Are you looking for the best Filipino restaurant in London?
From restaurants to supper clubs, here’s an ultimate guide on where to 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 London published my very short Filipino London spotlight, I decided to create a more comprehensive guide on Filipino restaurants and places to eat in London, as there wasn't space in the article to name everything!
So, here’s a detailed guide (including restaurants, cafes, bars, food stalls and supperclubs) on where to eat Filipino food in London, plus my personal opinion. Please let me know if there are more places, so that this page can remain as up to date as possible! (Last edited: August 2019)
Filipino restaurants, bars and cafés in London
Serving Filipino food from meals to desserts to drinks and snacks
Oh, Romulo Café. 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” not once, but twice. 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.
Mama’s Kubo – Restaurant
250 Finchley Road, Unit 5-6 Palace Court, London, NW3 6DN
Closest station: West Hampstead, Finchley Road & Frognal
If you’re looking for a delicious Filipino restaurant in North London, check out newcomer Mama’s Kubo on Finchley Road which opened in early 2019. The owners are lovely and the chef knows his stuff. Their Filipino food is just as delicious as Romulo Cafés, but with a more relaxed ambiance, probably because it’s nestled on a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it residential part of Finchley Road. The quality of food is extremely high, and if you’ve been dissatisfied with the standard of other Filipino restaurants around London so far, I really recommend you try Mama’s Kubo - top picks include the time old classics like the adobo, sinigang, pinakbet and their beef short rib. Ah, and you’ve got to try their squid recipe. It gives Busaba Eathai’s Thai calamari dish a serious run for its money!
Frequently topping Camden’s top 10 best restaurant lists, Bintang in North London 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. Score!
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. Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream London have applied the ‘Bintang effect’ to traditional Filipino flavours, concocting highly delicious, innovative, 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, and barako coffee with hazelnut. They also serve the bilog bun (a hot pressed donut with ice cream inside), halo-halo shakes with Oreos thrown in for good measure, and offer freshly brewed barako coffee. I go here waaaay too much. Omar and the gang can vouch for that. They won a Golden Chopstick Award and have been so successful they’ve now opened another branch in Chinatown!
Who hasn’t heard of Josephine’s Restaurant in London? (A presumptuous statement – 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 Filipino Restaurant has been somewhat outshined by newer, more modern eateries - and the menu itself could do with an update - it’s worth paying the historical restaurant a visit at least for a selfie. They were the pioneers of Filipino food in London, after all.
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. Nestled amongst the many Filipino shops and restaurants in Earl’s Court (also known as Filipino-town), Lutong Pinoy is a great choice for your next group dinner in West London. 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. Kain na tayo!
Manila Kitchen — Filipino Restaurant in North London
399 Edgware Road, NW9 0FH
Closest stations: Colindale (Northern)
In the heart of Bang Bang Oriental Foodhall in Colindale sits Manila Kitchen. If you’re craving Filipino food, this is the place to get your affordable yet generous fix of tenderly marinated Filipino BBQ, lumpia Shanghai and ginataang hipon (curried coconut milk with prawns and native Filipino veggies). For dessert, try a slice of buko (coconut) pie, with some buko pandan ice cream. I mean, where else in London can you get a Filipino tocino burger with tocino cheese fries?!
Jollibee London – Fast Food
180 Earl’s Court Road, Kensington, London, SW5 9QG
Closest stations: Earl’s Court (District)
Would this even be a legit guide to Filipino restaurants in London if I didn’t mention Jollibee? Yep, it’s true. The Philippines’ number one fast food restaurant has now reached the UK, and its home is in Earl’s Court. From the classic Chickenjoy to Jolly Spaghetti, you’ll feel right at home breathing in that deep fried chicken batter. The reviews on TripAdvisor are a pretty mixed bag, and every time I’ve eaten something from this particular Jollibee London branch I’ve reacted badly in the stomach area (putting it politely) — but Jollibee remains a cult food of legend. The hype may or may not be worth it for you, but Filipinos in London are buzzing. Even a year after Jollibee has opened. Buzzing.
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)
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, and the karaoke louder. 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:
11 Willesden Lane, London, NW6 7RB
Closest stations: Kilburn (Jubilee), Kilburn High Road (Overground) & Brondesbury (Overground)
Filipino Street Food in London
These food stalls are typically in a market or set location; pop-up stalls pop up anywhere!
Oh My Gulay – Vegan Filipino Food Stall in London
Brockley Market and others
Closest station: Brockley (Overground)
Vegan Filipino food is a thing. Oh My Gulay have been blessing the street food markets of London with it for almost two years now! Their Filipino street food is 100% plant-based. With a menu serving up pancit with vegan prawns, creamy peanut butter vegan kare kare, and soy-okra adobo... you’ll hardly miss the meat because of all the flavours. Catch them popping up at different market stalls across London — check their Instagram for more updates!
If you’re looking for Filipino food in South London, look no further than Filishack. 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.
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 Food Supperclubs in London
Book a ticket for a sit-down Filipino meal with several courses cooked by talented chefs in an intimate setting in London.
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 down to New Cross in South London just for their interpretation on Filipino food - it's completely worth it.
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. Recommended!
OTHER SUPPERCLUBS I HAVE YET TO TRY:
That's all for now. Please note, this page will be constantly updated, so please bookmark it and check back for new places.
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.