Filipino Restaurants in Auckland
While there are a good number of Filipinos in Auckland the Filipino cuisine is quite unrepresented but during the past years things had changed with some Filipino bloggers in New Zealand and some Filipino contestants in popular food shows started to stand out the Filipino cuisine started to gain momentum. With that momentum some restaurants have emerged and a lot of people are talking praises about our food hopefully this is the start of something big.
If you happen to look for these types of dishes then there are several restaurants that I can recommend and below is a list of those, restaurants and establishments that proudly represent our culture and tradition through our cuisine.
Alongside Turo-Turo, perhaps this is one of the oldest Filipino restaurant / establishment on this list. For Filipinos the name is quite familiar since its name is a combination of two popular Filipino bakeshops Goldilocks and Red Ribbon. The similarity does not stop there because Gold Ribbon offers similar menu items like the two restaurants have in offer, traditional dishes like dinuguan, kare kare and lumpiang sariwa– but it does not stop there, what’s even better is that they make Filipino cakes that are a favourite back home like Ube cake, Sansrival and Black Forest. Now these favourites are very accessible to most Filipinos in Auckland and they do it similar if not better than the original restaurants. When visiting this place, I suggest to try their cakes as this represents the cake scene in the Philippines.
Glen Innes & K’Road
If you have been searching a lot of Filipino restaurants and recipes in Auckland here in New Zealand perhaps you had seen their ads where these Filipino girls who is modelling for the restaurant raise their arms high on their head to show their armpits, I don’t know what does that have to do with what they offer but looks like it’s an effective advertisement since most of the Filipinos I know knew Turo Turo because of it, me and my daughter even associate people who does that pose to Turo Turo restaurant. Anyways were not here to talk armpits but their food, like Gold Ribbon they host an extensive menu of Filipino dishes, perhaps the most popular ones are represented, what I suggest in their menu is to try their short orders as these are the popular breakfast items or snacks at home, they do it so well in this place as well, like silogs and soups they simply warps me back home. By the way, they are also one of the first Filipino restaurants here in Auckland.
Panaderia! Now the Filipino bread shop / bakery is represented, not the cake kind but the yeast leavened breads like pandesal, ensaymada, Spanish bread, monay and pan de coco to name some. This is what Filipinos eat for breakfast and snack, so if you want to have a full take on our cuisine then you need to try this. Trust me this place won’t let you down as I knew a lot of Kiwi’s enjoying the offering this place has on offer.
Home Cooked Filipino Cuisine the name says it all, the first time I ate here reminded me a lot of how we cook things at home, it’s so comforting, it’s like mom’s dishes, sisig, Crispy Pata, Sinigang and Bulalo are my faves. Initially they were just located in Wairau Valley now I can have them for lunch as they recently opened a branch at the fancy food court Elliot stables. Keep an eye on their lechon day’s where you can partake in devouring a whole pork spit roast, no need to wait for that special occasion just to try some.
Bagnet Kare Kare, Sinigang na Salmon Head, Jolly Blair (their version of Chicken Joy), Kinilaw and Bagnet Platter are some of their menu items that you can’t find on other Filipino restaurants, for most Filipinos just hearing the names of those dishes is enough for them scrambling to visit this place. I am so glad to see this in K’Road so our food gets an exposure in this culture rich street in Auckland where most cuisines from different countries are represented. If you have 3 friends that wants to dine in with you then I suggest you to try their Barkada meal which is good for 4 people and it includes 3 classic favourites of Bagnet or Crispy Pata, Sisig and Bulalo or Sinigang, with unlimited rice and bottomless iced tea, this is the deal.
Island Joe’s Hawaiian Barbeque
It sounds like Hawaiian restaurant but there is a lot of Filipino culture and flavour in this place like the Hawaiian cuisine. A place best known for their barbecue dishes, so if you love those sweet pork barbecue on skewers then this is the place for you, those juicy pork belly, kalbi, chicken barbecue and pork ribs is something to look out for. Did I mention they also serve hard to find Filipino dishes like Kansi, Bam I and Soup Number 5.
I am sure this one will be a big hit with the Kiwi’s because I had proved it, since we had a Boodle Fight dinner here before with everyone on our department of 20 plus people (only three Filipinos). They loved the concept and the menu that was specifically designed for us was a hit, specially that pork barbecue on stick and even the Crispy Pata, I never imagined a non-Filipino will nibble on pork leg bones while using their hands to eat without utensils, it did happen and they enjoyed. One thing to note as well is that they also loved “Red Horse” beer, they so loved it we finished all their stock on the bar fridge. I am not sure if they do Boodle Fight as a regular item, if not just call up and ask the Marjorie (the owner) and request for it, they will design the menu and do it happily for you. And yes, they do ala carte as well.
The new kid on the block, a restaurant opened by the Filipino NZ Masterchef. finalist, Leo Fernandez. Located in the nice location of Parnell this place knows how to present the Filipino cuisine in a plate. Traditional dishes like Adobo, Salpicao, Caldereta and Escabeche are plated Masterchef style. If before you are scared on eating Filipino food because of its looks then try it here as it will change all that perception just because of a nice presentation. Having said that it’s not all about presentation because the flavour their dishes deliver is amazing, perfect for the palate of Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike. What you need to try here are their fusion desserts, the likes of Persimmon Tablea Mousse and Kumara cake with Rhubarb.
If fusion is your thing then this is the place, they fuse Filipino food with another cuisine, what’s even better is that they even fuse a Filipino dish with another Filipino dish, truly creative. Initially they were located in Royal Oak but the moved to a better location in Takapuna. We loved their Taco Pao (a taco style siopao), Roast Chicken Sinigang (chicken roast in tamarind spice rub) and their Ensaymada done the Kiwi way (served with salted egg butter, Havarti cheese and shaved macadamia). My colleague who is a foodie sang praises when she dined in here, she told me this place served the best food she ever had for the whole year of 2017.
I am not sure if I will call this cream of the crop because all the ones listed here are amazing but this one simply just stands out among the rest. The way they present and plate, the flavour of the food and the ingenious way of fusing the Filipino cuisine with others is simply stunning. While not everything is fused with Filipino cuisine at least half of it are, just look as some of the dishes on their menu Toasted Sisig (Seafood Sushi, grilled-pulled snapper, prawn & arrow squid, tuna & salmon sashimi, crème fraiche, toasted rice nori sesame), Chiko’s Crispy Pata Pork Knuckle, (garden salad, tom yum, fragrant rice, coco shrimp paste, peanut sauce), Crispy Fried Cassava Chips served with coco chili cream mayo and Wild Boar And Prawn Quesadillas, peanuts, grilled tiger prawn, salsa verde, crème fraiche, atchara), enough said!