The appeal of a small restaurant in the city, away from the stomping grounds of larger and more established eating places, can be very enticing. It might be the smaller space and the more personal atmosphere, coupled with some of the most delicious food you could ever taste outside of a gourmet venue. It might also be the fact that it’s located away from the busy city center, with the added bonus of being close to my workplace. All I know is that this quaint small diner serves the good food at a very affordable price. It's recommended not just for food trippers, but also for group and families.
Located just a short distance up Mabuhay Rd. from the National Highway in General Santos City (and a comparably longer drive from Morgan Magazine further up Mabuhay), you can find Yannie’s Kitchen in a cozy nook of a commercial building, sandwiched between a couturier and a Western Union branch. It’s plain to see why the site easily catches the eye; the front is adorned by a marquee sign with the kitchenette’s name and a picture showcase of the house specialties on top, then flanked on both ends by signboards listing the menu for quick reference and special announcements – the latter happily declaring Yannie’s to be open from 11 in the late morning to nine in the evening, Monday to Saturday. Also framing the edges of the property are two hedgerows, against both of which are nestled a couple of tables with three chairs each, obviously for diners in the mood to eat outside. With Mabuhay not being a major road, that option is actually feasible for patrons of Yannie’s.
Walking inside, you’ll be greeted by a fusion of a well-kept restaurant layout spiced up with homey touches, namely the wafting scent of whatever was being cooked in the kitchen behind the counter. Some might have been a tad turned off by it, but I found the smell comforting To the left from the entrance the tables are arranged end to end, with an extra lengthy sofa along the wall on one side and chairs on the other. That side is definitely for a large party of guests. To the right the tables are set perpendicular to the wall and parallel to one another, complemented with four chairs each, for small groups of diners. Also on the right wall was a flat-screen TV, and on the day our small company-family dropped by at Yannie’s for lunch, we waited for our orders listening to the Best of The Corrs from it.
Now let’s get to the most important part: the food. Yannie’s boasts a remarkably diverse menu, with single-serve and a la carte (3-4 person) orders, snack items, and an excellent choice of (non- alcoholic) drinks. They’ve got a meal or two out of every type of meat – pork, beef, chicken and fish –and all of them are at reasonable prices that start at 45 and do not go beyond 200 pesos an item.
When we ate there last Friday August 11, we got to try out some of their best sellers. We ordered two different sinigang (bangus and pork), pancit bihon, fish fillet, pork binagoongan, pork sisig, kinilaw w/ porkchop, and a nice big slice of their chocolate cake. Everything was delightful, perfectly flavored and seasoned. The two sinigang were an incredible contrast to the thin bangus soup to the savory pork one. The sisig was definitely one of the best I’ve tried in any restaurant yet. The fish fillet was breaded and flavored so expertly that I wolfed my shared like it was also pork. To make a long story short, our party of seven was gastronomically satisfied.
I really don’t think I could say much more without repeating myself, but here’s one more detail. In addition to genuine casual dining, Yannie’s also prepares pack lunches for pickup, and can reserve their venue for special occasions like birthday parties. Or if you’re planning your own celebration, you can leave it to them to cater a nice buffet spread for you and your guests. That’s what I’d like to focus on; as it turned out, Yannie’s did the catering for when we held the blessing and official grand opening of our Mabuhay Rd. Offices last June. I especially remember their fried chicken and beef steak then, but take my word for it: Yannie’s Kitchen is a hot and yummy place to eat and relax. I certainly wish them the best and promise to drop by again in the future.