Where to Eat Filipino Food in London: A Guide to Filipino Restaurants in London (2017)

Where to Eat Filipino Food in London: A Guide to Filipino Restaurants in London (2017)
London Food Guide - Where to eat Filipino Food in London - Filipino Restaurants in London - illumelation.com

KUMAIN KA NA?

There’s a running gag that the Filipino “hello” is “have you eaten?” Sums us up, really. Filipinos: we’re an ever-smiling, ever-singing, ever-eating bunch. The Philippines has a rather tangled colonial history involving mainly the Spanish, which is reflected in its languages, religion and especially, cuisine. Basically, we love food.

Where can you eat Filipino food in London?

London is home to a number of Filipino restaurants and shops, with a steady rise of talented, enterprising second-generation Filipinos creating supperclubs and food stalls. It’s an exciting time for Philippine cuisine in London.

After Time Out published my very short Filipino London spotlight in May, I noticed the need for a comprehensive guide on places to eat Filipino food in London – there wasn't space to name everything!

So, here’s a full directory (including restaurants, cafes, bars, food stalls and supperclubs) on where to eat Filipino food in London, plus my occasional two cents. Please let me know if there are more places, so that this page can remain as up to date as possible. (Edited: 10 August 2017)


FILIPINO RESTAURANTS, BARS & CAFÉS IN LONDON

These are sit-down places to have full meals, desserts and snacks, and drinks.


Romulo Cafe London - Kensington - Credit to www.tripadvisor.co.uk 

Romulo Cafe London - Kensington - Credit to www.tripadvisor.co.uk 

Romulo Café London – Restaurant

343 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London, W8 6NW
Closest station: High Street Kensington (District/Circle)

Menu / Website / Insta / Facebook / Twitter / TripAdvisor

Traditional dessert flavours at Romulo Cafe, London - Credit to Romulo Cafe

Traditional dessert flavours at Romulo Cafe, London - Credit to Romulo Cafe

Filipino Feast - Romulo Cafe, London - Credit to Romulo Cafe

Filipino Feast - Romulo Cafe, London - Credit to Romulo Cafe

Oh, Romulo. If you haven’t been here yet, you need to. Classic Filipino food with a touch of elegance and swank (the restaurant is in Kensington, dah-ling). It’s definitely worth your money. Run by the lovely Rowena Romulo (who was voted one of the top 100 most influential Filipina women worldwide) and her wonderful team, this Philippine heritage restaurant has become quite a sensation in London, winning Time Out’s “Most Loved Restaurant in Kensington” in 2016. Their menu covers everything from ensaladang talong, to bagnet pakbet, to lamb shank adobo, to suman latik – and everything is delicious, thanks to their excellent chefs. The crispy beef short ribs glazed with honey chili brings me to my knees, as does the heart-palpitatingly good lechon kawali – deep fried pork belly served with aubergine mash. (I think this is a good time to note that writing out this paragraph has made me incredibly hungry, and has also ruined this week’s attempt at veganism.) Book a reservation and have a wonderful evening of fine dining here, topped off with a heritage cocktail and a refreshingly sweet halo-halo.


Bintang Restaurant in Camden, London - Credit to www.bintangrestaurant.co.uk 

Bintang Restaurant in Camden, London - Credit to www.bintangrestaurant.co.uk 

Bintang Restaurant

93 Kentish Town Road, London, NW1 8NY
Closest stations: Camden & Kentish Town (Northern)

Menu / Website / Insta / Facebook / Twitter / TripAdvisor

Bintang Restaurant in Camden, London - Credit to www.bintangrestaurant.co.uk 

Bintang Restaurant in Camden, London - Credit to www.bintangrestaurant.co.uk 

Bintang Restaurant, Camden - Buko Suka Crispy Chicken - Credit to bintangrestaurant.co.uk

Bintang Restaurant, Camden - Buko Suka Crispy Chicken - Credit to bintangrestaurant.co.uk

Frequently topping Camden’s top 10 best restaurant lists, Bintang is a Filipino and Asian-fusion food joint that interprets traditional dishes in a quirky, deliciously modern and urban way. Think: sizzling beef brisket sisig, truffled parmesan cassava tater-tots, and sweet crispy adobo wings accompanied with garlic fried rice. Wash those bad boys down with a jug of fresh yuzu, or top the meal off with barako iced coffee. Bringing your friends here will give you cool points – and so will bumping fists with Omar Shah, the man in charge. Bintang recently added the classic Philippine milkfish, marinated with secret seasoning and spices then fried to perfection, to their menu – it’s called Bintang’s Banging Bangus. Note that this restaurant is entirely halal, so no pork is served here (their chicharonnes are made from chicken skin). The open interiors make you feel like you're chilling at a local carinderia. Also, it’s BYOB (bring your own bottle). Score!


Mamasons Filipino Dirty Ice Cream Parlour - Camden, London - Credit to @Mamasons

Mamasons Filipino Dirty Ice Cream Parlour - Camden, London - Credit to @Mamasons

Mamasons Filipino Dirty Ice Cream Parlour – Café

91 Kentish Town Road, London, NW1 8NY
Closest stations: Camden & Kentish Town (Northern)

Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

Mamasons Filipino Dirty Ice Cream in Camden/Kentish Town, London - illumelation.com

Mamasons Filipino Dirty Ice Cream in Camden/Kentish Town, London - illumelation.com

Mamasons Filipino Dirty Ice Cream - Ube Flavour - illumelation.com

Mamasons Filipino Dirty Ice Cream - Ube Flavour - illumelation.com

Mamasons Bilog Bun with Ube - Credit to Time Out London

Mamasons Bilog Bun with Ube - Credit to Time Out London

Created by the geniuses behind Bintang Restaurant, this gorgeously decorated, highly instagrammable café is London’s (perhaps even Europe’s) very first Filipino dirty ice cream parlour. They’ve applied the ‘Bintang effect’ to traditional Filipino flavours, concocting highly delicious, authentic, addictive, quirky ice cream with their signature Mamasons stamp (did I use enough adjectives there?). Oh, and they use an authentic Italian gelato churner to make it. Their signature dessert is the Mamasons Bilog Bun - a round, pandesal-type doughnut bun with ice cream in the middle, which is pressed and toasted in a bespoke machine. Epic. Currently, the flavours they serve include ube (my favourite), black charcoal buko (coconut), calamansi sorbet, milo, matcha, and barako coffee with hazelnut. They also serve halo-halo shakes with Oreos thrown in for good measure, and offer things like avocado milkshakes and freshly brewed barako coffee. I go here waaaay too much. Omar and the gang can vouch for that. 


Josephine's Filipino Restaurant - Credit to Kake Pugh at Flickr

Josephine's Filipino Restaurant - Credit to Kake Pugh at Flickr

Josephine’s Filipino Restaurant

4 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 2LP
Closest stations: Goodge Street (Northern) & Tottenham Court Road (Central, Northern)

Menu / Website / Facebook / TripAdvisor

Pancit and lechon at Josephine's Filipino Restaurant - Credit to TripAdvisor.com contributor

Pancit and lechon at Josephine's Filipino Restaurant - Credit to TripAdvisor.com contributor

Josephine's Filipino Restaurant, London - Lumpia Sariwa - Credit to Global Mood, Local Food

Josephine's Filipino Restaurant, London - Lumpia Sariwa - Credit to Global Mood, Local Food

Who hasn’t heard of Josephine’s Restaurant? (A presumptuous statement on my part – I’m sure there are literally millions of people who haven’t.) The reason I ask this is because Josephine’s is London’s oldest Filipino restaurant. Established in 1985 by husband and wife duo, Josefina and Eddie Poniente, Josephine’s started as a sandwich bar on Charlotte Street, serving pancit and adobo, before patrons politely asked that they become an actual proper restaurant with loads more brilliant Filipino dishes, please and thank you. Still located in the same place, on prime real estate in central London, high profile customers have paid visit to the iconic restaurant, including comedians Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington. Although Josephine’s has been somewhat outshined by newer, more modern eateries, it’s worth paying the historical restaurant a visit. They were the pioneers of Filipino food in London, after all.


Lutong Pinoy Filipino Restaurant, Earl's Court, London - Credit to Travelin' 20-something

Lutong Pinoy Filipino Restaurant, Earl's Court, London - Credit to Travelin' 20-something

Lutong Pinoy – Restaurant

10 Kenway Road, London, SW5 0RR
Closest station: Earl’s Court (District)

Menu / Website / Instagram / Facebook / TripAdvisor

Pinoy Ako Bilao Platter at Lutong Pinoy Filipino Restaurant, Earl's Court, London

Pinoy Ako Bilao Platter at Lutong Pinoy Filipino Restaurant, Earl's Court, London

Ube Cake & Ube Ice Cream at Lutong Pinoy Filipino Restaurant, Earl's Court, London

Ube Cake & Ube Ice Cream at Lutong Pinoy Filipino Restaurant, Earl's Court, London

Kamayan Style at Lutong Pinoy Filipino Restaurant, Earl's Court, London

Kamayan Style at Lutong Pinoy Filipino Restaurant, Earl's Court, London

Lutong Pinoy is fun. Very, very fun. Their whole unique selling point is based around kamayan eating – a literal hands on experience whereby you eat dinner without cutlery or plates, just with your hands, from banana leaves. They serve up all the traditional dishes we know and love (lechon kawali, chicken inasal, Filipino bbq, daing na bangus) with awesome presentation. Situated in the heart of Earl’s Court in West London (a.k.a. Filipino-town, where you literally cannot cross a street without encountering a kababayan), Lutong Pinoy is a great choice for your next group dinner. For an enjoyable Filipino feast with a twist, make a reservation for at least 4 friends here and enjoy the taste of Philippine cuisine unhindered by the pesky metallic tang of a fork and spoon.


Bar FM – Bar & Club

184 Uxbridge Rd, Shepherd's Bush, London W12 7JP
Closest stations: Shepherd's Bush (Central) & Shepherd's Bush Market (Hammersmith/Circle)

Website / Twitter / Facebook

Considering the last time I actually went to Bar FM was when I was a sulking 14-year-old in the throes of adolescent angst, I still remember the nights my parents dragged me to with much fondness. Run by another lovely husband-wife duo, Freddie and Mylene, Bar FM (get it?) is always packed out with Filipino bands jamming, people crooning away on karaoke, and – best of all – has a steaming buffet filled with all kinds of delicious Filipino foods. I'll always remember my first bite of their crispy chicken wings in 2007. I’m sure their food has only gotten better. If you want a raucous night out in Shepherd’s Bush surrounded by Filipinos, this is the place for you.


OTHER RESTAURANTS I HAVE YET TO TRY:


Cirilo Noodle Bar & Grill

4 Cable Street, London, E1 8JG
Closest stations: Tower Hill & Tower Gateway (DLR)

Menu / Website / Facebook / TripAdvisor

 

Coco’s Lounge – Restaurant

12 Willesden Lane, Kilburn, London, NW6 7SR
Closest stations: Kilburn (Jubilee), Kilburn High Road (Overground) & Brondesbury (Overground)

Website / Facebook

 

Nilo’s Restaurant

11 Willesden Lane, London, NW6 7RB
Closest stations: Kilburn (Jubilee), Kilburn High Road (Overground) & Brondesbury (Overground)

Facebook

 

Kamayan sa Earl’s Court – Restaurant

12 Kenway Road, London, SW5 0RR
Closest stations: Earl's Court (District)

Menu / Website / Facebook / TripAdvisor

 

Kamayan sa Kilburn – Restaurant

227 Kilburn High Road, London, NW6 7JG
Closest stations: Kilburn (Jubilee), Kilburn High Road (Overground) & Brondesbury (Overground)

Menu / Website / Facebook / TripAdvisor


FILIPINO STREET FOOD STALLS IN LONDON

These food stalls are typically in a market or set location; pop-up stalls pop up anywhere!


Filishack – Food Stall

Peckham Hill Street, London, SE15 5JR
Closest station: Peckham Rye (Overground)

Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Press

Grilled Chicken Ricebox - FiliShack Filipino Street Food Stall - Peckham, London - Londonist.com 

Grilled Chicken Ricebox - FiliShack Filipino Street Food Stall - Peckham, London - Londonist.com 

Chicken Burrito - FiliShack Filipino Street Food Stall - Peckham, London - Credit to myblogspotword.com 

Chicken Burrito - FiliShack Filipino Street Food Stall - Peckham, London - Credit to myblogspotword.com 

Jonathan & Justice Cacho - Owners of FiliShack Filipino Street Food Stall - Peckham, London - illumelation.com

Jonathan & Justice Cacho - Owners of FiliShack Filipino Street Food Stall - Peckham, London - illumelation.com

Filishack is awesome. Located in a prime spot in Peckham Square, just outside Peckham Library, Filishack’s hardworking founders – second-gen brothers Justice and Jonathan Cacho – serve up impeccably cooked, deliciously simple Filipino food for a South London lunchtime crowd. Their grilled chicken, inspired by inasal, is marinated in ginger, garlic, lemongrass, soy sauce and vinegar. Their adobo beef is braised in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, peppercorn and bayleaf, with a dash of coconut milk. These two options come either in a ricebox, a burrito, or a salad box. It’s a winning formula – and a yummy one at that. I would make time in your day to pay these guys a visit. They, and their food, deserve it.


Kusina Nova – Food Stall

Street Food Union, Rupert Street, Soho, W1D 6DR (Wed to Sat, 11am – 3.30pm) or Venn Street Food Market, Clapham, SW4 0AT (alternate Saturdays, 10am – 4pm)

Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Press

Beef Pares - Kusina Nova Filipino Gourmet Street Food, London - London Street Foodie

Beef Pares - Kusina Nova Filipino Gourmet Street Food, London - London Street Foodie

Kusina Nova Filipino Gourmet Street Food, London - @KusinaNova

Kusina Nova Filipino Gourmet Street Food, London - @KusinaNova

Gourmet Filipino street food, you ask? Kusina Nova is the answer. Founded by Nova Canlas Manabat, who tried her hand at cooking one day a few years ago and has since met roaring success around London's street food scene, Kusina Nova is one of the capital's most well known Filipino food stalls, serving up flavoursome, generous portions of beautifully stewed Filipino food with flattering presentation and a big ol' smile. Sometimes I dream of their slow-cooked beef pares brioche bun with garlic mayonnaise. Check out their chicken asado and pork belly steak. You can find Kusina Nova in Soho on most weekdays, and in Clapham every other Saturday.


FILIPINO SUPPER CLUBS IN LONDON

Supper clubs are awesome. you book a ticket for a sit-down meal with several courses cooked by talented chefs in an intimate setting.


The Adobros – Supperclub

New Cross Road, SE14
Closest station: New Cross (Overground)

Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Press

The Adobros - Dinner is served - Credit to GrubClub.com 

The Adobros - Dinner is served - Credit to GrubClub.com 

the Adobros, New Cross, London - Credit to GrubClub.com 

the Adobros, New Cross, London - Credit to GrubClub.com 

The Adobros - Mike and Mark Corbyn - illumelation.com

The Adobros - Mike and Mark Corbyn - illumelation.com

The Adobros supperclub is run by Mike and Mark Corbyn, Filipino-British brothers who are passionate cooks. Their menu is ever evolving and guaranteed to be delicious. During my supperclub, they served us calamansi-based cocktails, adobo chicken wings, lechon porchetta, guinataang sitaw at kalabasa, a palate-cleansing pineapple slushie, and a rather insane calamansi cheesecake with strawberry jam, inspired by the Good Shepherd conserve made in Baguio. This talented duo are excellent cooks. I highly recommend the pilgrimage to New Cross just for their food - it's completely worth it.


Luto London Supperclub

Brunswick East, 3D Stamford Works, Gillett St, N16 8JH
Closest stations: Dalston Kingsland (Rail) and Dalston Junction (Rail/Overground)

Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

Luto London Filipino Supperclub - Credit to LoveBoatPhotography

Luto London Filipino Supperclub - Credit to LoveBoatPhotography

Mary San Pablo of Luto London - Credit to LoveBoatPhotography

Mary San Pablo of Luto London - Credit to LoveBoatPhotography

Mary San Pablo of Luto London - Credit to Grubclub.com

Mary San Pablo of Luto London - Credit to Grubclub.com

Luto London is a modern-twist Filipino supperclub run by an energetic second-gen chef named Mary San Pablo, who fell in love with cooking in her twenties, Held at an intimate industrial-chic cafe in the heart of London's artistic east end, Luto London serves up flavoursome Filipino dishes. During my dinner, they served up a storm including lamb short ribs, garlic peanuts and chicharonnes, avocado ice cream with rhubarb sorbet, condensed milk tart with mango and calamansi sauce, mussel tinola, and beef short ribs with bagoong. They also picked out some cracking wines to pair with the meal, and Mary gave some very insightful historical context to each dish prior to serving. Definitely recommended!


 OTHER SUPPERCLUBS I HAVE YET TO TRY:


Sarap Supper Club

77 Brooksby's Walk Hackney, E9 6DA

Website / Instagram / Facebook


Pepe’s Kitchen Supper Club

Marylebone, London

Website / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook


Walton Supper Club by Maynila

Walton on Thames, Surrey

Website / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook


That's all for now. Please note, this page will be constantly updated, so please bookmark and check back for new places. Salamat po!

 

Mel left London to chase summer around the world, one country at a time. She loves the ocean, writing postcards, and solo exploration. Travel with her on Instagram.