I first heard about Kulinarya during the Vancouver Magazine 24th Annual Restaurant Awards earlier in May. A Coquitlam-based restaurant, plus Filipino food, being highlighted for their culinary skills, at these awards, was a shock to me. I love Filipino food, but many of the Filipino restaurants are more casual, called “turo turo” where you line up and point to the dishes you would like. There are some sit-down Filipino restaurants, like Kumare in Richmond, and Pin Pin in Vancouver, and now to my delight, Kulinarya in Coquitlam.
Today I tried 3 dishes:
- MANOK SA GATA – Chicken with vegetables simmered in coconut milk
- INIHAW NA PUSIT – Grilled Squid
- PANCIT MALABON – Thick rice noodles with pork, vegetables and shrimp
I found out that the menu shows many local Manila area dishes, such as the Manok sa Gata, which I am told is a favourite of many people visiting the restaurant. The Manok (chicken) sa Gata (milk) is very similar to a Thai yellow curry made with chicken. This one also had pineapple chunks in it, which I am told is authentic for this dish. I enjoyed this dish, not spicy, but lots of flavour, with that sweet component from the pineapple.
My favourite dish was the Inihaw (grilled) na Pusit (squid). A large squid, stuffed with chopped tomatoes and onions, grilled, and served on a hot plate. It is accompanied with a sweet and sour vinegar sauce on the side. The pusit was not overly grilled leaving it still tender. I enjoy the sourness of the vinegar with the grilled onions and tomato flavour. Squid provides the texture.
The last dish, Pancit (noodles) Malabon, is a noodle dish from a city called Malabon, which is part of Metro Manila. Pancit Malabon is made with a larger, translucent rice noodle, which has pork, vegetables, and shrimps added. It is topped with sliced hard boiled eggs, crushed pork rinds, and a wedge of lemon to squeeze over the dish. This dish was more noodles and could have had a bit more vegetable and pork in my opinion. It was ok but could be better.
In future visits to Kulinarya, there are many dishes that I want to try like:
- CRISPY BINAGOONGAN – Crispy pork in shrimp paste and coconut milk
- PAKSIW NA PATA – Pork hock simmered in vinegar-soy suace topped with banana flowers
- PINAPUTOK NA ISDA – Grilled tilapia fish in tomatoes, onions and tamarind sauce wrapped in banana leaf
If you are in Coquitlam, and it is near lunch or dinner, give Kulinarya a try( 114 -2922 Glen Drive, Coquitlam, BC V3B 2P5). It is a small restaurant with 6 tables only. They do not offer wine or beer, so enjoy these dishes with a juice or soda.