Just in time for Filipino American History Month, one of the most anticipated Filipino restaurants of the year is opening to the public on Tuesday, October 10. We’re talking about Melissa Miranda’s Kilig, whose name comes from a Tagalog word meaning the butterflies you get in your stomach when you’re holding hands with your crush, or when you find out that Kilig is about to open.
Kilig will be quite a bit different than Miranda’s first restaurant, Musang, which has made her a two-time James Beard Award semifinalist. Instead of focusing on dinner, Kilig will be more of a casual anytime hangout spot, with its hours stretching from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday. (It will be closed on weekends.) Its menu will be small, and the plan is to focus on just a couple items: pancit (a catchall term for a variety of noodle dishes) and bulalo, a slow-cooked beef soup. It will be accommodating to people with dietary restrictions, however, with gluten-free cornstarch noodles available and a version of bulalo that uses mushrooms rather than beef shank.
The location on 710 Eighth Avenue South in the International District used to be a hot pot restaurant called Hot Pot King, but the space has been thoroughly revamped, Miranda tells Eater Seattle. The ceilings have been raised and walls have been torn down, creating a dining room full of light. The walls are painted bright green and orange (by the time Kilig opens, a mural featuring the restaurant’s logo will be on one wall) and the decor is full of knickknacks, books, photos, and other items that celebrate Miranda’s Filipino heritage.
The drinks served behind the U-shaped bar are going to be more comforting than complex. The cocktail menu includes a mojito with ube-infused simple syrup, a lychee martini, and “Happy Juice,” which is Hennessy and apple juice. The mocktails have a kid-friendly vibe — the “Orange Creamcicle” has orange and coconut juices, agave, lime, and vanilla. The beer is Filipino, naturally — San Miguel and Red Horse in bottles.
Eventually the team at Kilig will be doing take-out at a window where they might serve halo-halo in the summer, but for the time being they’ll be dine-in only. Unlike Musang, there will be no reservations — though if you’re planning on coming for dinner at peak hours during the first few weeks of service, don’t be surprised if there’s a little bit of a wait. Given the reputation Miranda has built with Musang, a lot of people are going to be checking out Kilig.
Kilig, at 710 Eighth Avenue South in the International District, will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays starting on October 10. No reservations are accepted. For more information, follow Kilig on Instagram.