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Kinilaw & Buko

Restaurants, Filipino Hoxton
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A Filipino small plate joint in Hoxton.

Kinilaw & Buko is the perfect place to take friends when you want them to think that you’re cooler than you actually are. Filipino small plates and a dynamic cocktail menu also make it a great spot for a date, and if you want to keep drinking after hours, just sneak through to 100 Hoxton, the bar at the back. Classically trained Filipino chef Francis Puyat (formerly of Nopi) is behind the stove at both.

Kinilaw is Filipino-style ceviche that uses vinegar more than lime to season fresh fish. The majority of the menu is naturally gluten-free, too. ‘Kilawin Coconut Fire’ turned out to be soft, creamy bream with coconut vinegar and a little jalapeño warmth. ‘Diver Hauls Kapis Treasure’ had a clever fermented roe garnish with a satisfying zing of lime and lightly pickled cucumber. ‘Mustasa Cradled Duck Egg’ was the only cold dish that didn’t hit all the right notes: the finely chopped egg, cured yolk and tomatoes were muddled and indistinct. There were crispy shallots on several of the dishes, but there’s no such thing as too much deep-fried onion, right?

As for the hot dishes, these mostly came off the grill: there were squares of pork belly adobo with skin so sweet and sticky it’ll coat your teeth. Pyongyang chicken skewers were moist, with a coconut sambal marinade that sat perfectly on chicken-skin crackling rice.

The ‘buko’ bit in the restaurant’s name refers to handmade coconut ice cream. Bubble tea got a gelato makeover in the intriuging ‘Ube Buko’ dessert, with kalamansi lime tapioca pearls on top of purple yam and coconut sorbet. If you’ve ever wondered whether pig fat would taste good in a dessert, try the lechon ice cream with condensed milk, salt, pepper and caramel popcorn. It turns out that the answer is a resounding yes.

By: Lisa Harris



Address: 104 Hoxton St
N1 6SG
Transport: Hoxton Overground
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £85.
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