Filo in Hongkers
It sounds weird, but this post is about eating at a Filipino restaurant on Saigon Street in Hong Kong – it’s a mouthful and it makes noodlies, Sydney food blog’s head spin – how multicultural! Apparently there are some 120,000 Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong, plus thousands more in the hospitality and entertainment industry. The owner Gerald Bedana worked in entertainment before he decided to open Foodtrip.
This place is both a bar and restaurant. It’s tiny, with one table, a bench, mini bar on the inside and a couple more tables outside. But Foodtrip is no hole-in-the-wall, the wooden decor, subdued lighting, large flat screen that pumps out Asian MTV says that Bedana has put his heart and soul into this place.
I don’t know that much about Filipino food, but I instantly fell in love with this place, especially after seeing their menu; Crispy pata: fried pork knuckle, sizzling bopis: pork lung, spleen and heart sauteed in onion and garlic, kinailaw na tanigue: raw fish marinated in vinegar. This is my kind of restaurant.
But tonight, I order the chicken with garlic rice (above). My friendly waitress proudly says food takes a little time to prepare here because they cook your meal when you order, nothing is re-heated. It’s a simple enough meal, but the chicken is oh-so crispy outside while juicy and tender inside. The egg is runny inside, the way I like it. And the rice is something else, soft and fragrant with garlic spices.
It’s kinda good that the food takes a little time to prepare, because it allows you to sit back, watch the Asian MTV that’s blaring from the screen and sip on a cold Filipino beer. San Miguel, Blue Ice or in my case Red Horse, at 7% alcohol, it’s a particularly strong and satisfying beer. With the bustling and hustling of Hong Kong, it really does feel nice to kick back a little.
Foodtrip is on Saigon street which runs off the crazily busy Temple Street market. While these markets close around midnight, Foodtrip opens until 5am caters for Filipino customers, obviously those men and women who work in hospitality and entertainment.
I was a frequent visitor for many reasons: they’re always open, cute decor, unique food and Red Horse strong beer which makes such a change to local beers. On my last visit, the night before flying back to Sydney, the waitress recommended their pandan jelly dessert. Pandan is a Vietnamese favourite and gives the dessert that green tinge. All up, the dessert was sweet but relatively light on sugar with most sweetness coming from the green pandan and white coconut jelly cubes. Served in a cocktail glass, this dessert is elegant but simple and is very refreshing.
Foodtrip Bedana’s Filipino Restaurant
2J Saigon St, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Like the photos in this post?
They were taken with a Sony NEX-5N, a supporter of noodlies.