Just next door to 100 Hoxton is the new kid on the restaurant block – Kinilaw Buko, a Filipino ceviche and hot dish restaurant. Kinilaw meaning to cure – ceviche and Buko meaning actually referring to their ice creams, but we will get to that… Firstly let’s talk about their vegan ceviche options, some really different food combinations to anything either of us had ever had before, which caused great excitement from us both. This is latest venture by 100 Hoxton’s incredible chef – Francis Puyat.
To begin we had their Bitter Melon Elixir, made from aubergine, chayote a fruit, somewhere in between a potato and a cucumber, bitter melon of course, tomatoes, water spinach and some crispy shallots to finish it off. The flavours were phenomenal, considering we had never tasted anything like this before, we were of course unsure of what the flavours would be like but it was such a well balance dish both palate wise and texture wise. Such a moreish dish too, we just couldn’t stop going back in for more.
We also had fermented daikon with green peppercorns, this was a fairly simplistic dish but worked so well as a side to all the other big flavours going on around it. We also had a bean dish that has green beans and black beans together that was like eating pure flavoursome health, we really enjoyed this as it went well together with everything else too, which is why it was such a great concept to have lots of small bowls of food to share as each element complemented the next so elegantly.
Their rice was absolutely divine, it was with served with a sweet potato crumb and some spring onions, sounds simple enough but it was the simplicity of it that showcased the textures and the sweet potato crumb was delicious, we both signalled thumbs up to each other as we ate this!
They don’t just do amazing food, they also do amazing drinks and that is before of course, I talk about their ice creams! Being the tea total piglet I am, I enjoyed their non alcoholic cocktails whilst my other half enjoyed their alcoholic cocktails and we were both very happy with the freshness and zing they both brought to the table.
Now, last but not least the buko, or ice cream as we know it, was incredible, beyond incredible, the best dessert either of us have ever had. We had 3 different types of ice cream, the Stardust, a smoked blackberry and star anise sorbet with raspberry and cinnamon dust in a purple yam cone, the Ube Buko, a purple yam and coconut sorbet, kalamansi tapioca pearls – kalamansi being somewhere between a kumquat and a mandarin in a pandan cone and a scoop of the Pina Coladacope which was a coconut and banana ice cream with a cashew and coconut pandan praline.
The purple yam was naturally sweet and majestically rich another level of culinary skill was displayed here as it was a light yet decadent dish, a juxtaposed dish executed with great success, the tapioca, gave it a slight tartness but again nothing too heavy it was such a delicious example of vegan desserts done well and something I cannot wait to eat again.
The smoke blackberry and star anise sorbet was aromatic and perfectly balanced thss star anise gave this otherwise smokey and sweet contrast, additional depth that matured the flavour of the blackberry making it a combination of sheer genius.
The coconut and banana is of course a classic combination and not perhaps as experimental as the others but it was again executed so well that it stood out from any other coconut and banana ice cream with richness and made for good balancing flavour combination to level out the palate again after being sent into different dimensions with the other two.
Each ice cream was entirely different from the next, each one being ambrosial in its own way and if I had to choose one I would happily refuse to and order them all to try and pick a favourite all over again but I honestly, don’t think I could. This is the best place in London for desserts of this type by a mile, the flavours and presentation put them so far ahead of any other dessert we have ever had before and I would suggest going here if you want pure palate pleasure.