Sarap’s Philippine bistro fights for Pinoy cuisine in London one modern dish at a time – Manila Bulletin

Sarap’s Philippine bistro fights for Pinoy cuisine in London one modern dish at a time – Manila Bulletin

Chef Budgie Montoya presents modern offerings of Filipino signature dishes with his ‘authentic taste delivered proudly fake’ philosophy

What is it that continues to spread around the world and takes down as many people as it can, during its madness? Philippine cuisine. Whether in New York or Paris, Filipino food is working to become part of the global food spotlight, and it’s all thanks to the wonderful Pinoy chefs abroad, who are fighting for the cuisine wherever they go. The latest Filipino eatery to enter the international dining scene is Sarap Filipino Bistro, located at 10 Heddon Street in London.

Sarap’s Philippine bistro fights for Pinoy cuisine in London one modern dish at a time – Manila Bulletin
Sarap Filipino Bistro facade (Photo from @sarap_filipino_restaurant) and the restaurant’s lechon (Photo by Thomas Alexander)

Led by Davao City-born chef Ferdinand “Budgie” Montoya, Sarap Filipino Bistro serves modern dishes on signature Filipino dishes with its ‘authentic taste delivered proudly fake’ philosophy at its core.

“When I look at Filipino cuisine, I try to dive into all angles. It’s not just about what, but also how,” he said in a post. “Take cooking with fire, for example, for me there is nothing more ‘authentic’ than food cooked in a dirty kitchen. The scents, the sounds all evoke a nostalgic comfort in me, and that is exactly the essence I want to capture when we cook at Sarap. ”

The restaurant opened in late 2021 and is a result of Chef Budgie’s huge gastronomic journey. According to a review by The Guardian, his first foray into the culinary world began in 2012, when he arrived in the UK from Australia and started cooking at Restaurant Story, Foley’s and Dean Street Townhouse. Prior to the opening of the Heddon Street area, Sarap was first a dinner club that became a pop-up in 2019. Thereafter, the Sarap Baon store was established in Brixton Village in early 2020 and managed to survive the pandemic. Although Brixton’s site from his most recent post on Instagram has been shut down due to staff shortages.

At Sarap Filipino Bistro, Chef Budgie continues to feed Londoners with his masterful interpretations of Filipino dishes. They are instantly transported to the Philippines with his rendition of Kinilaw, a coconut vinegar-cured market fish with calamansi gel and cucumber food. Hans Kare-kare becomes vegan with ingredients such as celeriac, peanut and achiotes sauce and winter truffle. Hans Ensaladang Talong stays true to the traditional recipe with its blend of roasted and blistered aubergines, tomatoes, salted duck eggs and soy sauce-coconut vinegar liquid. Another reimagination is his Rellenong Crispy Pata, a boned pig trotter stuffed with adobo pork rice, with fermented chili and coconut vinegar dipsauce on the side. And piece of housinge, a mouthwatering young pig Lechon with juicy flesh covered with crackling bronze skin.

“Filipino food for me is about bold flavors with lots of acidity, sweetness and lots of umami,” he said. “It’s a kitchen that excites the palate with many textures and components.”

Learn more about Sarap Filipino Bistro at saraplondon.com/sarap-home. Chef Budgie also shares some of her recipes on Instagram, so be sure to hit the follow button.


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