Kasama is a bakery and modern Filipino restaurant located in the East Ukrainian Village neighborhood of Chicago. They serve breakfast and lunch but started an evening tasting menu last fall. It is a small place and you place your order at the front, where they also have the pastry counter. Small tables line the wall on either side with bench seating along the wall and bar stools are on the opposite side in one room. The other room has the open kitchen. After you place your order you are assigned a table and they bring the food out to you. Music is in the background, the tables are small and the wall behind the bench is windows to the street. They seemed to also do a healthy to-go business. Everyone was really friendly and the food was great. I’d love to go back for the evening tasting.
In the pastry case were Pecan Sticky Buns and I couldn’t resist so we sampled that as a starter. The croissant like dough was well coated with sticky caramel and perfectly toasted pecans. It was outstanding and I found myself continuing to nibble at it till it was gone.
Lumpia Shanghai are pork-filled fried spring-rolls that come with a sweet chili sauce. They came out hot and exceptionally crisp. There were about 6 to an order so plenty to split. The sauce was not too spicy or sweet and I would have liked it to come out more strongly on one side or the other.
The Filipino breakfast came with Longanisa sausage or Tocino, a fried egg, and garlic fried rice. Usually it comes with just one meat but for a dollar more you can get both. The longanisa was the larger sausage and has a smoked flavor. The tocino was a barbecued pork shoulder and amazing – very sweet, flavorful and tender. The egg was left perfectly runny to mix with the garlic rice. Also a side of papaya and carrot shreds could mix in with the other ingredients. It was a really tasty plate of food.
Mushroom Adobo came with soy braised mushrooms, fried egg and garlic rice. It also had the shreds of papaya and carrot to mix in to the medley of mushrooms topped with crispy garlic. The blend of mushrooms was terrific and with its sauce was perfect to mix with rice and egg. It was a totally delicious plate.