Never before has the power of connection been more important than it is in this moment. With the pandemic has come profound division - and we need reasons and places to come together and celebrate our commonality now more than ever. For Chef Christian Agir and business partner Kalen McConnell - this is the mission and the raison d’etre for their new eatery, Kain Tayo. Translating loosely to Let’s Eat, Kain Tayo aims to harness the universal power of food to connect people. And Chef Christian’s creative interpretations of nostalgic Filipino and international flavours sets the perfect stage to gather and to celebrate food, drink and each other.
Begin your meal with the duck rillette corn dogs which have already become legendary over the summer of 2021. The crispy batter elicits the fun and fancy of the carnival favourite, but the inside is pure sophistication with a tender rillette that marries duck, dijon, chives, parsley and cayenne for a savoury flavour bomb on a stick. Plated with delicious bits of crispy duck skin and a sweet cognac, cherry and apple gastrique, this dish is a must-have with one (or more) of Kain Tayo’s epic cocktails. We tried a new bittersweet cocktail set to debut this fall. Sweet Chambord liqueur shines underneath cold coffee splashed with walnut bitters and amaro from Wildlife Distillery in this yet-to-be-named drink.
If you’re in for lunch, reward your great choice of eatery with the Calderata, a take on traditional Filipino beef stew. The chef deconstructs the cubed potatoes, stewing beef and vegetables and reassembles a melt-in-your-mouth braised beef on a mountain of textured smashed potatoes. Crispy buttermilk onions, crunchy pickled baby carrots and frisée lettuce gives the dish tang and texture, while a green olive salsa verde and grated parmigiano-reggiano lends a mouthwatering dash of salty umami to round it all out.
For dinner, you can’t go wrong with the Chinese roast crispy pork belly with kimchi fried rice and quail eggs. This pork belly takes 36 hours to make by alternating temperatures and vessels to get the crispiest of skin and tenderest of meat. Plated with a creamy Peruvian groundberry aioli and a spicy Korean gochujang, this meal is a feast for the eyes as well as for the belly as brilliant reds and yellows elicit visions of brilliant lanterns, dancing dragons and boisterous celebration.
Enjoy connecting with family, friends or someone new at Kain Tayo Wednesday - Sunday, 12-9 p.m.
Camie has a passion for music, food and the people who make them. A lifelong Calgarian, Camie brings 20+ years of experience telling stories about the area as an editor, communications professional and blogger. In her spare time, Camie is a painter and musician who is always looking for the next great meal.