Lechon Ice Cream and the Reinvention of Filipino Cuisine

Kinilaw & Buko is a break from tradition as it pushes the frontiers of Filipino cuisine in the UK. (Kinilaw & Buko photo)

LONDON 09 November 2018 —There’s a new Filipino restaurant poised to take over the London food scene.

Kinilaw & Buko, an intimate 42-cover restaurant and cocktail bar opened on 23 October at London’s trendy Hoxton Street, with a promise to bring to the table a revolutionary menu that will change the way Londoners will think about Filipino food.

Cooking up a storm at Kinilaw & Buko is Filipino Head Chef Francis ‘Ace’ Puyat, who was the mastermind of last year’s largest pop up in London, The Hallou-mi.  Originally from Mindoro, Chef Francis moved to London with his parents in 1997 and wasted no moment in spreading the word about Filipino cuisine one plate at a time.  Fast forward two decades later, Chef Francis teamed up with his buddy, 100 Hoxton Founder Andrew Zilouf to transform what was once a tailors’ shop into a Filipino restaurant that masterfully sews together the diverse flavours of Southeast Asia’s biggest culinary secret.

Here’s one of the regular offerings of Kinilaw & Buko. (Kinilaw & Buko photo)

“Filipino cuisine has a lot of influences from neighbouring countries and European countries like Spain. There are some dishes that have always been our own, like kinilaw and tinola, and some that we have made our own, such as kare-kare adopted from Malaysia and lumpia, our take on Chinese spring roll,” said Chef Francis.  “There is a wide range of different people within the Philippines as well, so added to the melting pot of foreign influences you also have a beautiful mix of different local cooking traditions. Essentially Filipino cuisine is the original Asian fusion art. It is a tradition I am very happy to carry on.”

Chef Francis combines his training in classical French culinary art with his penchant for explosive spices and bold flavours to put together an eclectic menu revolving around two favourite Filipino culinary elements: Kinilaw, the Philippines’ answer to Peru’s ceviche; and Buko, a fusion, artisan Filipino ice cream concept served in a baby coconut shell.

From tailor’s shop to Filipino restaurant, the philosophy of 104 Hoxton Street hasn’t changed much as Chef Francis is still very much into sewing—not fabric, but different flavours together. (Kinilaw & Buko photo)

Kinilaw & Buko’s Kinilaw Bar will serve bagoong fisherman’s treat (daikon fermented shrimp, green peppercorns and fried garlic), mustasa cradled duck egg (salted duck egg, heirloom tomato, mustard leaf, and grated cured yolk), diver hauls kapis treasure (hand-dived scallop, cucumber, radish, lime, and fermented roe), and baboy bounty (pork belly, dice cucumber, chili, and chicharon), which are best downed with a line of crazy cocktails like Kalamansipation (Gin, Kalamansi lime, Falernum, fennel) is and Pinoy Island Coffee (Coffee, Pussers Navy Rum, Gran Marnier, condensed milk).

Buko, on the other hand, offers tempting treats such as red bean butterscotch bomb (red bean ice cream, miso butterscotch sauce, and ginger Anzac biscuit), pop star (lychee ice cream and sumac popping candy), and pig out (lechon condensed milk ice cream, sea salt, and black pepper caramel popcorn).

“Kinilaw & Buko is a fine addition to the growing number of Filipino food establishments in the United Kingdom,” said Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo.  “What makes the Filipino food movement in the UK unique is that today’s generation of Filipino and Filipino-British chefs are not afraid to reinvent Filipino cuisine.  This is what keeps our culinary tradition dynamic and exciting.”

For more information, visit www.londonpe.dfa.gov.ph or https://www.facebook.com/pg/PHLinUK and @philippinesinuk on Twitter.

Stay updated and like Kinilaw & Buko on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/kinilawandbuko.  Visit their website at http://kinilawandbuko.com.

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