Posts Tagged With: Home cooking

On food culture and the ‘authenticity’ of food


Whilst browsing Facebook during lunchbreak, I happened across an article that had been shared by some fellow Filipino foodies. It was a short promotional article in Afar Magazine, detailing Aashi Vel of Traveling Spoon’s trip to the Philippines and the subsequent expansion of her business there. In essence, Traveling Spoon offers unique culinary experiences in a select number of countries, whereby travellers can connect with home cooks and eat in their homes.

“Discover an authentic culinary experience with the best home cooks around the world”

Sounds pretty cool, no? So it was interesting to see what she thought of the Philippines’ culinary scene.

Alas, it becomes quite clear from the article that she very nearly did not have a good time of it at all. She was only rescued by two of the hosts now signed up to Traveling Spoon, who cooked for and fed her their family dishes. Because of this experience, she came to the conclusion that, to quote the article, “to get a real taste of Filipino food that truly reflects its history, you have to step inside a local home… [because] It’s still difficult to find restaurants that serve ‘authentic’ Filipino cuisine in the Philippines”. This, in her mind, makes Traveling Spoon’s mission in the Philippines crucial, because they are all about offering people ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ food experiences.

As someone who’s always enjoyed his food journeys around the Philippines and is really excited by the restaurant scene in Manila, this bold statement comes across as a bit iffy. I felt a bit puzzled about the article and left it alone, but the more I thought about it, the more my puzzlement turned into a mild sense of indignation. How can someone, an outsider, who seems to be still growing in their understanding of Filipino food, cast such generalised and damning judgement upon the entire restaurant scene of a nation of 7,107 islands and 100 million people?

And so I started writing my thoughts down, and compiling them into an essay of sorts. Want to have a read? Just click on the link!

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The Kamayan Supper Club returns!

Have you been missing your Filipino food fix? Or have you never ever tried the wondrous flavours of Las Islas Filipinas?

Well, the wait is over! Thanks to me and Mae of Pepe’s Kitchen, the Kamayan Supper Club is making its return to a Saturday night near you! London’s first Filipino home-dining experience is back!

You can read how we fared the last time here, or you can look at the photos here. Over the course of three weekends in February, we managed to get our heads together and somehow serve enough food to satisfy some fascinating, interesting and funny people, until they were stuffed to the gills. And I mean STUFFED. STUFFED WITH DELICIOUSNESS AND GOOD TIMES.




Based on those experiences, Mae and I thought it would be absolutely criminal if we were to not continue on our mission to bring knowledge of Filipino food to the London masses. After all, that is why we are doing this. Along the way, we will make our acquaintance with friends both old and new, but ultimately, we want to do our cuisine proud and make the bold statement that yes, Filipino food is damn good, and it is damn good for you too.

So, with new menus showcasing new dishes and taste sensations developed just for you, we hope that the next run of the Kamayan Supper Club will entice and delight you.

Look to your calendars then, and make sure you are free on Saturday 27th April and Saturday 11th May.

Once you have done that, click here to find out how you can make a booking and bag yourself some seats.

What are you waiting for? Mae and I are just here, waiting to welcome you and feed you. Let us be your friends and your chefs.


Mabuhay! Kumain ka na?

Categories: Filipino, Supper Club | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Kamayan Supper Club: A big “Maraming salamat!” to all those who came to London’s first Filipino home-dining experience

Whew! It’s been just over a week since the inaugural first run of the Kamayan Supper Club finished, but to be honest I am just a bit sad that it’s done.

All the washing up has long been done, the leftovers mostly disposed of (some even made the long trip down to Poole to feed a select and lucky bunch of my colleagues), fond farewells said, but the good memories still remain.

And why wouldn’t the memories be good? Mae and I met a great bunch of people, we saw a lot of diners enjoy themselves and quite importantly Mae’s cooking went down quite the storm! It was very humbling to see how many people responded positively to our invitation to try some home-cooked Filipino food and be introduced to a great cuisine, especially considering we are still new to the whole supper club scene.

But why let me ramble on a lot about what a fun time Mae and I had in hosting our first ever supper club, when a picture can tell the same story in a thousand vivid, if less flowery, words? Hopefully they will give a taster of what great fun everyone had (well, I’m pretty sure they had fun…)

Getting the table ready for our very first diners

Getting the table ready for our very first diners

Ale-battered, deep-fried fish balls for all!

Ale-battered, deep-fried fish balls for all!

A cheeky rum and coke, made with the finest Tanduay dark rhum and finished off with a twist of kalamansi

A cheeky ‘Mabuhay’ rum and coke, made with the finest Tanduay dark rhum and finished off with a twist of kalamansi (Filipino lime)

Kwek-kwek: battered quail's eggs, served with a cucumber and tomato atsara (Filipino pickle)

Kwek-kwek: battered quail’s eggs, served with a cucumber and tomato atsara (Filipino pickle)

Do these pictures make you feel jealous and a bit like you missed out on something awesome?

Well, fear not! Mae and I intend to return in due course with another run of the Kamayan Supper Club: new dates, a new menu and hopefully another great set of diners keeping us company. After all, our mission to introduce great Filipino food to as many people and make as many new friends as possible is still in its early days.

So please do keep an eye on what Mae and I get up to in the future – and please, please, PLEASE check out Mae’s website ( to see in what other ways you can experience Filipino food and culture in the meantime.

In the true spirit of the Kamayan Supper Club – eating great food and socialising at the same time – Mae and I would like to say, magkita ulit tayo! Until we meet (and eat) again!

Categories: Filipino, Supper Club | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Kamayan Supper Club: Filipino Food in London


When was the last time you sat down and let someone serve you Filipino food?

Chances are, if you’re the average Londoner, it was either a very long time ago or NEVER. But this need not be the case!

Let me take the time to introduce you to a friend of mine, Mae of Pepe’s Kitchen.

It has long been a mission of hers to get more people eating Filipino food, at home and elsewhere, through catering events, hosting cooking classes and generally feeding anyone who would let her do so. I’ve very fortunately been one of those people she has fed, and boy I am a better person for it.

Well, Mae has been thinking of how else she can spread the good news about Filipino food (short of her following the footsteps of Travis Kraft – American Adobo and Salo-Salo will never get old), and after months of informal chit-chat, we decided that we should launch a supper club.

So please give a big, grand old welcome to the Kamayan Supper Club, our chance to share our love of socialising and eating – Pinoy style – with friends both old and new.

“What is Filipino food?”

Well, why not come along to the Kamayan Supper Club and find out??

Categories: Filipino, Supper Club | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments