Header image courtesy of Mama’s Kitchen (via Facebook)
Originally published by Catharina Cheung. Last updated by Jianne Soriano.
Despite the fact that the majority of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong are Filipinos, Pinoy cuisine is sadly very underrepresented in this city. When thinking about Southeast Asian food, it’s all too likely that most people will immediately mention Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai, Vietnamese, and Indonesian, before ever even considering that they’re leaving out the entire culinary scene of the Philippines. We’ve gathered the best Filipino restaurants in Hong Kong so you can try this saucy, flavourful, and ultimately hearty cuisine for yourself!
Established more than 10 years ago, Junels is very much a cornerstone of Filipino culture in Hong Kong. Though a karaoke bar in nature, they also serve up a great array of native Pinoy dishes. Start off with lechon kawali ($98)—a deep-fried pork belly dish—or nihaw na liempo ($118), Filipino-style grilled pork belly, before moving on to the must-try adobo chicken or pork ($105).
Other noteworthy dishes include the beef kaldereta ($118), which is a classic Filipino beef stew, the dinuguan ($110), which is pork simmered in a sauce made with pig’s blood and vinegar, and the sweet and sour pomfret fish ($105). Whichever mains you decide on, definitely pair it with garlic rice ($16)!
In mid-2019, Junels had a closing-down scare when increasing rent in gentrified Sai Ying Pun was about to price them out. Luckily, its many fans crowd-funded a drive to save the restobar and the Filipino community were unflagging in their support. So Junels is still here to stay, but good luck grabbing a table on Sundays, as the city’s domestic helpers always hit them up for native food and lively karaoke!
Junels Restobar Filipino Bar & Restaurant, B/F, Shop 1G, 7 On Ning Lane, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 5182 8725
Popular with the Pinoy crowd after midnight and located smack-dab in the middle of our clubbing district, this bar surprisingly also serves up decent Filipino food—when punters aren’t too busy getting lit, of course.
With Lomi Han, they offer a range of dishes such as pancit guisado ($110) and longsilog ($78). They’ve also got a fantastic deal for set lunches: For just $55, diners can choose from a lomi overload, lechon kawali, beef kaldereta, tapsilog, or longsilog. All set lunches also come with a free drink and a dessert, so what’s your excuse for not going?
The Port LKF, 3/F, Ho Lee Commercial Building, 38–44 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central | (+852) 9409 5259
Siony, the woman behind Siony’s Lutong Bahay, has been part of the Hong Kong food scene for more than three decades. She brings with her the concept of lutong bahay (homecooked or homemade dish) to Hongkoners and Filipinos in the city. Through word of mouth, Siony’s Lutong Bahay became a favourite go-to for Filipino food.
Its menu is plentiful, separated into different categories depending on what you’re craving. Siony’s has karne (meat), gulay (vegetables), pancit (noodles), pika-pika (snacks), and desserts to choose from. Those with dietary restrictions can opt for their plant-based dishes—and Filipino dishes are big on meat! You can’t go wrong with the menudo ($70), a type of pork stew, as well as the tortang talong ($40), a smoked eggplant omelette, and the pork Bicol express ($70) which has a lot more kick as it’s one of the few Filipino dishes that is mildly spicy and then simmered in coconut cream. We also love the pancit Malabon ($45), thick and juicy noodles with a seafood sauce.
Siony’s Lutong Bahay, 1/F, Freshlane Kitchens, Lucky Commercial Centre, 103 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pung | (+852) 5932 7462
Located in Wan Chai, this is a well-known and easily accessible restaurant for Pinoy food. Aside from Filipino cuisine, they also serve a range of Southeast Asian dishes such as Malaysian, Thai, and Indonesian grub, so make sure you order with care if you want a fully authentic Filo experience! They do a good tosilog ($101) and a tapsilog set ($80) as well—these are a caramelised pork dish and a fried beef dish, respectively, each served with a sunny-side-up egg and garlic rice usually eaten for breakfast or lunch.
Cinta-J Restaurant & Lounge, Shop G-4, Malaysia Building, 69 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2529 6622
Tucked in a small corner in Soho, it’s easy to miss Mama’s Kitchen so make sure to keep your eyes peeled. This cosy eatery gives off such homey vibes, which comes as no surprise, since its founder, Mel Balik, wanted to share her recipes with Hongkongers as well as Filipinos in the city who miss homemade dishes.
We recommend the chicken adobo bun ($68), their take on the much-loved adobo, as well as the Filipino-style spring rolls ($78), crispy fresh and a birthday party favourite. For those with a bigger appetite, definitely get the bistek Tagalog ($118), which has thinly sliced beef marinated and braised in a combination of citrus juice, caramelised onions, garlic, soy sauce, and pepper. Don’t forget to pair it with garlic rice!
Mama’s Kitchen, Basement, 13 Staunton Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 9776 6459
A firm favourite among Hong Kong’s Filipino community, this restaurant may not be fancy, but offers a warm and unpretentious atmosphere. Go hungry, because there are so many dishes you’ll want to try out. Some standouts include the sisig ($108), made of chopped parts of a pig’s face and belly as well as chicken liver, seasoned with calamansi, onions, and chilli peppers; the kinilaw na tanigue ($115) raw fish marinated in vinegar; and the kare-kare ($138) oxtail in a peanut sauce.
If you go with a larger party, you can also always go for a full-on boodle fight, a meal style stemming from the military, where a mixture of different dishes are served with rice on banana leaves spanning the whole table—do as the Romans (or rather, the Filipinos) do and dig in with your hands if you do order this feast!
Foodtrip Bedana’s Filipino Restaurant, 113 Woosung Street, Jordan | (+852) 2542 3088
Tambayan is the latest Filipino restaurant in the city—think of it as the Filipino version of a dai pai dong with its alfresco seating. Its name loosely translates to a place where people hang out and, since its opening, that’s exactly what diners go there for after work.
The no-fuss dishes focus on barbecue-style street food like Filipino hot dog, recognised by its distinctive red colour; isaw which is pig or chicken intestines; or inihaw na baboy, barbecued pork marinated in soy sauce. If that sounds like it’s not enough, you should definitely eat it with rice—it may sound strange to pair street food with rice, but that’s the Filipino way! Throw in a couple of beers and you’ll feel like you’re hanging out in the Philippines.
Tambayan, 34 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei
With a name like Chi-Khan Inasal, you can already tell that the signature dish at this restaurant is the beloved chicken inasal, a grilled chicken marinated in a blend of spices. Owner Aamir Khan brings this crowd-favourite dish to the city and, being part Pakistani, the chickens served here are all halal so anyone can dig in! For just $25, you can also enjoy unlimited rice.
Chi-Khan Inasal, G/F, 9 Elgin Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 9522 7751
Among the Japanese eateries and Western cafés lining a side street in Wan Chai sits this Filipino restaurant. Holy Gaw sets itself apart from the rest of this list because it’s a more modern take on Pinoy cuisine. Chef Gaw brings Hong Kong diners Filipino-inspired fusion food that nevertheless retains its cultural identity.
The absolute must-try dish here is the moo “salpicao” ($118), consisting of juicy slices of tenderloin with garlic and calamansi, served on top of a bed of cauliflower rice. The herby peanut stew ($88), their version of kare-kare, is also worth a try, as is the crusty “gambas” ($98) tiger prawns for seafood lovers.
Don’t forget to save some space for their ice cream sandwich ($48), one of which is taro flavoured and in a fetching shade of soft purple. This is possibly a great place to visit if you’re just dipping your toes into the Filipino culinary scene and would appreciate flavours that are more suited for an international palate before you jump straight into the deep end.
Holy Gaw, Shop 4, 15 Swatow Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 2782 3988