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Top Filipino Foods To Try | APOY London


Introduction to Filipino foods


Filipino cuisine, a melting pot of rich and diverse flavours, is a gastronomic adventure waiting to be discovered.

Rooted in a history of foreign influences interwoven with indigenous traditions, the food of the Philippines tells a captivating story of the nation's past and present. From the bustling streets of Manila to the tranquil provinces, each dish is a celebration of cultural heritage.

At APOY, we love to celebrate the rich diversity of Filipino culture and cuisine - and, we believe that London deserves to discover authentic Filipino flavours.


We have written this article to guide new foodies through an array of the best Filipino dishes that are not just meals, but unforgettable experiences.


We'd love to take you through this culinary journey, exploring the distinctive tastes of the most popular Filipino dishes that make the cuisine one of the world's most unique.


Filipino dishes


Before we get into our favourites, we'd like to give an overview of the most recognisable dishes.


We can't delve into traditional Filipino food without mentioning adobo, a quintessential stew or spice blend that varies from region to region, each with its unique rendition. Soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic form the base of this comfort food, with a tangy taste that makes adobo a beloved household staple.


Lechon, a whole spit roasted pig, slow-roasted over charcoal, is a Filipino festive favourite. With succulent, tender meat, and crispy skin, especially the pork belly, it's an essential dish to be served at parties or gatherings!


Balút, a street food delicacy, and perhaps the most infamous Filipino dish, is a fertilised duck egg that's boiled and eaten in the shell - a must-try for adventurous foodies.


Lastly, halo-halo, a hodgepodge of sweet ingredients topped with crushed ice and evaporated milk, provides a tasty and refreshing ending to the Filipino dining experience.


Filipino street food


The spectacle of Filipino street food, with its bustling streets and vibrant night markets, is an authentic representation of the country's culture - and, it's where you'll find the best food on this list!


Street food staples such as isaw (grilled chicken or pig innards), kwek-kwek (fried battered quail eggs), and fish balls served with a dollop of sweet or spicy sauce are beloved, both by locals and by tourists.


The Filipino street food scene is a dynamic exploration of culinary creativity, where every dish is a fond testament to Filipino resilience, innovation, and spirit.



Filipino BBQ


Filipino BBQ, again, exemplifies the Philippines' wonderful culinary richness.

In the Philippines, Filipino BBQ is a great part of the culinary culture. Served both at gatherings with family and friends, and as part of the bustling street food culture, Filipino BBQ is accessible, very popular, and a large element of meals, whatever the season.


The star of this culinary experience is often skewered meat - typically chicken or pork barbecue - marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, calamansi juice, and a medley of spices, then grilled to perfection.


Each bite of the caramelised, char-grilled meat offers flavours that are both comforting and exciting.


Whether it's enjoyed in a backyard family gathering or a busy street-side stall, Filipino BBQ is more than just a meal; it's a celebration of community and conviviality, an integral part of Filipino food culture.


And now, let's get into our favourite must-try Filipino dishes!


Filipino BBQ skewers


As we've mentioned above, Filipino BBQ skewers are an integral part of the country's vibrant street food culture.


Typically made from chunks of marinated pork or chicken, these skewers are grilled over hot coals until they're beautifully charred and caramelised.

The marinade is a careful blend of native ingredients, which gives the meat an irresistible sweet-tangy flavour.


Often served with a side of vinegar dipping sauce for an added zing, these skewers are a popular choice at family gatherings and street-side stalls alike, representing the Philippines' communal dining culture in its truest form.


APOY's BBQ Pork Skewer


Our take on the Filipino BBQ street food classic is absolutely delicious, if we do say so ourselves. Our BBQ pork skewers are made with banana ketchup, 7up and calamansi, it's a must-order menu item.



Fried chicken skins


Fried chicken skins, often relished as a crunchy snack in the Philippines, perfectly exemplify the country's resourceful and flavour-packed culinary ethos.


These deep-fried delights are prepared from chicken skin, which is marinated in a blend of local seasonings, then dusted with flour and fried until they reach a golden-brown hue. The result is an irresistibly crispy and savoury treat, its rich, meaty flavour balanced by a characteristic lightness.


Whether enjoyed as a standalone snack, paired with a cold beer, or used as a topping to add crunch to traditional dishes, fried chicken skins are a testament to the Filipino knack for turning simple ingredients into culinary gold.


APOY's Crispy Chicken Skin


The ultimate beer snack, our fried chicken skins are served with sinigang salt, for a salty and sour seasoning.


Chicharons (pork scratchings)


Chicharons, also known as pork scratchings, are a beloved snack in the Filipino food repertoire. They are made from pork rind that's boiled, seasoned, and fried until it achieves a delightful crunchy texture.


Chicharons are known for their savoury, salty flavour and satisfying crunch, making them an irresistible snack. Served with a side of spiced vinegar for dipping, they are a perfect companion for a cold beer or as an accompaniment to a traditional Filipino meal.


Like many other Filipino dishes, chicharons embody the culinary tradition of the country, where nothing goes to waste and every part of the animal is transformed into something delicious.


Chicken adobo


Chicken adobo, often hailed as the unofficial national dish of the Philippines, is a perfect embodiment of the country's culinary character.


It's a simple yet flavourful dish that hinges on the harmony of just a handful of ingredients, including chicken, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns.


The chicken is marinated and then braised in this aromatic mixture until it's tender and infused with the tangy, savoury flavours of the sauce.


The result is a rich and comforting dish, its robust flavours mellowed by the steamed rice that traditionally accompanies it.


Whether enjoyed at a family dinner or served at a festive gathering, adobo is a dish that truly captures the essence of Filipino home cooking.


APOY's adobo


Our take on adobo is one of our customer favourites at APOY. For our Soy Braised Chicken, we braise the meat in a basting sauce mixture of soy sauce, cane vinegar, garlic, black pepper, bay leaf, and a touch of coconut milk - all served up with a portion of light, fluffy jasmine rice.


Well, it's a favourite dish for a reason!



Lumpia


Lumpia, a traditional Filipino spring roll, is a culinary gem that has won global acclaim for its delicate flavours and satisfying crunch.


These slender rolls are typically filled with a savoury mixture of minced meat - often pork or chicken - and finely chopped vegetables like carrots, onions, and cabbage. The filled wrappers are then rolled tightly and deep-fried until they reach a beautiful golden-brown hue.


The result is a snack bursting with flavour, the crispy exterior giving way to a juicy, flavorful filling.


Served with a side of sweet and sour sauce or vinegar dip, Lumpia proves the Filipino culinary tradition's flavour-packed, resourceful, and community-oriented nature, enjoyed at celebrations and everyday meals alike.


Filipino breakfast


Filipino breakfast, of course, the most important meal of the day, is a hearty and flavourful affair. The traditional Filipino breakfast typically includes a serving of sinangag, or garlic-fried rice, paired with a variety of protein-rich dishes.


These morning meals might include tapsilog, a combination of cured beef called tapa, fried rice (sinangag), and fried egg (itlog).


Other popular breakfast dishes include longsilog, featuring local sausage known as longganisa, and tocilog, with tocino, or sweet cured pork. These robust meals are often accompanied by a cup of local coffee or a hot chocolate drink made from locally sourced cacao.


Sisig


Sisig is a Filipino dish that transforms simple ingredients into a flavour-packed culinary delight. Traditionally made from parts of a pig's head - usually the cheeks, ears, and sometimes even the brain - and chicken liver, the meat is first boiled, then grilled, and finally chopped and sauteed with onions, chilli peppers, and calamansi.


This multi-layered cooking process gives sisig its unique texture and depth of flavour, resulting in a dish that is simultaneously crunchy, chewy, and melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Often served sizzling on a hot plate and topped with a raw egg that cooks in the residual heat, sisig is a popular staple in Filipino pubs and eateries.


Cassava cake


Cassava cake is a classic Filipino dessert. This rich and dense cake is made from grated cassava, a root vegetable widely grown in the Philippines, mixed with coconut milk, sugar, and sometimes cheese or condensed milk for added richness.


The mixture is then baked until it achieves a golden-brown colour and a slightly chewy texture, with a caramelised top that adds a delightful crunch and gloriously sweet flavours.

The result is a dessert that's subtly sweet and satisfyingly starchy, often served at festive occasions and family gatherings.


Cassava cake is a beloved staple in the Filipino dessert repertoire - and for good reason.


Garlic rice


Garlic rice, or sinangag, is a simple yet flavoursome staple in the Filipino culinary tradition.

This aromatic and satisfying dish is often served as part of a traditional Filipino breakfast but can be enjoyed at any meal.


It's made by stir-frying pre-cooked steamed rice in garlic-infused oil until the grains are lightly toasted and fully infused with the garlic.


The result is a subtly fragrant, savoury dish with a hint of crunch from the golden bits of fried garlic. Garlic rice's unique flavour makes it an excellent accompaniment to a variety of Filipino dishes, adding an extra layer of depth and savouriness.


Filipino-style spaghetti


Filipino-style spaghetti is a unique take on the classic Italian dish, characterised by its distinctively sweet and hearty sauce. It is made with a mix of ground pork and hotdogs, simmered with onions, garlic, and tomato sauce, then sweetened with banana ketchup or sugar. The sauce is generously ladled over a bed of al dente spaghetti and topped with a generous sprinkling of grated cheese.


Unlike its Italian counterpart, which leans towards a more savoury and tangy flavour profile, Filipino spaghetti is decidedly sweet and rich, making it a favourite at children's parties and family gatherings. Its distinct flavour shows the Filipino palate's love for savoury and sweet flavours and combinations.



Dipping sauces


Finally, the Filipino food experience wouldn't be complete without an introduction to the best dipping sauces! The perfect accompaniment to any meal, the right dipping sauce can elevate any dish.


(And, it goes without saying, but we serve all the following dipping sauces at APOY, for the perfect bite every time.)


Sinimak

A spicy coconut vinegar, sinimak is perfect for anything off the grill.


Toyomansi

Made with soy sauce and calamansi juice, this sauce is salty and citrusy, with a wonderful zingy flavour.


Tabasco sweet and spicy

A milder option, this is a sweet and spicy red pepper sauce.


Banana ketchup

Banana ketchup is the classic fruity and sweet Filipino condiment!


Mang tomas

Sweet and tangy, mang tomas is the all-purpose BBQ and lechon sauce.


Fish sauce

An honourable mention to fish sauce, or patis. Fish sauce has an umami flavour, bringing out depth in savoury dishes. Filipino fish sauce has a more intense flavour, and is a byproduct of bagoong - a fermented seafood delicacy.


Get a taste of Filipino food in London


APOY, derived from the Tagalog word for 'fire,' represents the heart of Filipino culinary culture. A Filipino BBQ concept curated by the skilled chef, Budgie Montoya, APOY offers a delicious array of grilled comfort dishes that bring the vibrant streets of the Philippines right to your table.


At APOY, we have a straightforward approach: we excel in one thing - Filipino BBQ.

We've embraced this timeless tradition of grilling meat over fire and infused it with authentic Filipino flavours.


Our goal is clear: to be the best at what we do while celebrating the rich diversity of Filipino culture and cuisine.




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