Tiano’s boasts itself as a Local, American, and Filipino eatery that provides a unique dining experience for locals and tourists alike. They serve a pretty extensive menu: from Filipino kare kare to prime rib and lobster. It’s safe to say that no matter what you’re craving, you can probably eat it at Tiano’s at Kunia Shopping Center.
The restaurant offers both take-out and dine-in. I usually opt for take-out, but this time, my friend and I decided to dine in. From the moment we walked in, we were greeted by the server who was also acting as the hostess. Sometimes, this can mean that service might be a little backed up due to lack of staff, but we had such efficient and friendly service during our entire time at Tiano’s. My friend and I are both in the industry, so we were super appreciative of how amazing she was. I wish I remembered her name, but I was a little too distracted by the food.
Now that I live in town, it’s a little hard for me to come across Filipino food, so when I’m on the west side I tend to search for it. Knowing that the owner (who is also the chef) is Filipino, I knew I had to try it.
Here’s what we ordered:
- Kare Kare with Alamang (oxtail peanut stew with fried shrimp paste)
- Pancit Bihon (thin noodle pancit with pork)
- Fried Bangus (fried milkfish)
- White rice
First off, I’d like to say that I underestimated the portion sizes of the food, especially for lunch time. I was so happy to have leftovers to bring home but totally wasn’t expecting to because lunch portions tend to be pretty small at most places I eat at.
Now, let’s talk about the taste. Honestly, I loved everything. My friend and I scarfed this meal down until it hurt and still ended up bringing a container of some pancit and half the fish home.
Let’s start off with the star of the show. This kare kare was amazing. I’m used to my kare kare being more orange, so when this one came out I was a little skeptical. But, I was so wrong to judge a book by its cover. The oxtail was perfectly cooked, the peanut sauce wasn’t too peanut-forward and had a lot of layers to it. Paired with the alamang, this thing completely stole the show. I almost ordered one more to drop off to my parents’ house. Writing this is making me think about it.
I have to order some kind of bangus dish whenever it is available. It was one of my favorite things to eat as a kid. I loved how simple this dish was and that everything came on the side. This is a personal preference of mine, but I love tasting the fish alone and with condiments. Having that option really lets me appreciate each component of the dish. Also, I loved that this was cut in half because some Filipino places just give you the whole fish and make you cut it yourself. It’s a little hard to share that way, so I appreciated this little detail a lot.
How could I possibly skip out on ordering pancit? That’s right- I couldn’t. This pancit was a great addition to our meal. It rounded it out with a few different textures and flavors. I loved that the calamansi wasn’t already squeezed in because I’m not a fan (I know, I’m a disgrace to Filipinos everywhere) and that the vegetables had crunch in them. This wasn’t the best pancit I’ve had in my life, but it was indeed good.
All in all, I loved everything I had at Tiano’s and will be back to try the rest of the menu. I already have my eyes on the ahi katsu and prime rib.