Saturday, January 10, 2015


       Like I've said time and time again, my palate is more particular to American style of cooking, so it should surprise no one that Kettle has become one of my favorite restaurants. It's exciting to see that they've opened a second branch at SM Aura, and I look forward to seeing that brand continue to grow. 

    Much to my elation, the brilliant minds behind kettle has come up with a new concept that further expands their takes on favorite comfort food..

   The newly opened Fireside by Kettle. 

          Due to hubby duties, I missed out on Fireside's preview dinner held a few days ago. Not to be outdone, I decided to take my family there for my birthday celebration!

     Fireside by Kettle is located at the 3rd Floor of SM Mega Fashion Hall, right beside Linguini Fini. The dining area is far more spacious than Kettle's Shangri-la Mall branch (although Kettle SM Aura is pretty big). The interiors are kept simple and clean, with subtle touches giving the area more life. The open kitchen gives you a glimpse of the action happening behind the scenes. I must warn you, If you are there and you intend to have a conversation with someone, be prepared to be distracted every single time a dish comes out of the kitchen.  


     While waiting for the others to arrive, we started off with the Truffled Potato Chips (P199). Beautiful hand cut Potato slices are fried to a beautiful golden hue, and drizzled in a tasty Bleu Cheese sauce and minced Green Onions. The chips are supposed to be sprinkled with bits of crumbled Bleu Cheese for a more pronounced flavor of the cheese sauce, but we asked for it to be separate for fear that Rain wouldn't like the taste of it. 

     Deliciously light and simple, yet satisfying at the same time.  

    A very unique soup they have at Fireside is the Sweet Corn Cappuccino (P129). The rim of the cup is sprinkled with Popcorn Salt, which is why this soup doesn't come with a spoon. It is recommended that you sip your soup as you would your Cappuccino, to ensure you get that popcorn salt in your lips. 
    The soup had a light sweet corn flavor to go with its gentle smokiness, and is further given life by the popcorn salt. 

   Within seconds, my sister and mom sequestered the cup for themselves.   

       Fireside's Sweet, Spicy & Salty Wings (3pcs P249/5pcs P409) is inspired by the "Pok Pok Wings" of Chef Andy Ricker. The deep fried rings are bathed in a glistening glaze that is speckled with bits of chili. The wings are aptly named, because it manages to take your taste sense for a ride of exactly those flavors. 

      You get a feel of the sweetness immediately, then the heat hits you at the back end, with the salty finish further whetting your appetite, causing you to involuntarily demand for more.

    The Sweet Potato Hay is a great side, as its mild flavor perfectly tempers the assault on your taste buds. 

      I have an aversion to all things crab, but the mere fact that our two orders of Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip (P279) were wiped out, has got to mean something. My sister raved about the dollop of Crab Fat mixing with the bits of crab, artichoke and melted cheese. The dish is served with Nacho Chips.


      My brother in Law Julio was critical of Kettle because of its price. But he had no complaints of his Steak BLT (P389). A remarkably grilled U.S. Top Blade steak is placed on top of a grilled Bacon Slab, and filled with Arugula, Tomatoes, and a bit of Aioli smeared over toasted pieces of flaky bread. 

         My other brother in law Randy, is quite notorious for having high standards of food. But he gave the Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich (P389) high marks. Looking like a zinger on steriods, the breaded chicken fillet was cooked to a wonderful crispiness, and made for quite an amazing sandwich filling. The Jalapeno Pickle Slaw and Chipotle Mayo played a tasty spicy-meets creamy face off.

              The only comment Randy had was that, as delicious as the Coleslaw was, it its juices sunk into the bun, turning it a bit mushy after awhile. I didn't want to admit it, but we may be at fault because we took up some time when we took pictures of the dish before he ate it hehe.. 


      My mom doesn't eat very much, but she ordered two dishes at Fireside. The first was the Smoked Mac & Cheese (P209). Nice and cream baked macaroni covered in a blanket of cheese with delicious burnt patches around it as well. The chunks of bacon adds a nice dimension of smokey savoriness, and prevents the dish from becoming too cloying. 

         The second dish my mom got was the Grilled Halibut (P399). The Halibut Fillet was grilled to a nice char, with the inside maintaining an immaculate white, and is perched on top of a Quinoa Veggie Salad, and drizzled with a Bacon Vinaigrette. 

      A dish that caught my fancy was the 50/50 Meatloaf (P389). Why would I be interested in a Meat Loaf dish, you ask? Mainly Because that is made with 50% Ground Angus Beef, and 50% GROUND BACON, that's why!! The Bacon offers a nice smokiness to go with the hearty flavor of the beef. Best eaten with the BBQ sauce and a side of Garlic Mashed Potatoes

   The Slow Roasted U.S. Choice Brisket Platter (P579) was my least favorite of all the dishes I tried from Fireside. Don't get me wrong, the meat was delicious. It was tender and moist, but it was admittedly too lean for my liking. 

       Another standout dish for me was the Apricot Chipotle Glazed Ribs (P889). A full Slab of Baby Back Ribs is bathed in a glorious Apricot Chipotle Glaze, and slow roasted to a fall off the bone state. It was the Apricot that became the more dominant flavor, with the chipotle serving as a balance to prevent it from becoming too sweet. 

      Wondering what I ordered?

          After a long deliberation, I decided to order the Double Cut Porkchop (P519). The thick chop is brined in Honey Cider, and topped with minced grilled apples, with a delicious Peppercorn Mustard Cream Sauce poured over it. 

       This was phenomenal.

       It isn't easy to cook a Pork Chop this thick, but Chef Chiloy did it darn near flawlessly. Brining the chop helped ensure that the meat would still maintain a level of juiciness that made this literally mouth watering. I love how the edge had a nice thick layer of fat as well, and it had a nice caramelization around its crust. 

Oh and don't laugh, but I saw on the "Sides" menu that you could order a Bacon Slab (P149).. So I ordered the Double Cut Pork Chop with a side of... Ummm.. Bacon Slab. hehe.. (What, like there's a law?)

  While ordering, Rina says, "I'm not that hungry.. I just want something light.. I think I'll just have the Chicken Fingers". 

  Twenty minutes or so later, a large platter of food is placed in front of her, leaving us both dumbfounded. 

  "Chicken Fingers?", I asked the waitress. "Eh buong BRASO na yan ng manok eh".  

   Since Kettle became famous for it's Buttermilk Fried Chicken, it would have been blasphemous if Fireside did not offer a similar dish. Which is why Chef Chiloy added the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers (P489) to the menu. Juicy Strips of Chicken are brined for 24 Hours, and dusted in a Cajun Ritz Breading, before being deep fried to golden perfection, and like it's Kettle Counterpart, it is served with Homestyle Gravy and Honey. 

     One of the best things about Fireside - not jus this particular dish, mind you - are the Cornbread Donuts, that comes with the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers, which is the counterpart of Kettle's Corn Bread. 

    I've noticed that the feedback of Kettle's Corn Bread has been mixed. Either you love it, or you hate it. Personally I love it, while Rina would prefer to eschew it and eat, nay DEVOUR the chicken with a cup of rice instead. The Cornbread Donuts will undoubtedly eliminate any division between diners, giving you a problem of not having enough donuts to share when you order the Chicken Fingers.

  But it's a good thing you're allowed to order the Cornbread Donuts as a side! (P109 for 5 pcs)

 If you've always thought that Fireside's Chicken Fingers are more of a kiddie, than you are right.. if you're feeding the kids of SHREK that is.


          I was really surprised when - even before we ordered dessert - the service staff of Fireside suddenly burst out into song, singing Happy Birthday to me, and presented me their version of a Birthday Cake, made with Fireside's Homemade Donuts (P239

           I believe this is off the menu, and something that was specially prepared for me by Chef Chiloy, as it was drizzled with salted caramel and sprinkled with strips of.. wait for it... BACON. 

       You may dress your own donuts with three different types of flavors.. Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Raspberry! 

   There were so many other desserts we wanted to try but we were too ridiculously full that we focused on these amazing donuts! 


My beloved sisters, Raquel and Rose!

My amazing Niece Cara, and my mom!

Watch out for Cara's Blog.. 
She's going to be blogging again soon at!

          My dad is currently out of town, and my brother was.. Umm.. in the bathroom when this picture was taken, but aside from their absence in this picture, I couldn't have asked for a better birthday Celebration! 

    Thank you Chef Chiloy for your the wings and the Cake! Congratulations to you and your partners for Fireside.. You've definitely got another hit on your hands! 

  I'll be back very soon! 

Fireside By Kettle
3rd Flr. SM Mega Fashion Hall

Fireside by Kettle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



  1. Wohooooooooooo!!!!! it seems to me that some of the dishes are really drool worthy sir richie!!! super duper YUMMYYYYY Can't wait to have a go ... Once I get my bearing and have a decent food partner willing to eat a lot with me !!!! Awesome post sir and let me just say you have a lovely family!!!! again HBD!!! Wohoooo!

    1. Hey don't worry Jeng! KTG is due for a visit quite soon! See you then!!

  2. O.M.G. !!! I have a special mention -WITH PICTURE TO BOOT, in my favorite blog! My year is definitely made! <3 <3 <3

    Richie, I will say it time & again, you never fail to bring so much fun & laughter to the lives of all your fans. And you know I'm your #1 right? Ok maybe #3 -right after Rina & Rain! ;))

    I loved you when I didn't know you (remember my squeal of delight when I first met you???), and I love you even more now that I've gotten to know you. You bring with you such a breath of fresh air. And I'm just so happy that I have social-climbed my way to your heart hahaha!

    Love you & I'm sure you had the grandest birthday, knowing how loved you are by all! :-*

  3. I've added this to my list! I saw that they were on soft opening during my last day in Manila!
    Lovely photos you got there Richie! :) So happy that you had a great birthday! You truly deserve the best!

    1. Rina and I will go with you when you visit Fireside!

      THank you! we miss you!

    2. its a (double) date!! make that triple or quadruple pa :) time to round up our favorite gang!! we miss u guys too! :)

  4. Tawang-tawa ko sa "with a side of bacon slab". Hahaha. The place looks good, definitely trying this! :)



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