Kanto 98 St Eatery has been on my radar for a while now… I recently learned that they have tacos on their menu every Wednesday and finally popped in for dinner. Better now than never, right?!
With a menu full of their own twist on Filipino favourites, my first thought was that tacos seemed a bit out of place. However, don’t underestimate the tacos here because Chef/Owner Edgar came from Tres Carnales/Rostizado and he makes some damn good tacos in addition to his Filipino dishes. Overall though, Kanto’s menu consists of many comfort Filipino food items and is very meat focused (sorry to the vegetarians out there). To be fair, most of my Filipino food experiences have always centred around meat so this is not unusual. I wouldn’t say that you should expect an authentic, traditional Filipino meal here though because… well, it isn’t meant to be. Kanto is a casual eatery that serves up Filipino street food in their own way – bold flavours and unique execution.
Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted with the menu where you order and pay before sitting down (or taking it to-go). Service was super friendly and their throwback playlist put me in such a happy mood that my first impression started on a positive note. Because all the dishes I ordered were so meat and carb heavy, it was filling and to say I left stuffed is an understatement. I was so full but felt really satisfied with my meal and would say it is a spot worth checking out for some nostalgic eats. Be prepared for a food coma after, some dishes do get a bit oily.
Tacos are only available on Wednesday at Kanto. The flavours rotate weekly but I was able to try the carnitas and al pastor. Both were great, although I really enjoyed the carnitas more. The tortillas are made in house and the meat was juicy and flavourful.
You don’t find baos too often in YEG but if you are ever craving some, Kanto definitely has some of the better baos I’ve had in the city. They come 3 in an order and are admittedly a bit messy but so full of flavour. I was able to get one of each instead of 3 of the same which was nice for variety. The Bao Boy ($16.50) came with pork belly and was incredibly tender I was actually a bit shocked at how well cooked it was. The Bao Bae ($16.50) was my second favourite. That crispy chicken was amazing and despite the sauce and toppings, maintained it’s crispy goodness – note to self, order their fried chicken next. The Karabao is a good choice if you enjoy beef but I found it to be my least favourite of the 3.
My favourite dish of the night had to be the Sisilog ($16.50), trice cooked pork belly with garlic fried rice and egg. This was the ultimate dish for my savoury palette! There’s a bit of spice to the dish but the pork belly was amazing and so well seasoned. With a fried egg and garlic rice – a perfect bite. Don’t forget to add some vinegar to enhance the flavours, provided for you on the side.
Chef Edgar also let me sample some of their BBQ skewers. All of the bbq options are honestly worth a try here. Standouts were their housemade tocino and liempo (bbq beef). In the past when I’ve had tocino, it’s always tasted overly sweet and artificial – that isn’t a problem at Kanto though.
We finished off with Turon ($12), deep fried banana roll and Taho ($6), a tofu dessert drink. Although I don’t come from a Fillipino background, the Turon was very nostalgic for me because there’s also a Vietnamese dessert that is quite similar! With a caramelized and crispy shell, it was super tasty and I loved the additional jackfruit pieces too. The taho was not as sweet as I was imaging but refreshing nonetheless, especially after a heavy meal.
Located in the heart of chinatown, Kanto luckily has a ton of parking out front and is a great spot to check out if you are ever in search of some Filipino street food. Although their menu is not authentic to the core, they still feature some delicious and nostalgic Filipino flavours and have dishes that are not always seen elsewhere. Pop in and check them out for yourself!
Kanto 98 St Eatery
10636 98 St, Edmonton