Lokanta by Food Channel: Organic Fusion With a PunchOctober 17, 2016
Food Channel has been around close to thirty years already. The popular franchise has found sweet success in the congested Philippine market and has become a little institution in and of itself. And with the advent of an industry that demands for more, it’s a difficult decision to keep the integrity of a brand whilst still trying to pursue the newer markets. That’s why Food Channel did not choose to rebrand, instead the newer generation of the family business decided to expand into newer markets with Lokanta, an organic, fusion shawarma stall.
Meaning, “no frills eatery,” Lokanta employs the same simplicity that Food Channel utilizes, but now with a broader vision. Serving solely organic fusion meals, Lokanta moves to a healthier, more varied menu that makes use of strong, balanced flavors. Fusing the flavors inherent in Middle Eastern shawarma and giving it a brand new take with Filipino, Japanese, or American twists.
Stacked with not only shawarma, but also rice meals and other dessert offerings, Lokanta feels like extremely new territory, casual and refined. New, but also so very familiar. Their offerings like the Longganisa Recado Rice proves that they are not limited to just the conventional shawarma. The longganisa, which is family made in Nueva Ecija, comes strong with garlic and a considerable amount of spice going through the sausage. Served with organic egg and tomatoes, the end result is a heightened up longsilog that you wouldn’t be opposed to devouring upon contact.
They also serve the longganisa wrapped with a delicate scrambled egg, tomatoes, lettuce, fries, and a serving of their own garlic sauce on top. A breakfast shawarma remains distinctly a shawarma thanks to the delicate, yet equally pungent garlic and chili sauce made from fresh mayonnaise. Their chili sauce, specifically, possessing quite an edge of spice, whilst still being refreshing in the mouth. It’s an extremely pleasant experience, the spice and smokiness from the longganisa blending with the silky sauces, it’s exactly what a shawarma experience should be like.
This same thread of thinking is evident in their other shawarma variants like their 7-Spice chicken and their spicy tuna. The chicken being served with the addition of hummus. The bird possessing a sharp tang rather than a decadent heat, it’s lighter and sharper in flavor, which goes well with sweetness of the hummus. The tuna, on the other hand, comes out light, refreshing, then ends with a slow heat building at the back of your tongue. The wrap seemingly inspired by the Spicy Toro of Japan, this wrap also comes with little nuggets of tempura batter, adding a crisp bite to the wrap.
But most surprising would be their Vegan Twix, because I didn’t for one second think it was vegan. Their shortbread created using almond and gluten-free flour as its base, was crumbly, but still possessed considerable bite. The second layer was a thick layer of date caramel, possessing a lighter finish, further complex with the use of coconut sugar, adding an almost coco jam like finish at the end. It’s a very handy dessert for people who have celiac disease, or are intolerant to soy and dairy. Mostly because it’s a tastes like a refined, well-balanced dessert regardless if it were branded as vegan—the sign of a truly well thought out dessert.
Fusion is a messy business, many have tried and failed miserably. And though there are moments where one may doubt that the food one’s eating is fusion, some of the dishes getting lost in translation, the end product is still really good food, so we can savor in this fact. Lokanta is a young brand, and it has space to grow, but right now, we’re pretty much convinced that what they’ve done has been a really, really smart move.
An organic shawarma stall that serves internationally influenced food.