Filipinos are foodies at heart. If we're not eating it, we're cooking it, getting it to go, or ordering in. And we take our food seriously—there is a certain pride to being able to replicate lola's Paella Valencia, it means another generation will be able to feast on those familiar flavors that always make the family come together, no matter what.
This is our fun take on what kitchens would look like when inspired by some of our favorite Filipino dishes, as well as were to find them if you have the hankering for it:
The neutral colors of white, brown and hints of green remind us so much of adobong pusitsa gata or squid in coconut milk. It begins with first simmering the squid in vinegar and then sautéing in onions, garlic and tomatoes. They are, however, differentiated by the addition of coconut milk and chili peppers to the latter for a richer and bolder flavor. Adobong pusit sa gata is quite the balancing act of delicate flavors, each element working in harmony with the other, which is also true for this beautiful kitchen with the all white furnishings, light wooden details, and green decor. We've found the best adobong pusit sa gata along White Beach in Puerto Galera, in a little karinderya.
Growing up in the Philippines, tucking into a plate of palabok with Tasty bread and a tall glass of Coke for merienda was all one needed to be truly happy. Rice noodles are slathered with a thick red-orange sauce flavored with shrimp and tinapa or smoked dried fish. The toppings vary from a combination of shrimp, ground or strips of pork, fried tofu, tinapa flakes, chicharon, and pork cracklings, and always with sliced boiled eggs to add a creaminess to the dish. The communal comfort food can also be found at nearly all Filipino potluck parties, served in a bilao, which is enough to feed a big family, much like how this spacious yellow kitchen can fit a family. Our favorite place to get palabok is still Jollibee and Goldilocks for a merienda treat, but if we're bringing a bilao home, Amber's is our default store to hit up—with pichi-pichi for dessert!
Between enjoying bites of seafood and short-grain rice and stealthily trying to check out teeth in the mirror for the all too familiar blackened lips and teeth, paella negra still remains to be a classic favorite among Filipinos, especially during the holiday season when it isn't unusual to indulge in a plate of paella and a big glass of sangria. We're reminded of the appetizing dish with this equally delicious-looking kitchen, with its glossy black countertop, its sleek drawers and modern finish. For those looking to enjoy a big platter of this very Spanish dish, check out Arozzeria at Century City Mall in Makati for a platter.
The tranquil blue and foam green colors of this kitchen remind us of Cebu, and their fresh seafood markets. Grilled parrotfish is popular with the tourists and a favorite among the locals. If you haven't tried the meaty fish before, with it's blueish green coloring and blunt beak, this can be found in abundance at most dampas in Cebu and Bohol, along with mussels, oysters, and clams, which is best enjoyed as moules marinières or baked with butter and cheese on top. Yum!
Laing is a vegetable dish made with dried taro leaves, coconut milk, shrimp paste and chili peppers and can be prepared meatless, with shrimp, dried fish or succulent pork belly strips. The creamy coconut milk against the green of the leaves and the brown form the cooked meat reminds us of this picture-perfect kitchen, with it's pale green cabinets and warm, inviting design. Being a Bikolano dish, some of the best laing we've ever had was in Geewan in Naga and in the form of pizza at the CamSur Water Complex's restaurant.