KENT, Wash — From the jalapeño popper sandwich to poke tacos, Big Boys Kainan serves up a fresh take on traditional island flavors.
“Our food is more of a fusion-style food,” said restaurant owner Nate Daep.
Daep and his team take inspiration from traditional Filipino and Hawaiian dishes and make them in new ways.
It all began in 2011, when Daep started serving his fusion food out of the Big Boys Filipino food truck. Five years later, he opened up a restaurant in Kent. It's already a destination restaurant for out-of-state visitors craving Filipino fare.
“They are surprised by the menu, but after they leave, they're happy,” Daep said.
One of their most popular dishes includes sisig -- a traditional Filipino dish typically made of braised pork simmered in soy sauce and other seasonings. But at Big Boys Kainan, they do a modern, American take: diced pork belly over waffle fries with cheese, an egg, tomato, cilantro and sour cream.
Another crowd favorite is the jalapeño popper sandwich. It starts off with garlic fried chicken and cheesy, grilled jalapeño. But what makes this unique the pandesal bun. Pandesal is a Filipino sweet bread.
“It's usually like a breakfast roll that we like to eat in the mornings with coffee, but we decided to put chicken and slaw and all that good stuff in it,” Daep said.
Another bestseller is their adobo moco made of garlic fried chicken with rice, egg and Filipino adobo gravy. It’s their version of loco moco, which is a popular meal in Hawaiian cuisine.
You don't have to pay big prices for big flavor here. On Wing and Waffle Wednesdays, they've got wings for a $1.39 and ube (purple yam) waffles for only $3.99.
“That's gonna be pretty yummy day to come by,” Daep said.
And when you come to Big Boys Kainan, bring a big appetite. Daep says they’re known for serving big portions fit for family-style dining.
The name of the restaurant reflects their Filipino roots. Kainan is tagalog for eatery. And you’re probably wondering where “big boys” comes from.
“People think that it's because of me because I'm a big boy,” Daep said with a laugh. “I was thinking about how I could bring a sense of family into our business. We call our oldest son Big Boy.”
Nate owns the restaurant with his wife, Mel. His brother Jourard is a manager.
“When you walk into the door, expect to be welcomed by my brother or one of our guys here with a huge smile,” Daep said.
When you come to Big Boys Kainan, you’ll feel like you’re with family.
Big Boys Kainan | 21230 84th Ave S. Kent, WA 98032 | (253) 246-7450