Good evening, Well, I guess that title says it all. With all this new-found interest in Iloilo City’s Calle Real, because of the restored pre-war shophouses, I really hope Kong Kee will be rediscovered as well.
It was established in 1966. Next year, it will be 50 years old! That makes it one of the very original panciterias in Iloilo City. Panciterias were the places to go for merienda before.
bought my supply of native coffee beans, then she got so hungry and wanted some fastfood chicken. But my mind was bent on dragging her on some more (these kids are not used to walking for a stretch at the downtown unlike our generation) to get her to reexperience a traditional panciteria.
Well, that smile says it was worth the long walk. Inday Hami ordered fried chicken, done the traditional way, nothing fancy, no thick coating, no gravy, but still delicious. It was perfect with Chinese fried rice or morisqueta (mm, that term is seldom used these days).
I took back my initial order of bihon tostado (really good! Nobody makes it like Kong Kee does) to finally try their Pancit Sun Yat Sen. I wonder when all this started– attaching China’s former ruler to a noodle dish? !
But you know, I learned from Mrs. Fidela Makani and her son , who now manage Kong Kee, that Pancit Sun Yat Sen was Pancit Kong Kee before. Why not return the honor to Kong Kee himself?
Kong Kee was a Chinese immigrant who tried his luck in Iloilo. He was the cook and partner in another Chinese restaurant before. He eventually opened his own panciteria in 1966 a few stores away from the its current location. A big fire in 1980 made them transfer to this spot.
Interestingly, Kong Kee also had with him a couple of cooks from Macau, said Mrs. Makani. Kong Kee’s panciteria was continued by his son, Vicente Makani and now by his widow and son. The original cooks have long gone, but the methods and techniques of making these delicious Chinese influenced dishes have been passed on to the next generation of Ilonggo cooks at Kong Kee.
Their bestsellers include the following:
PANCIT SUN YAT SEN (PANCIT KONG KEE)
SWEET AND SOUR FISH *
Some people just order the sweet and sour sauce. They simply pour this over some big fried fish (lapu-lapu or lison) for their feast, and presto! They’ve got resto-quality sweet sour fish.
Kong Kee’s siopao is also a must-try. It might pale in comparison to Roberto’s Queen, in terms of size, but the quality of the bun complements the light and fresh taste of the filling.