Kuya J SM Megamall: A Disappointing “Feast”
It was the last day of the year 2015 and the family is looking for a place to eat in SM Megamall for lunch for my parents’ post Wedding Anniversary celebration. As we all well know, Kuya J boosted its marketing strategy by advertising in TV, Internet, radio and other media which got the curiosity of all of us. They even have Jericho Rosales as their endorser who has done a great job on promoting the restaurant. I must say, their marketing plan is really good.
Of all of us, my mother was the most curious of all as she very well loves Filipino food. Kuya J opened one of its branches in SM Megamall recently so we all thought why not give it a try? As we are her loving sons, we approved and headed to Lower Ground Building A where the restaurant’s located. It is Mannang’s (A Filipino restaurant) old space in Megamall. We are 7 in the group.
Service and Ambiance
The positives first. The service was excellent. The waiters and staff are very attentive and always have a warm smile for you. We had no complaints. Two thumbs up for those hardworking staffs in Kuya J!
The restaurant’s ambiance and interior is nice and clean. The lighting is perfect as it fits a homey feel for a Filipino restaurant. I hope they keep this up. A+!
Let’s cut to the chase. Let’s talk about the food and let me explain why we are disappointed. And yes, this is not sarcasm. I hate sarcastic posts, I don’t do that. What I saw, felt, tasted… I type it. No BS.
First things first, there are lots of dishes in the menu that wasn’t available. We were like:
Me: “Do you have this?”
Them: “Wala po (We don’t have it)”
Me: “How about this?”
Them: “Wala rin po (We don’t have it too)”
Me: “Oh how about this one? (I was ordering for Lumpia Presko and I’m confident they have this)”
Them: “Naku, wala rin po (Oh no, we don’t have it too)”
Dad: “Eh ano lang meron kayo? (So what are available?)”
Them: “We have this, that, blah blah”
So ok, let’s settle for what you have then. This is what we ordered.
Let’s start with the good one first, their Crispy Kangkong.
We love the Crispy Kangkong’s batter and how it was fried perfectly. Their dip which is a mayonnaise with garlic is also awesome as well. No complaints in this one especially that my young niece very well loved it.
Next, the somewhat OK ones.
Crab Rice platter
The Crab Rice Platter was good but I’m not sure if I found or tasted crab meat shreds there. I love eggs, but if you will tell me that this is a crab rice, then it should have crab meat right? For its price, you really should put some or more crab meat there. This platter is good for 2-3 persons.
Garlic Rice Platter
Just your typical garlic fried rice. It’s good but nothing spectacular here. Taste is similar to the Crab Rice.
Kuya J’s Crispy Pata
Serving’s good but we’ve eaten bigger Crispy Patas in other restaurants for a lesser price. Taste is just Ok but it has a strong anise flavor which overpowers the natural taste of the pork. They should lessen the amount of anise. The meat is soft and tender but the pork skin can be improved by making it crispier.
I don’t know the hype about their Crispy Pata but there are better Crispy Patas out there. Hint, it’s just somewhere in your neighborhood or maybe just make one at home.
Kuya J’s Crispy Wings
3 pieces of ample sized chicken wings doused with sweet sesame sauce. A little sweet for my taste but it’s manageable.
Now, the ones that has lots of room for improvement.
Really, P295 for such normal tasting gambas and very small servings? There were like less than 10 small shrimps there with some veggies. Definitely not worth it for its price.
This has got to be the worst Dinuguan I ever had in my entire existence. I believe you can count how many slices of pork are there in the dish. There were just like 3 small pieces of non-crispy pork fat and 2 pieces of pork meat thrown in there. When the waiter served it to us, I was like… wtf? That’s it?! I almost uttered that same sentence but I held it inside my thoughts. I gave it the benefit of the doubt; maybe it’s that too good for such small servings? Then I tasted it and wow, P195 for such common dinuguan? No, let me rephrase that, because it’s not common. It’s sweeter than the usual dinuguan. I would not even pair it on a rice cake (puto). And it’s not even crispy! smh…
Even the carinderias in the public market are better and would put Kuya J’s “crispy” dinuguan to shame. For a mid-priced Filipino restaurant, this is really shameful. I was thinking that their Chef is experimenting with their dishes and just putting lots of sugar in every dish. I mean, yeah Filipinos love their food sweet but it doesn’t have to be like this right? They should do something about this because this is not how Filipinos serve food to their guests. Heck, we did not feel like we are paying customers because of the food and servings.
Funny thing is, my older brother suggested we order more. I told them no, we should not order anymore. It’s just not worth it and we will get disappointed again. We’ll just eat at home because there is more delicious food there. We left the restaurant still hungry.
For a total bill of P1665, it’s just not worth it. That money could go a long way in other restaurants. I hope they put Mannang back there because they are way better than Kuya J. Even KKK is better than them. I commend their great service and nice ambiance, but we came here for the food.
Can you please improve on your servings and availability of dishes? This is a Filipino restaurant and the ingredients are widely available in the market. I know you have high overhead expenses because of the marketing but please remember that you are a food restaurant after all. People come primarily for your food so please improve on it. I’d rather eat in an unknown small restaurant with no air-conditioning but with good food. I won’t recommend this restaurant to anyone especially to foreigners. It’s not a feast. More like a merienda.
Hate to do a negative review this New Year but I have to do it. Hindi kayo ang bida dito, sila lang.
Overall Rating: 1.5/5