10, Kenway Rd, London, SW5 0RR
Telphone: 020 7244 0007
Nearest Tube: Earl’s Court
This restaurant was recommended by the prince consort’s Filipino friend at work. She said that Filipino people come far and wide from all over London to eat here. We are always on the lookout for great gustationary experiences and who better to ask for advice than from the people who grow up with the food and eat it everyday.
The streets leading up to the restaurant is a treat. There are about three Filipino/Oriental supermarkets selling their wares.I have to caution you though, their prices are quite dear when compared to the prices of outer London shops. Some of the veges and fruit they were selling looked quite bizarre – certainly nothing I’ve seen before.
The restaurant itself is quite simple. A bar on the left as you enter in and stairs leading up to a platform with more seating. There were only three other full tables (with Filipinos), but then again it was nearly 9pm on a Sunday night. A whiteboard propped up on a chair announced the specials of the day. Once given the menus, we wasted no time in ordering. Three of us ordered the coconut juice. Disappointingly it came in a can. We were expecting the Vietnamese version (I don’t know why), where it can be found in Oriental supermarkets in the form of a frozen block. This juice was slightly sour with little bits of coconut floating in it. Not recommended. Have a beer instead.
The Escabeche Isda Lapu-Lapu (£8.00) translated into sweet and sour deep-fried fish. This was very tasty and was attacked at all angles with vigour.
Manok Na Adoba Sa Gata (£5.50) was steaming hot, straight from the wok chicken cooked in soya sauce, vinegar and coconut milk. It reminded me of Cantonese food with a twist. But then again, I guess anything cooked with soya sauce reminds me of Cantonese food.
As always we try to push the envelope when it comes to trying new things. That evening’s culprit was the Bopis (£5.00) – mixed pig’s lung with red pepper cooked in vinegar sauce. It certainly didn’t disappoint, nor did it catch me heaping it onto my plate enthusiastically (although certain others did try to for me – thank ya kindly). It had a chewy, not quite cartilaginous texture, something that I was unprepared for. I was bracing for something more mushy and squishy. I’ve come to the conclusion that if you’re going to take an animal’s life, you might as well use every organ and body part to account for its existence. The boys loved this dish.
Tortang Talong (£5.00) was delicious and was basically an egg omelette with aubergines. This was done in a home-style way.
Pansit Palabok (£5.25) was a large plate of rice vermicelli with boiled eggs, crackling pork, smoked fish and garlic. What a wondrous combination of contrasting textures and tastes. The sweet with a hint of sourness. The softness of the smoked fish with the crunchiness of the crackling pork.
They forgot to serve us the Sitsaron (£3.50), the pork crackling we had ordered. We didn’t mind though. What we had ordered was well enough to feed five ravenous hags. As always, to make sure we covered all nooks and crannies we had to order at least one dessert to share. After much thought and debate we decided on the Ginatanng Bilo-Bilo which was a steaming bowl of sago and yam in coconut milk. A challenge for one person, I think, especially after such a large and satisfying meal, but perfect to share. The couple besides us were savouring the Halo-Halo which came in a massive milkshake vessel. It again seemed to be coconut milk based with all sorts of Oriental goodies floating inside, served cold. I must come again to try this out.
I haven’t the experience to compare this restaurant to any other Filipino restaurants, so I can’t comment on the authenticity of the food. I can only say that we did thoroughly enjoy savouring the food. If people come from all over London to eat here, they can’t all be wrong, can they?
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