Kam’s Roast Philippines – is it worth it? | An honest review of the Michelin-starred import

I have utmost respect for restaurateurs. It’s not easy to get people’s attention, much more get their trust. So any effort anyone makes, for me is effort all the same. I write this because while my experience at Kam’s Roast was one of the least enjoyable food experiences I’ve had, I am hopeful that things get better for them. And I hope in some way this review can be used constructively.

I only took one photo at Kam’s Roast, the one below. So please allow me to describe in words all the other things I want to share about the restaurant. I didn’t go here for a event so everything about Kam’s Roast at that time was normal and provides for a very honest review. 🙂

Kam's Roast Manila Review
Kam’s Roast Duck, Upper 1/4

Pao and I ate at Kam’s Roast on a Saturday, June 2. At 5:30 PM, the line outside the restaurant tells you that people are excited and are very-much willing to wait to try this Michelin-starred restaurant. We were one of them.

Kam’s Roast, similar to Tim Ho Wan which is another Foodee Global Concept brand, focuses on what the owners call “affordable luxury”. So, although it is Michelin-starred, it is still casual dining. I’d like to believe this is the reason why in less than 10 minutes of waiting, we got seated already. Although I did read a number of feedback that says it took them forever to get seated. The place is lit with a mix of white and yellow lights (I think more on yellow), and uses plenty of wood which makes the overall colors predominantly brown and red. It feels like one of those Chinese restaurants you’d find strolling the streets of Hong Kong or Taiwan, but less cramped.

Note, there is no goose in the menu because of importation issues. For us this was okay since we just wanted duck.

Let’s talk price. You saw me write “affordable luxury” up there but even I was surprised to see 1/4 of duck priced at around Php 750. The same serving size at Lugang is priced at around Php 600 and I was under the impression that Kam’s Roast is more casual. Since we really just had the duck for our main (it wasn’t dinner for us yet), it was also a surprise that the total bill set us back around Php 1,200. The addition being 2 cups of rice and 2 glasses of iced tea. One can do the math but I just heard myself saying “what?” when Pao told me the total.

The taste. Ordering one main meal may not entitle me to provide a good review of how their food is. The thing is, with the absence of the goose, the duck for me was next best thing. And so I feel that having ordered this alone allows me to say this – the food could definitely be much better. The skin of the duck was not crispy, the meat not tender enough, and the plum sauce not exciting. The combination of the flavors, even along with the dipping sauce that came with it, is not the type that would work an appetite. It tasted dull. 😦 At one point in our meal we thought of ordering the BBQ Pork; it seems the other table liked it with it being the only viand that we noticed was completely eaten. But the duck caused too much a disappointment and a prejudice that the other dishes won’t be that good so we refrained from doing so; telling ourselves we’d have a good meal elsewhere.

Lastly, the service. The food (except for an additional order of iced tea that we had to follow up) was served to us pretty fast but the bill, took longer than lola (grandma) to finish processing. Taking to account they had no credit card services that day, they should have been able to transact faster (note for you to bring cash just in case). I also didn’t like how they started cleaning our table before we left. If I had to give a 5-point rating system with 5 being the highest, I’d put their service at a 3. But truth be told, I am really generous with ratings so I suggest you check out other review averages. One platform averages Kam’s Roast at 2.5 stars – a bit alarming.

When I was researching about Foodee Global Concepts I found an article interviewing Eric Dee, the President and CEO of the group. I quote him saying –

“I always tell my staff “If you don’t get them at first bit, they won’t come back again.” Today, there’s no incentive to try your restaurant AGAIN if you’re not good enough. I personally don’t go back to a restaurant I’ve already eaten at. I have my favorites, but I still prefer to eat at a different restaurant every day.”

Sadly, Kam’s Roast didn’t get me at first bite. But I genuinely wish it be a better experience for others. I hope what you read gave you enough insight whether you’ll eat there soon or not. For now I’d say it would be good to try, but maybe not a priority. 🙂

‘Til my next food review,

Gemma

 

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