sugar.
Ground Floor, Jupiter Place
136 Jupiter Street, Makati City