Leo and I were lucky enough to visit Kanto one afternoon when owner Diona Joyce was prepping for a catered event with the help of her mom. Despite being busy getting numerous dishes ready for a party, they were kind enough to let me snap some pictures and even offered us a few samples to taste. How nice are they?! Two awesome ladies, a mother and daughter team working together, making great food? I can’t think of a better post to have up for this Mother’s Day weekend! :) – P
Kanto is one of the many food stalls rounding the street corner of Bathurst and Dundas by the Scaddington Community Center. Though Diona operates the stall by herself, on the occasion she’s doing double duty cooking for both her catering company and passersby, she employs some motherly help to expedite orders for popular Filipino dishes such as palabok (golden coloured rice/sweet potato noodles), tosilogs (a dish composed of cured meat, rice, and egg), and, to our delight, lechon kawali. The kitchen is small, but both Diona and her mom seem to have found their groove navigating the tight spaces of the shipping containment that makes up their stall.
Last time we spoke, Diona was still working out the kinks of turning plated dishes into easily portable street food, but until we can eat noodles off a stick, we’re more than happy to sit nearby and dig in with our forks.
The lechon is by far our favourite and a complete steal. It’s a box full of pork and rice with a light cucumber and sweet cherry tomato salad acting as a much-needed counterbalance to the savoury pieces of meat and crackling. The lechon itself was tender, fatty and moist, and defied expectations by being fresh and light on the stomach. And the crackling, oh the crackling…
A noodle dish enriched in a golden shrimp sauce topped with a boiled egg, scallions, and fried crunchy bits. It was hearty and filling, perfect for a chilly day.
For the adventurous:
Kanto also serves Balut, a boiled fertilized duck egg that was simultaneously horrifying and exciting to peel and then bite into. At first glance, it looks like a regular egg, but once you start eating away, occasionally dipping into some vinegar with broth spilling out of the shell, you hit into the membranes and the tiny, crunchy barely formed bones. Leo ate most of it and I had the egg yolk. It tasted like duck.
Off the menu:
Similar to a Vietnamese summer roll, but lumpia uses thin crepes stuffed with lettuce, minced meat with julienned vegetables, and then a healthy pour of a very, very good sweet peanut and garlic sauce. If we weren’t in public, I would have licked the box clean. (On second thought, I’m not even sure if there was meat at all, but it was that good!)
Squash fritters fried until crispy with shrimp. It had great texture and was fun to eat.
*Make sure to check her twitter for updates and changes in hours of operation!
Canon AE-1 | Kodak Portra 400, Fuji Pro 400h / Digital