Food Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Family Dinner at Kuya J

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

I’ve been writing about restaurants since last week (and I still have two more in my drafts plus a couple of travel posts!). Bear with me — I’m just trying to clear my overdue drafts and I’ll be back in regular programming.

A couple of months ago, we had dinner at Kuya J. I’ve been hearing and reading about Kuya J on my social media fans that I just couldn’t resist trying it! The good news? It was so worth it — we had a hearty meal at an affordable price. Read on!

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

First, here are the interiors at Kuya J, SM Lanang Premier branch.

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

Interiors are mainly of clean, straight lines with neutral colours. I remember taking a picture of it (but I can’t find it now?), but one wall is lined with shelves (you can see part of it in the first picture) of books and toys. There was a red firetruck that Yuri wanted so badly. I had to convince him that it was glued solid to the shelf…

While waiting for our food, we went outside to watch the mall’s fountain show:


And here’s what we ordered:

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

Ensalada Espesyal (P120)

I wasn’t able to eat a lot of the ensalada. I love ensalayda, but my dad was enjoying it so much I just gave him my share lol. (There are many things my dad is not allowed to eat.)

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

Pinakbet (P150)

Their pinakbet is a winner for me. It was a little on the sweet side, which I am not used to, but I still liked it nonetheless. I love how crisp and flavourful the veggies were!

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

Kuya J Fried Chicken – Half (P195)

Honestly there was nothing special about this chicken. It did taste good, but maybe I was just spoiled by Yellow Fin’s greaseless chicken haha. Yuri and my sister enjoyed it though.

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

Crispy Dinuguan (P145)

I am huge fan of dinuguan so I see to it to always order a dinuguan dish in each restaurant I visit if it’s available. Unfortunately, this fell short of my expectations. If you’re used to the dry kind of dinuguan, you might like this. But my type of dinuguan is the saucy, sour kind with hints of espada sili heat. The meat was tender and crunchy though!

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

Sizzling Sisig with Egg (P185)

This was hands-down my favourite dish of the night. I love how the combination of soft and gooey and crispy-crunchy textures. It was also really flavourful, with the egg enhancing its appeal. I would still order this next time!

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

Leche Flan (P45!)

Their leche flan is p-e-r-f. It was supeerrr silky smooth and it was just the right amount of sweet. And for 45 pesos? Win-win!

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

Kuya J Mango Pandan (P55)

This dessert was also a winner for me. The contrast between the tangy mangoes and the creamy sweetness of milk and pandan jelly was just awesome. I am a fan of the presentation!


Service in Kuya J, SM Lanang Premier is superb. When we went there, the A/C was not working (it was at the height of the power interruptions in the city). We opted to go to another restaurant instead, but we saw them setting up our table with an electric fan especially directed to us (I think they prioritised us because we had a senior citizen in tow?), and we just didn’t have the heart to turn back after the thoughtful gesture. The wait staff was also generally attentive to all our needs.

PS: Their fan worked greatly haha; we almost didn’t notice there was no A/C!


Location is great especially for Davaenos who frequent SM Lanang Premier. However, if you live quite far, I should say it’s still worth the trip. 😉


Almost everything in the menu is affordable! The servings are not particularly big, but they are not small, too. They are just perfect for a small group. You won’t burn a hole in your pocket eating at Kuya J!

Oh, and here’s the menu. There are quite a lot of pages, so just click on each thumbnail to enlarge.

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  • Reply Edel May 23, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    I’ve only eaten at Kuya J’s twice. The first time was in Bora and we were in a hurry then because we might miss our flight. The second one was early this year. And on both occasions, I’d say that the food and dining experience are quite memorable. 🙂

  • Reply Juvy Ann May 23, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I have tried Kuya Js at SM San Mateo and wrong a fairly good review of this restautant. Kuya J have taken ordinary Filipino dishes and made them extraordinary. I particularly loved their Fritos Dinamitas and Crispy Pata.

  • Reply Juvy Ann May 23, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I have tried Kuya Js at SM San Mateo and wrote a fairly good review of this restautant. Kuya J have taken ordinary Filipino dishes and made them extraordinary. I particularly loved their Fritos Dinamitas and Crispy Pata

  • Reply Berlin May 24, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Next to KKK, we love Kuya J’s. We find the staff amiable. The food are all superb. The ambiance is pretty ok. I find that gesture setting up an electric fan as very thoughtful. Wouldny have the heart to go somewhere else also.

  • Reply May Palacpac May 24, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Waaah nauna ka pang mag Kuya J sa kin, last year ko pa yata iniisip kumain jan, haha! The crispy dinuguan looks very promising!!!

  • Reply Eve May 24, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    I love their plating, the food looks very appealing. I love how they presented the ensalada (i’m a fan of ensalada) and oh the sisig looks really yummy! I will definitely put this on my list of Filipino restaurants to visit in the future.

  • Reply Mommy Anna May 25, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Crispy pata and kalderata is the best that I tasted here in Kuya J 🙂 next time will try the dinuguan

  • Reply Nilyn Matugas May 25, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Grabe si Echo o, parami ng parami ang resto! Naabot nalang ang Kuya J diha sa Davao, wala pa jud ko ka try ana diri, bisan sa kadaghan sa Kuya J restaurant diri! haha. Wala mi gawas2 sa among cave! lol!

  • Reply Ma.Me.Mi.Mommy May 25, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Kuya J’s are sprouting everywhere these days. I haven’t had the chance to try it yet though. My boy, on the other hand, has already and so he recognizes the restau everytime we pass by it. It must have been yum for him to remember it. 🙂

  • Reply Jerzee Benavente; Coffee and Beyond May 25, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    The dinuguan looks so tempting! I haven’t tried searching for branches here in Metro Manila. But, I think it’s worth finding this time. Thanks for sharing!😀

  • Reply Tetcha Figuerres May 25, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    We enjoyed our dining experience at Kuya J, too. I remember we ordered Grilled Scallops and Kare-Kareng Bagnet. I want to try their Mango Pandan.

  • Reply Neri Ann May 25, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    There is a Kuya J branch that is near our place but we haven’t tried it yet. Better to urge my hubby to eat there and try their sisig!

  • Reply Mommy Levy May 26, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Ang haba ng pila sa Kuya J when we visited their branch here in SM BF, kaya di na kami tumuloy. I’m glad that they will open a branch near our area soon, matitikman ko na din yang ensalada and sisig nila.

  • Reply jared's mum May 27, 2016 at 5:48 am

    I have read a lot of good stuff about Kuya J, but we have yet to visit a branch. It is good that you included the photos of the menu. Sometimes, it is frustrating when you cannot find these invaluable info online. 😀 I would definitely love to try this resto out soon.

  • Reply Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen May 27, 2016 at 5:48 am

    I love love love Kuya J! Their Kare-Kare is one of the best.

    • Reply Maan May 27, 2016 at 8:38 am

      Oooh we should try that!

  • Reply Mhaan A May 27, 2016 at 10:49 am

    The leche flan looks inviting! And the crispy dinuguan, ahhh looks incredibly delicious!

  • Reply Louisa May 27, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try Kuya J. Maybe we’ll go here for my eldest’s 16th birthday.

  • Reply Rowena Wendy Lei May 28, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Curious about Kuya J– hope to try it soon!

  • Reply Marie May 30, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Everything you posted made me want to taste it! Love ko rin ang ensalada kapag fresh ang gawa. 🙂

  • Reply edelweiza May 31, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Kuya J is one of our fave restos at SM Manila. Yung pochero at sisig nila, super sarap! One can’t go wrong with their affordable prices and superb service. 🙂

  • Reply Michi October 24, 2016 at 10:17 am

    We love Kuya J, we ate there for the nth time na. So far, ok lahat ng inorder namin, my son’s favorite is the leche flan, hindi pwede mawala. :

  • Reply marge May 11, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Is there a set menu like in Max’s (per table) for a group of 5 to pax? If so how much po? Tnx Planning to visit on mothers day

    • Reply Maan May 11, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      Sorry, Marge, I don’t really remember! But their dishes are affordable naman so you’ll have a lot of options.

  • Reply Ginny August 28, 2017 at 12:43 am

    I love Kuya J’s Adobo sa Mangga! Kaso bitin sa akin yung serving nila for P230. Kainis pa kasi sabi nung waitress good for 2 to 3 persons daw. Hmp!

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