KAIN KALYE 2014: Lola's Kusina

Crispy Pata

Lola's Kusina is a family-owned business located in Etobicoke. They offer authentic Filipino home cooking and a variety of baked goods, as well as  a catering service and a list of party tray options. If you're looking for good quality food with a great price, Lola's Kusina is the place to be - and there will be a sneak peek of their regular offerings at this year's Kultura.

Sample a few of Lola's Kusina's most popular dishes for yourself at the Kultura Filipino Arts Festival at Artscape Wychwood Barns on August 10th, and who knows, you may just have a new favourite dish (or several) at the end of the day. Read on after the break for an interview with Sarina See of Lola's Kusina, one of Kain Kalye 2014's featured vendors:

(Q1) Do you think that having a family-owned business has affected your relationship with your customers? Does having a close-knit group of employees make eating at your restaurant a better experience?

Sarina See: I believe having a family owned business has definitely affected our relationship with our customers in a very positive way. In the Filipino culture, family has always been something we all value, it's just something that we all share and take pride in. Customers can sense our loyalty through the way our family communicates and interacts with them and also with each other. Maybe its also cause they see a little bit of themselves or their family in us. Other than the fact that our food is homemade, they can feel our passion and love for cooking through our food.

Working with family can either be a dream job or a nightmare, but we're lucky that we all get along (well most times, haha). Customers automatically feel a special connection and feel a sense of "home" when they walk in the restaurant. Therefore making it a pleasant experience, from exchanging stories and talking about their love for food, we're happy to say most customers leave with a smile

(Q2) Among the different kinds of Filipino food you offer, what do you think is most recognized among the general public? What is most popular or liked?

SS: The most recognized is definitely ADOBO and PANSIT. I think these two dishes are probably the most universal meal in any culture, meat and noodles. Adobo has very simple components but when put together it's just a medley of flavour! The same with pansit, it can be as little as 4 ingredients and it would still have the same depth of taste, which just proves that less is more.

As per the most popular, I would say PORK BBQ, hands down. People rave about it and some people are convinced there's some addictive ingredient in the marinade that leaves them wanting more. Everyone has their own version of pork marinade, but I would say that ours is probably the best (not being biased or anything, ha!). It's a great balance of garlicky, peppery and sweet taste which then caramelizes and creates a great texture. We also make sure the ratio of fat and meat are balanced, not too much fat but not too lean either. I could say that this is what 90% of our customers come back for. If you haven't had it, come by and see for yourself.

Follow Lola's Kusina on Facebook and take a peek at their mouthwatering Filipino dishes!