Inspired by my upcoming trip to Manila, I decided to look into Filipino food because I realised that I don’t really see them around compared to other Southeast Asian country’s cuisines (other than Jolibee 😅). The most memorable Filipino food I’ve heard of is probably balut which is a fertilised duck egg. It is boiled and eaten from the shell.
Filipino food is actually very diverse and draws from several influences such as Spain, China, India, and western countries. They are usually described as having a particular taste that is between sweet, sour, and salty. Some of the must-eat Filipino dishes are adobo (considered a national dish made with either chicken or pork), sinigang (a soup typically made with pork and tamarind), kare-kare (a stew made from oxtail, vegetables, and a peanut sauce) and lechon (roast pig). There are so much more delicious food from the Philippines, so make sure to explore!
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, it seems that quite a lot of the Filipino restaurants in Klang Valley closed down. However, I scoured the Internet and managed to find these 6 places that serve amazing Filipino food!
1. Laguna Mabuhay Filipino Bar & Restaurant
Serving traditional Filipino fare, do not be fooled by the simple unassuming exterior of the restaurant. Laguna Mabuhay is well-known among the local Filipino community, so you can be sure that they are serving authentic Filipino food. A lot of reviews from people who tried Filipino food for the first time here had words of praises for how delicious and affordable the dishes were. Not a surprise that the PJ outlet is their second outlet. Their first outlet is on Jalan Gereja, walking distance from the Masjid Jamek LRT station if you are nearer to that location and looking to try something new.
Address: 14, Jalan 19/36, Seksyen 19, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
2. Balay Inasal – Filipino Cuisine
Formerly known as Spitfire, this restaurant is located at Wisma Cosway in the heart of KL. Balay Inasal serves Filipino-Eurasian dishes in a small but colorful and vibrant space. Another favourite haunt among the Filipino people here, they provide an extensive menu on all kinds of Filipino food from Inasal (Bacolod Grilled Chicken), Liempo (Grilled Pork Belly), Grilled Skewers, Silog meals to sizzlers like Sisig. Customers rave about the nice ambiance, friendly staff, and the delicious Filipino food here!
Address: Lot G39-G40, Wisma Conway, Jalan Raja Chulan, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
3. The Narra, Filipino Resto Lounge
According to my online sleuthing while I was looking for Filipino restaurants, The Narra is one of the more famous Filipino restaurants in Klang Valley. It’s the place you would bring people to if they are wondering what Filipino food tastes like. They serve a variety of classic Filipino food. The ambience is great too, making it a popular spot for people to chill and hang out on the weekends. There is also an open mic every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and on public holidays. If you are heading there during those times, do bring along your singing voice.
Address: G001 Dataran Millennium, Jalan 14/1, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
4. De Manila Cafe
Nestled in the relatively quiet part of Taman Desa, De Manila Café offers affordable and delicious home-cooked style Filipino cuisines that will entice you for a return. With a charming and cosy interior, patrons can also enjoy Western and Chinese dishes for more variety. But if you are trying Filipino food for the first time, some recommendations include Sisig (made from pig head parts and seasoned with calamansi, onion, and chili pepper served on a sizzling plate), Sinigang (a soup dish with milkfish), Chicken Adobo (chicken in a savoury, sweet and aromatic taste) and for dessert, Halo-Halo (Filipino version of ice-kacang).
Address: Faber Tower, 1, Jalan Desa Bahagia, Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
5. Bliss 21 Cafe
Just like there is a Little India, there is also a Little Philippines that is located right next to Chinatown in the Kota Raya complex. With most of the shops manned by Filipinos, it is easy to find many Filipino restaurants and cafes within the complex. Like I mentioned, it seems that some have closed during the pandemic but there are some survivors as well. There might be new shops as well – so do check the place out when you are there. One of the cafes that are still operating is Bliss 21 café that can be found on the third floor. Serving delicious Filipino cuisine for the community there, the lady boss is also the owner of De Manila Café that I mentioned right above.
Address: Lot 3.06 Third Floor Kota Raya Shopping Complex, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
6. SA Pinoy Restaurant & Cafe
Another Filipino restaurant that can be found in Kota Raya is SA Pinoy Restaurant & Café on the second floor. You can expect a delectable selection of classic and authentic Filipino food here. Prices are reasonable too. They also serve buffet every Sunday with unlimited rice – great news for the rice lovers out there. It is highly recommended to make reservations if you are heading over on a weekend as they are usually packed.
Address: Level 2, Kota Raya Shopping Complex, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
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