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restaurant review

Kri Jan 28, 2011

Restaurant Kri

Rating: star star star star 4 stars (out of 5)
Location: Silliman Avenue, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines
Tagline: ...your neighborhood restaurant
Operating Hours: Mon-Sat: 10:30am - 10:00pm
Local Tel: (035)225.2409

New Kid on the Block
I got a text from a friend saying he tried the burger at the newly opened Kri resto, and it rocks! I didn't need to be convinced to try it out for myself. Before I could sink my teeth into it, I noticed a few nice touches on the place. The wall art deco was interesting and functional too - excellent acoustic board. I expected the usual burger on a plate like how most diners present it. No. I was a pleasant surprise - attention to art was mounted on the plate.

The McDonald's Burger Era
Back in the day before McDonald's redefined burgers with their thin flat burgers, burgers were thick and actually tasted like a beef burger...beefy that is. Nowadays, a typical burger is so seasoned you taste viande in a bun. Where's the beefy taste? I almost forgot about this benchmark, being conditioned all these years to what I would call the McDonald's bandwagon.

Kri Burger
As I was eating my Kri Burger w/ Swiss and Cheddar (P98), there was something almost nostalgic about the taste that I couldn't place. Then it hit me. This is the way burgers tasted before it became crassly commercialized. Kri burger was thick (not thin and flat), juicy and you could savor the beefy taste. Chef and owner, Ritchie Armogenia told me they only use 100% Australian beef...no pork substitute, no extenders...just honest-to-goodness beef. For under a hundred bucks? Great value!

Things that really work for this place:

  • first and foremost, good food - pricing, ambience, plating, etc. won't mean anything if the food sucks. Kri delivers. Food tastes great!
  • piped-in music - not the done-to-death top 40 cover songs but the likes of Edith Piaf...John Coltrane...soothing jazz vocals...and it's not too loud, you can actually carry-on a conversation
  • no skimping on the ingredients - most business establishments cut corners to save on cost...to the detriment of food quality. Kri does not!
  • value for the food - most of the dishes on the menu are under P100 (~$2)
  • haute cuisine plating - Ritchie has a knack for presenting a visual feast on the plate

A Wish List:

  • include VAT on the menu price - the 12% add-on when you get the bill can be surprising
  • I don't know how they can insulate the loud drilling noise when they whip-up a frappé or crush ice in a blender. It's an assault on the dining experience.
  • a heftier serving - ordering the Negrense Fried Rice (pork belly under the sunny side up) at a later date, the dish was expectedly good but my plate was empty before my tummy was satisfied.

Verdict
With all its pioneering innovation, high quality food and value, Kri redefines Dumaguete's culinary scene. Think robust diner food in haute cuisine clothing along roadside pricing. The resto landscape is put on notice that the once familiar benchmark has just been raised by the new kid on the block.

--- TheLoneRider

ps - If you want me to objectively cover your restaurant/cafe/bake shop for this website (grand opening, food tasting, menu launch, etc.), email me.

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