MANILA, Philippines -- Inspired by a Chinese restaurant in the United States, actor-entrepreneur Marvin Agustin recently opened the flagship branch of his latest business venture, Kung Fu Kitchen.
The facade of Kung Fu Kitchen's first branch at SM City Manila. Photo by Nimfa Chua for ABS-CBNnews.com
In partnership with restaurateurs Raymund Magdaluyo and Glecy Lopez-Go, Agustin held the grand opening of the first Kung Fu Kitchen restaurant at the SM City Manila on Sunday.
According to the actor, his newest restaurant takes inspiration from the US restaurant chain Panda Express, which is known for its fast casual service and American Chinese cuisine.
"Favorite namin 'yung Panda Express sa America eh, affordable Chinese, medyo ganun 'yung influence niya," Agustin told reporters on the sidelines of the press-attended opening of Kung Fu Kitchen.
"Ito 'yung una naming flagship na Kung Fu Kitchen," added Agustin, who manages over 20 restaurants in the country, including branches of Sumo Sam, John & Yoko, Oyster Boy and Marciano's.
Although more popularly known as an actor, and half of the "Marvin-Jolina" love team in the '90s, Agustin's culinary interest goes a long way back.
Before starring in a number of TV and film projects, he worked as a waiter for a restaurant in Alabang, before being promoted as part of its marketing team.
Following his success as an actor, Agustin graduated from the International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management.
"Kung Fu Kitchen is our baby," Magdaluyo said. "It's basically quality Chinese food, [but] very, very affordable. And we're so excited that you'll see several Kung Fu Kitchen [branches] being rolled into the provinces, the other cities."
According to Agustin, Kung Fu Kitchen's specialty, a "soup-based dimsum," will also be brought to Cebu through his partnership with Lopez-Go.