SEAReview

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

interior of Kilig
8.4

Kilig

Filipino

International District

$$$$Perfect For:LunchCasual Weeknight DinnerImpressing Out of Towners
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If the name Musang rings a bell, that’s because it’s where you’ll find some of the best Filipino food in the city. Kilig, from the same team, is a more casual outpost in the International District that focuses on pancit and bulalo. Although it’s not as showstopping as Musang, Kilig is ideal for an impromptu meal that involves noodles, soup, and a supporting cast of other dishes that keep us coming back.

All of the great food is happening in a laid-back space with seafoam walls, hip-hop playing, and bottles of Maggi displayed like knickknacks. Cauldrons of fungi-steeped bulalo are packed with more blistered vegetables than broth. A dan dan-kare kare hybrid proves that the Musang folks know what to do with peanut butter and a short rib. Even chewy canton noodles stir-fried simply with carrots and snow peas are a standout. If you stopped there, it would be an meal to fantasize about weeks later.

Spread of Filipino dishes on a wooden table, like lumpia, bulalo, noodles, and chicken wings.

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

Kilig image

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

close up of kare kare dan dan noodles

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

person eating canton noodles and cereal milk ube drink

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

bowl of beef shank bulalo

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

Spread of Filipino dishes on a wooden table, like lumpia, bulalo, noodles, and chicken wings.
Kilig image
close up of kare kare dan dan noodles
person eating canton noodles and cereal milk ube drink
bowl of beef shank bulalo

But then there’s the other stuff, known as “at iba pa.” These are dishes that might initially be ordered as mere accompaniments but quickly become the most-reached-for items. Like coconutty pork adobo, crisp lumpia, and sticky squares of corn bibingka that make a great dessert or middle course. (It doesn't matter when you eat them, just do at some point.) And the sinigang chicken wings, jazzed up with a dusting of puckering tamarind powder, overshadow every sip of broth and noodle twirl with just one tangy crunch.

Kilig is open six days a week for lunch and dinner, and you should stop in for both. While the dining room is typically full of groups fighting over the last chicken wing, there’s no fuss or a long line out the door. And if you’re hit with a 10-minute wait time, it’ll go by soon after heading to the bar for some Hennessy-spiked apple juice.

@infatuation_seattle Prioritize Kilig for your next casual lunch. This Filipino spot from the folks behind Musang specializes in pancit and bulalo. But it’s their sour tamarind-dusted sinigang wings that we can't shut up about. Order those the next time you visit. #kilig #iheartid #chinatownseattle #internationaldistrictseattle #infatuationseattle ♬ original sound - Infatuation Seattle

Food Rundown

pork adobo topped with green onions

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

Spicy Pork Adobo

Hunks of tender pork that fall apart with a single poke swim in a rich lime-heavy coconut sauce. It’s a little salty, but a scoop of rice softens the blow.

Mushroom Soup

There’s nothing a giant bowl of soup can’t fix, and Kilig understands that fact. This vat of umami-filled broth is packed with charred oyster mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, and smoky blistered cabbage. It’s perfect for that fourth date where carelessly slurping hot liquid in each other's faces is finally acceptable.
chicken wings dusted with tamarind powder and mango puree for dipping

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

Sinigang Wings

These crunchy wings are dusted in a sour tamarind powder that rivals a Warhead. Dip them in the side of tangy mango puree, or don’t—they’re delicious either way.
kare kare dan dan noodles

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

Kare Kare Dan Dan

Make sure an order of peanut buttery kare kare noodles hits the table. And even though we do wish it had more heat and acid, this pile of short rib-topped carbs is worth ordering every time.
canton noodles

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

Canton

Bouncy noodles are stir-fried with a bright mix of vegetables, like carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and snow peas, along with slivers of sweet chinese sausage thrown in. And it sure is tasty, but get the kare kare dan dan instead.

Bibingka

Whether you have these sticky corn cakes during your meal, afterwards as a honey butter-covered snack, or saved for the next morning to enjoy with a cup of black coffee, they are freaking awesome.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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