The pastry bakery cafe turned tasting menu restaurant, Chicago's Kasama is the only Filipino restaurant to have a Michelin rating in America. Spearheaded by Chefs Tim Flores and Genie Kwon began serving the community in July 2020, but with the pandemic impacting the business, the couple shifted their focus. To accommodate and keep doing what they're passionate about, Tim and Genie went from their daytime menu to incorporating a 13-course tasting menu that includes many of our favorite Filipino dishes.
Their dinner menu only started late last year and of course a Filipino favorite, lumpia which is only one reason why people keep coming to Kasama. Their online reservation schedule is released at midnight on a 45 day rolling calendar with notifications available to let you know when there's availability. The tasting menu comes to $215/person and also other options like a beverage or non-beverage pairing at $115 and $65 per person respectively.
They've received awards and recognitions from Chicago Tribune's Food Awards Critics Choice, New York Times, and more! The couple didn't expect to receive a Michelin rating as Kasama was in talks for The Bib Gourmand list which is just as prestigious a recognition but not quite a Michelin star. According to Chicago Eater, Tim shares how grateful he is to receive the news, "So many people have teared up at dinner. It was never my goal, The goal was just to make good food I grew up eating, not to help Filipino Americans get in touch with their roots."
With the serge of the pandemic, Tim and Genie had goals in mind to continuing serving great food accompanied by a great experience and they are delivering. It's fitting that the restaurant is called, Kasama as the word translated from Tagalog to English means "together." Filipinos value meals and eating together as a family tradition, but also in general we do things as a unit, which is how Tim Flores and Genie Kwon started the business. Now, it's also how many people will experience Filipino cuisine when they visit Kasama. If you're in the Chicago area, make sure to get your reservation and let us know your experience @myxnews!
Cover Photo Credit: Kasama Instagram
I don't know if it's just me, but I can't go through my Instagram, Twitter, or Tik Tok feeds without a glimpse of that delicious purple yam we call Ube. At this point, I see it every day, so it might as well be my UBAE. Dad jokes, anyone? No? Ok, let's move on to the start of our possibly never-ending list of Ube desserts you need in your life right now!
In no particular order here we go...
Ube Bread Pudding from B Sweet in West Los Angeles and Downtown LA. If you live in LA and you haven't been here what are you doing?!
Ube Créme brûlée from Keepers in Downtown Los Angeles. I tried this decadent Ube masterpiece and 10 out of 10 would recommend.
Ube Bilog from Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream in London's Chinatown. This is Ube ice cream in between toasted pandesal. The perfect bread to ice cream ratio.
Ube Nawa from SNOICE in San Diego. This drink has an Okinawa blended base with brown sugar syrup, boba and topped with fluffy Ube whipped creme. This is a seasonal menu item, so I had to throw this in now. But don't worry, they have more Ube offerings.
Ube cookies from Brown Baked. These delicious cookies can be topped with white chocolate or oreo but even the plain cookies are incredibly delicious, I promise you!
Ube Truffles from Cafe 86. This masterpiece is a burst of Ube rolled into Oreo crumbles! As you can see below, they have a plethora of Ube selections on the menu.
Ube Macapuno Crinkles from Treat Yo'self Baked Goods. I know I shared some Ube cookies earlier, but there is always room for more, and these crinkles are it! FYI their whole crinkle selections are a must-try.
Ube upside-down pie from Ube Baby in Silverlake. Just look at that graham cracker crust on top tho! It comes in individual servings too. But you'd probably want a whole pie right?
Boba Ube Ice Cream from Magnolia. To round things off, here is something almost everyone can get their hands on. Magnolia says these are available at your local Asain market and selected Walmart Locations!
Cover Photo Courtesy of: Cafe 86