Don Salvador Benedicto Places to visit

Kusinata: Great dining experience in the mountains of Negros Occidental

Kusinata is a gorgeous restaurant located in the mountains of Don Salvador Benedicto in Negros Occidental Philippines. Kusinata is located along the Don Salvador main highway and this roadside restaurant offers fantastic views along with great food. This definitely makes the 45 minute drive from Bacolod City, worth it!

The restaurant is located by the side of the road and there is a small tiny climb to get up to it. It’s nothing strenuous, just a couple of steps but visitors with elderly guests should be careful.

The entrance and holding area of Kusinata

Kusinata is not just a restaurant it also provides livelihood to the local Ata indigenous people of Don Salvador Benedicto. Kusinata has an area where their products are displayed as well as employing them as cooks and waitresses!

Local products such as honey, peanuts, wine and coffee are displayed temptingly near the entrance.

After you navigate those stairs and past Kusinata’s holding area, you will get to the main dining room and the viewing deck! The viewing deck is normally very simple but here in the pictures, it’s all gussied up for Christmas. The decorations give the place a nice festive appearance.

There are lots of little nooks and seating areas at Kusinata. Each of which has its own charm like this area with vines all over it. There’s even a canopy area that can seat an entire family.

The best place to sit in Kusinata is actually out on the viewing deck where there are tiny tables. The tables are just enough for two people so if you have a big group, you can sit at one of the larger spaces and then go two at a time out on the viewing deck.

Likewise, since this is the most scenic spot in Kusinata, it is also simultaneously the worst place for introverts to sit if you want to have some time alone. People will be constantly passing by, looking at the scenery and posing for pictures.

You can have a fantastic view of the Matan-og waterfall and the mountain rainforest out on the viewing deck of Kusinata.

The basket type chair where you can sit and pose for pictures. Don’t hog this spot.

The food at Kusinata is awesome! The food is best described as native fusion. There’s no traditional recipes here – instead, modern Asian Cuisine and European dishes are blended together using local ingredients harvested from the mountain. Surprising, delicious and it works!

We ordered the Chicken Curry Budbud. It is an asian chicken curry with assorted vegetables and shoots with a side of sticky rice cake (budbud) and all served on a banana leaf.

Overall, the dish is very pretty and plated attractively. The curry wasn’t spicy – more like a Japanese curry and the combination with the budbud was interesting.

Kusinata has the most amazing salad. We highly recommend their Paco Paco salad topped with crispy pork (bagnet)! Paco Paco is called the vegetable fern in English and the young and tender tops are harvested from the rainforest to make a salad.

If you’re new to eating Paco Paco salad, the ferns are slightly more fibrous than normal vegetables but still tender and good to eat. The Salad dressing makes the ferns super tasty and if you pair it with the crispy pork, it’s a heavenly match.

Paco Paco Salad

Crispy Kare Kare is a popular dish that deconstructs the ingredients of the popular Kare Kare (a Filipino peanut stew).

Kusinata’s version serves a massive hunk of deep fried pork on top of a bed of peanut sauce, eggplants, and vegetables. To add a bit of taste is a dollop of bagoong or shrimp paste.

The kare kare is very different from what you’re used to due to the local ingredients. There’s less salt and the peanut sauce doesn’t taste like it came from a powdered mix.

Kusinata also has a popular Asian dish on the menu – the Salted egg fried chicken. These are chicken strips, breaded and deep fried with a sauce of salted egg (from a mix) and a side of paco paco salad. We love fried chicken and the combination of the salty egg and breaded chicken is extremely good.

Kids will like the fried chicken and might be tempted enough to try a few bites of the paco paco salad. This is a very cheerful and attractive looking dish.

For dessert we had Kusinata’s Bread and butter pudding with their Dulce de Batwan. Its a slice of pudding with a sweet-sourish sauce made of milk and batwan. Batwan is a native fruit that is commonly used as a souring agent in soups like Kansi. It’s a nice dessert and one of the things you must try when you visit Kusinata.

Kusinata is a great place that offers awesome dishes along with a great view. It is definitely a must visit place whenever you’re in DSB. However it can get a little too crowded especially during the Holiday season and on weekends.

The best time to experience Kusinata would be on a weekday to be truly “Far from the Madding crowd.”

Kusinata is located at Barangay Kumaliskis, Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, Philippines, Bacolod CIty, Philippines

Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm

Official Facebook page of Kusinata

The Bacolod Food Hunters did not accept any freebies, incentives or money for this article. We paid for our own food. We practice ethical blogging.

1 comment on “Kusinata: Great dining experience in the mountains of Negros Occidental

  1. Salamat, hats off, you write it and photograph it the way it is!!! Hope to meet you personally and talk about Kusinata’s forthcoming International Jazz Day celebration ( where jazz and food fusion meets in Jazz in Paradise), all for our Ata beneficiaries’ medical assistance fund. This is where the third meaning of Kusinata unfolds.

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