Sisig: a Filipino dish consisting of pig seasoned with chili peppers and calamansi | Image By: Paolo Paraiso
The Philippines is an island country with over 7,000 islands spread over 1,840 km on the Southeast Asian coast. Centuries of rich history has led to a diverse mix of food that citizens label Filipino. Most dishes are a combination of Spanish, Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian influence. This is largely due to the early settlement of Malaysians followed by Indonesians, Indian, Arab, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and American colonizers. With the diverse culture came variations of food plants and spices that changed cooking methods used in the Philippines. Spanish cuisine has the largest influence out of the lot.
The Filipino community is the fourth largest in Singapore due to various job opportunities. More Filipinos working and living in Singapore means a higher demand for Filipino cuisine. A variety of eateries were opened for this very reason. Whether you’re a citizen or a tourist, there’s always a reason why you would want to give a Filipino restaurant a shot. Sweet, tangy and flavorful food may be the best thing that happened to you. Here are my favorite five—by Sohaib S.
A discrete restaurant hidden away amongst the shops in Chinatown always leaves diners thinking they were the first to find the little gem. It’s named after Bonifacio, the Philippine revolutionary, and it really sets the bar high for other Filipino restaurants in the country. A clean, spotless and shining interior with efficient staff and modern artwork will definitely leave you satisfied.
Many recognizable names such as Minda Cruz, the Ambassador, and even the Filipino VP Jejomar Binay have gone straight to Bonifacio for a relaxing meal. A personal favorite is the tokwat baboy—deep fried crispy pork belly with tofu and soy sauce. The vinegar, bell peppers and onions really adds to the exciting taste.
7,107 Flavors blends a fusion of meals to provide the best Filipino cuisine you can find in Singapore. An Asian interior gives off an entertaining vibe for tourists who are not aware of Filipino culture. It is operated as both a travel hub and a restaurant whose sole target is to serve authentic Filipino cuisine at relatively affordable prices for both Singaporeans and Filipino expats living in the country. The restaurant can just about fit 120 diners.
A must try here is the Kare-Kare sauce which really shows a true Filipino experience. The flavors explode in your mouth to give you a meal you won’t forget.
Gerry’s Grill is a surprisingly busy restaurant for being a newer addition to the Singaporean food scene. It has enough room to fit about 100 hungry diners who enjoy some charcoal grilled food, whether it’s chicken, squid, or some sizzling kangkong with shredded pork. It’s a popular one with over 50 branches spread across the world, including the United States, and does a great job at providing the country with some high-quality BBQ. The Pork Sisig is a classic one from the Philippines, so go ahead and try that. A signature dish topped with egg and high-quality oil.
Mang Kiko’s Lechon
This is probably the most popular BBQ hawker around the area serving real Filipino food, mainly roast pork. Lechon means pig/piglet in Spanish, which is seasoned with Spanish spices with a touch of Filipino flavor. The food is cooked on a charcoal and serves spit-rotisserie that you find roast chicken (lechon manok) on. Lechon baboy, the pork, and pork belly are must-tries here.
Kabayan Filipino Restaurant
Kabayan is a casual fast food restaurant with inexpensive Filipino food. Despite the cheap prices, Kabayan has some great tasting food prepared by some of the best chefs. Part of the reason is because of the self-service nature of the restaurant. You just point out what you want and wait for the food at the counter.
A late 70’s/80’s style of dining combined with a Filipino touch makes the food sweet and flavorful—and most of all, appetizing. Their favorites are hot plate dishes that act as traditional desserts such as adobo.
Whether it’s fresh fruit, desserts, marine products, coconut juice, ube, abalone, some BBQ pork, or tiger prawns, Filipino food has an obvious appeal to the general public. These dishes appear everywhere from everyday households to luxury dine restaurants across the world. I’m sure Singaporeans reading this can’t wait to give some Filipino food a go, but the tourists shouldn’t hesitate, either. If you do plan on visiting the cultural hub of Asia, then HotelClub have some good offers on Singapore hotels for you to check out. Most of the hotels are situated around the Filipino restaurants covered in this article, so don’t waste a single day!
Sohaib is a coffee lover and travel addict who puts the environment above everything else. At the same time, he jumps at an opportunity every time he senses adventure calling. He is currently a travel writer trying to view as much of the world as he can.