An eclectic, vibrant cuisine with traces of south-east Asian, Spanish, American and Mexican flavours, eating Filipino food is like getting all your favourite foods rolled into one downright delicious dish. If you haven’t tried Philippine cuisine yet, we’ve got all the places you need hit for the best Filipino food in Melbourne!
Reynaldo’s Grill and Sizzles
If this is your first Pinoy rodeo, Reynaldo’s Grill and Sizzles in North Melbourne is a serious contender. The addictively smoky Pinoy Pork Skewers hit the tables glazed, shiny and dripping with homemade barbeque marinade. Another menu highlight is their signature Reynaldo’s Seafood Gumbo filled with deep, vibrant fish broth, prawns, mussels and tender crabmeat.
Get your BBQ-loving butt over to Hoy Pinoy. Some of the best meat on four wheels, you can check out (stalk) where the Hoy Pinoy food truck is via their Facebook page. Favourites include the Inihaw na baboy (deliciously tender pork belly skewers), Liempo (Asian bacon) and crunchy pork crackling. Just follow the smoke.
Frills are practically non-existent at Filipino favourite GJ’s Grill. Tucked into the quiet end of Franklin Street, follow the crowd and order ultra-affordable Lechon – a generous dish of rich, crispy skin pork on rice. For dessert, there’s a Halo-Halo, a traditional milky dessert of shaved ice topped with various sweets like colourful jellies and coconut.
The Little Jeepney
Making regular appearances at the Preston Food Truck Park, The Little Jeepney is all about big flavours. Expect all your favourite skewers and burgers piled with BBQ meat, like their Chicken Tocino Slider with tender chicken, slaw, caramelised onion, lettuce, tomatoes and secret sauce. Their homemade Ube-Leche is a caramel Ube halaya (which is type of Filipino flan that is colourfully flavoured with purple yam) hybrid. Don’t be weirded out by the purple, it’s the moistest, lightest cake ever.
San Mateo Cafe
Geelong’s first Filipino restaurant, San Mateo Cafe is a place to get a little bit fancy. Proudly serving traditional and contemporary Pinoy cuisine like wasabi flavoured fries, crispy pata (deep fried pork hock) and Tapsilog which features thin slices of beef on a bed of garlic rice. Desserts are a must with offerings like ube with macapuno (coconut flesh) and sans rival – a nutty buttercream and meringue cake. Stop drooling.
For fuss-free Filipino bread, which is an important staple in Philippine cooking and eating, head down to Braybrook. Freshly baked every day, their popular Pandesal is slightly sweet, soft and gloriously fluffy. Other offerings include the Pan de coco – a coconut-filled bread, and their salty-sweet Hopia Pork bread.
Homely, cosy, soul-warming meals is the script at Lasang Pinoy. Crispy, tender, falling-off-the-bone Pata? Tick. Delectably marinated Chicken Adobo? Tick. Sticky BBQ pork skewers? Tick, tick, boom. Just make sure to save room for dessert, with a wealth of traditional Filipino desserts like ube macapuno cake on offer.
The least-kept local secret in Mitcham, Nipa Hut boasts vibrant, rich Filipino-Thai dishes. Be prepared to take away on the weekend, with only a handful of indoor and outdoor tables available at this tiny shopfront. The foodie hit list includes their Filipino-style pork spring rolls, Chicken Adobo and generous Filipino stir frys.
Need more delicious places to eat this winter? Hit up our Directory and search for the cuisine you're craving!
Image credit: Hoy Pinoy via Facebook