Babu Kwan, the only halal-certified eatery in Northern Mindanao, recently received the Q Asia Publication Quality Excellence Awards in the restaurant category. It was likewise conferred the Seal of Quality Service Excellence, based on customer satisfaction.
Based in Cagayan de Oro, Babu Kwan is known for its comfort food of Maranao and Southeast Asian origins.
The owners, Abdelnur Campong and his wife Norkhalila Mae Mambuay, coined the name from Babu, a title given to an aunt or senior lady, and kwan, the Pilipino word for “whatchamacallit.’’
The bestseller, beef rendang, is a slow-cooked curry, spiked with ginger and turmeric, kaffir lime and chillies. Staying true to its Malaysian origin, the dish melds sweet, sour and spicy flavors with the velvety smoothness from the coconut milk and the tang of dried, sour fruit. Babu Kwan introduced a modern version with spicy beef rendang sandwich — beef strips topped with red chillies on a long bun. The restaurant also specializes in chicken piaparan, chicken in rich coconut milk base with palapa, a savory Maranao condiment.
When Babu Kwan reopened after eight months of shutdown, it innovated on sandwiches such as ebi tempura burger, chicken katsu burger and longganisa sandwich and introduced popular “quarantine’’ foods such as baked sushi, milk tea and pastas.
The generous servings foster sharing and bonding among friends and family.
Even before the pandemic, Babu Kwan was implementing halal, Islamic laws on food preparation, and food safety and hygiene to the highest standards
. For this, Babu Kwan has gotten the nod from no less than the Muslim Mindanao Certification Board
The Department of Tourism (Region 10 Office) cited Babu Kwan as an important destination on its list of Tourism in the New Normal. The restaurant is vigilant about practicing government-mandated health protocols and food sanitation.
Launched in 2005, the National Product Quality Excellence Awards acknowledges organizations, products and services that show utmost standards of quality.
The product or service is judged for impeccable delivery, fulfilment of commitments, benchmark for manufacturing and production, trustworthiness and value.
Aside from the award, the recipient gets the Seal of Product Quality or the Seal of Quality Service Excellence, which indicates that the product or service was uncompromising and that it has been commended by the public.