Ivan’s Kitchen is a combination Filipino restaurant and burger joint. It’s located on Logan Avenue, just west of Sherbrook street. I first noticed Ivan’s Kitchen when they popped up in the Manitoba Food Bloggers group on Facebook. I’ve enjoyed Filipino first since I first discovered Jeepney, and am always on the lookout for new Filipino restaurants.
Logan, at the site of the restaurant, is an interesting mix. There are quite a few house tucked away here and there, but there is also a bit of an industrial park element. The restaurant itself is right on Logan. I approach the restaurant from the east side, and the building layout reminds me of Luda’s deli. It looks like a bungalow that’s been converted into a restaurant.
|Mon:||8:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Tue:||8:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Wed:||8:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Thu:||8:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Fri:||8:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Sat:||8:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Sun:||8:00 AM – 3:00 PM|
Stepping inside it reminds me of any number of neighbourhood burger joints. There are about a dozen tables spread across the front of the place, with the kitchen area out back. There is a little archway over the wall at the front of the kitchen that gives a 1970’s feel to the space.
Ivan’s is a family restaurant. Not only does it cater to family meals, but there is a clear family vibe among the staff. Both times I went there were several families dining in. At one point, on my second visit, my server was both serving me and consoling her toddler. Neither interfered with the other. Sometimes only mom will do.
My First Stop
Ivan’s is open until 8 pm, except on Sundays. By the time I’ve left work, it can sometimes be a little tricky getting there on time. I decided to take the 29 Sherbrook bus, which would get me pretty close to the restaurant. I was hoping to get there by about ten after 7. It was closer to 20 after by the time I actually made it in the door. Despite being so close to closing time there were several people still dining. Also, a couple of people came in quite a bit after I did and they were still warmly welcomed.
In addition to Filipino dishes and burgers, Ivan’s Kitchen also offers a couple of Japanese dishes. One of these is Gyoza dumplings. I figured I would make this my appetizer, but unfortunately being so close to closing they were out. Instead, I went with the pork spring rolls. These are listed on the menu as being 10 for $7.99. For a main dish I went with the beef short ribs and rice.
When the spring rolls arrived, there was actually a baker’s dozen of them. They are also of fairly good size. There is plenty of pork filling in them as well, and they were well cooked and seasoned. Despite being a late supper for me, by the time I made my way through the springs rolls I almost regretted ordering the short ribs. Almost!
Real Tasty Short Ribs at Ivan’s Kitchen
Beef short ribs are often a tricky order. Sometimes there are not many in the order. Sometimes, while there are quite a few, they seem to have almost no meat on them. This is not the case at Ivan’s. You receive a good number of ribs, and most of the them had a good bit of meat on them. On top of that they were well sauced also. Not only that but you a huge portion of the rice as well. Although, I would have preferred less rice and a slightly larger portion of the coleslaw that went with it.
I receive my food in good time. The service is attentive, but allows me to enjoy my meal in peace. In fact, I reached the 8 pm closing time before I knew. There is no attempt to rush me out, but my meal completed, I leave a couple of minutes later.
Returning A Little Earlier
For my second visit I made sure to arrive a little earlier. This time around I showed up around 6 pm. Being earlier meant there were more people in the restaurant. This time, when I grabbed the menu I figured I would go with something a little lighter. I started off with a cup of soup, and then ordered the crispy Pata for my main.
The soup is a straight forward beef consomme style broth. The one little added touch is tiny bits of fried onion(think French’s canned). This means that every few mouthfuls you get a nice fried onion taste that adds just the right bit of depth to the broth.
Crispy Pata involves taking a pork leg and cooking it twice. The first step is to boil the leg to help tenderize the meat. The second step is deep-frying the leg. You can find a recipe here, if you want to know more. The dish comes to the table with a steak knife piercing the skin. The steak knife may make you think that there is a lot of cutting involved. However, the meat falls off the bone after piercing the skin.
I really enjoy the flavour, along with the texture of the crispy skin. The one thing I would like different would be for the fat to be a little more rendered. I don’t know if prolonged boiling time would help this along, but I may have to give it a try to find out. Apparently this is meant to be eaten with a vinegar sauce. I failed to notice mine. Nonetheless, the pork is enjoyable as it is prepared and spiced.
Once again there is a huge pile of rice with the meal. This is a good and tasty garlic rice. One thing with the Filipino dishes on the menu is that they are a little shy on vegetables. There are however salads available.
Ivan’s Kitchen may be a little off your normal route, but’s it’s worth taking a trip down Logan for a visit. I plan to go back for their all day breakfast.