SM City BF Paranaque has since dethroned SM City Bicutan as the closest mall to our house. Let me just say that SM BF is my kind of mall- it’s slightly remote so it’s not as crowded, there are some shops, a grocery, a number of restaurants, the best Director’s Club cinema so far, and cheap parking (20 bucks if you were wondering). What more can you ask for? Anyway, on some Sundays, when no one wants to eat home cooked meals, we make an excuse to need something from the grocery and as a result, have Sunday lunch in the mall as well.
Since it’s a fairly new mall, there aren’t that many to choose from. Kuya J Restaurant is one of the newer ones and if you see how many people are waiting in line on Sunday lunch hour, you’d almost want to back out. Protip? Don’t.
The flow of diner traffic is reasonable and you and your party will be ushered to comfy, cushy seats before you know it. Kuya J Restaurant is a well-known and well-loved restaurant with roots in Cebu serving good old Filipino food. Now we don’t have a lack of Filipino restaurants around, there are old favorites such as Abe, Sentro, and Namnam, among others- what could possibly be Kuya J’s draw?
One thing they got going is the simple, earthy motif of the restaurant. The warm, modern ambiance instantly drew me in, making me feel comfortable and at home, almost. The larger than usual tables and comfier than common chairs also impressed me. Kuya J is by no means a fancy restaurant, but you don’t see them scrimping on space to make your dining experience as comfortable as they can make it (without going broke, of course). You don’t exactly go to a restaurant to just sit and be comfy on your heinie and look around and savor the surroundings. It’s not Starbucks, you guys.
Food is the main player in judging a restaurant, of course. Kuya J is a family restaurant that hails from Cebu that serves comforting Filipino classics, with a touch of modern. Like the Kuya J specialty, Crispy Pata. The crispy fried pork thigh was served on a slab of wood, together with tongs and meat shears, sauce, and an expertly cut tomato with atchara as garnishing. The tongs and shears were a specially nice touch- crispy pata can be messy to serve but these tools make this popular Pinoy nom infinitely easier to handle.
Another easy favorite is the Kuya J Grilled Scallops. I have my mind made up to order this appetizer every time I’m within vicinity of any Kuya J Restaurant. It’s nothing fancy, just scallops generously doused with a strong garlic butter sauce, and grilled. Simple but super mega delicious. I actually think I can order just this and a cup of rice for lunch and be happy with it.
I say Kuya J Restaurant is for the modern Filipino because the restaurant is accessible for everyone (who isn’t in the mall on weekends?), the place is warm and welcoming, and the food is deliciously, wonderfully, comfortingly Pinoy (perfect for balikbayan relatives and friends), simply but artfully served, and moderately priced for the budget conscious taxpayer.
Kuya J Restaurant
3rd Floor SM City BF Paranaque, Sucat, Paranaque City
02 478 7810
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