Chinatown Dining Week Feature: Kanto 98 St. Eatery

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be featuring each of the 8 restaurants who are participating in Chinatown Dining Week, running January 17-27, 2019.

Next to be profiled: we sat down with Edgar Gutierrez, owner of Kanto 98 St. Eatery, 10636 98 Street.

Why did you decide to open the restaurant? 

I have two other restaurants, Rostizado and Tres Carnales, that I run with my business partners. But It has always been my dream to open a restaurant [on my own]. Eating out was such a big part of my life growing up. It’s how my mom and I used to bond.

Kanto came about when I was taking Filipino martial arts that brought me back to my roots. I started researching more and just fell in love with the culture all over again and wanted to take it more seriously. So as soon as this space was open, I took over and opened Kanto. Before I came to Canada, I spent a lot of time outside; Kanto means “corner” or “where two streets meet”. [Back home] there were always steamed buns and barbeque sold on the streets. We would play “cara y cruz” (heads or tails), eat BBQ and read comics. Those were a part of my last memories in the Philippines. Kanto is a combination of all those things. It’s an accumulation of my love for food and the restaurant culture.

How long has the restaurant been open? 

7 months.

What is the style of cuisine served at the restaurant? 

We serve casual Filipino street food; it’s mostly an in and out type of setting. If you go anywhere in the Philippines you will find Bao (steamed buns}, fried chicken and barbeque being sold on the streets. 

What makes your restaurant special? 

There are a lot of Filipino restaurants in Edmonton, but they are all the same; I thought a different approach would widen the scope. Filipino food is very individualized which makes it hard to put it out in the mainstream. I researched trendy Filipino food and decided on items that were easier to introduce.  

Why do you think people should dine in Chinatown? 

Chinatown is so diverse; you can get Vietnamese, Chinese, African, Filipino food! It’s open late, very convenient, and close to downtown. There are lot of things you can do, from shopping, eating, and exploring. I come to Chinatown for inspiration. 

Do you have any hopes for the future of Edmonton’s Chinatown? 

I hope we resolve a lot of the health issues around Chinatown. I’m not sure how exactly to tackle the problems in Chinatown but maybe a bigger facility for the homeless that could be a one-stop shop for all their needs. A place where nobody gets turned away. 

Kanto 98 St. Eatery will be offering a 2-course dinner menu for $15 during Chinatown Dining Week. Check it out, along with the other special menus, here.