San Antonio may be the capital of Tex-Mex, but a new generation of chefs is creating some of the most innovative Asian fare in the state. Hot on the heels of Best Quality Daughter announcing its most exciting dinner to date, another ambitious pop-up is smoking out a new take on traditional cuisine.
Since officially launching in April 2018, Fantom Kitchen has been shaking up the local dining scene. Founder Harrison Civick works with an ever-changing cast of area chefs to create events focusing on everything from modern Mexican cooking to charcuterie and cocktail pairings.
The Howdy, Kuya! menu, however, is one of the most original yet. Former Buddy V’s sous chef John Concepcion Constantino and associate Chris Christal will present dishes inspired by Constantino’s Filipino roots and Texas home. The name combines a familiar Western greeting with the Tagalog word for “elder brother.”
The items, priced between $4-$18, include tweaked versions of Southeast Asian classics like like lumpia spring rolls, garlic rice, and pancit glass noodles. Constantino will also dish out Lone Star heavy hitters like sliced brisket and pulled pork.
Guests can purchase one of the world’s most refreshing desserts. Halo-halo, a treat typically made with crushed ice, evaporated milk, and a fruit, will be given a twist with an accompanying cereal bar.
Though unconventional, Howdy, Kuya! is still an homage to Constantino’s culinary upbringing.
“In a kitchen, everyone is family to me,” he says in an October 17 release. “Whether that kitchen is the one I grew up in learning how to cook from my grandparents or the one I work in now with my team as we battle through busy service times — we are all there for each other and we all grow with one another.”
As with all family meals, diners are encouraged to arrive at the table on time. Though the event lasts from 5-9 pm, it will close when sold out.