Kanin Project – a Filipino Seafood Education

With lockdown comes the (incredibly thin) silver lining of being able to catch up on the upload backlog. While the timing is of course awkward – it’s not like you can visit any of the places I’m waffling on about just yet – I’d like you to think of these posts as a contribution to the long lists of venues I’m sure you’re already building up for when we inevitably crush the current situation. Unless of course you’re from the future (which is technically all of you…ugh I can’t brain) in which case, woohoo you can leave the house?!

Uh, anyway, enter Kanin project: something a little different to my usual content. Long story short, this is a once-a-month popup showcasing the flavours of Filipino cuisine, naturally underwritten by Australian ingredients. It’s run by Adam Hall (of Arthur fame) and his Filipino wife, a passion borne from many years travelling the country & studying the food. The specific focus for the pop-up we attended was on Visayan cuisine, which is one of the country’s 3 main groups of islands. Cebu is probably the most famous island – as I’m sure you’ve come already come across its namesake as the progenitor of one of the worlds tastiest ways to enjoy pork: lechon. I mean, take a look at the geotag: go figure.

But Kanin project is not lechon. At least, not this pop-up. Our particular event featured seafood and only seafood, which I will admit sparked a twinge of sadness that I couldn’t quite quash – but that was more my bad in clicking ‘BUY’ without even fully reading the brief. Classic me. However, the upside is we were treated to an experience beyond the stereotypical: lechon, adobo, and sisig will have to wait – and instead learned a lot more about just how they treat their seafood. I’d go into more detail, but one of my dining companions @hungrywolfgrams has done so much post-hoc research (culminating in three full captions’ worth) that it would be an affront to not redirect those more inquiring to his profile to learn more. For me, discovering things like coconut vinegar, pungent fermented chillies, the beautiful acidity of calamansi and more, it was as much a meal as an education. Special shoutouts to the abrolhos octopus w/sunrise lime, and king prawns w/smoked tomato. I feel like I can still taste those dishes even now just by thinking of them. UNMF.

I will disclaim that some courses tasted samey, and it wasn’t filling for this growing boy (or so I’d like to still think of myself), but I guess it comes with the territory of hosting an experience you only get to refine once a month. Pricing is a tad on the steep side, but this can be attributed to the ‘popup tax’, and $10 BYO more than makes up for it. Let’s just say we more than made our money there.

This post is based on an independently-paid visit to Kanin Project (hosted by Sydney Cebu Lechon)

Date Last Visited: 8 June 2021
Address: Sydney Cebu Lechon (but best to keep track of locations on their Instagram)
Price Guide (approx): $140; BYO +$10pb

Ups:

  • How often do you get out to try Cebuano food?

Downs:

  • A bit of sameness in the first few raw courses.
  • Need. More. Portions.

Pro-Tip:

  • Don’t forget to BYO.

Return factor: yes, assuming a rotation of offerings (eg from seafood to meat)

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