Header image courtesy of @gutakesworld (via Instagram)
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 ($90)—a deep-fried pork belly dish—or vegetarian rice noodles ($108), before moving on to the must-try adobo chicken or pork ($99). Other noteworthy dishes include the beef kaldereta ($105), which is a classic Filipino beef stew, the dinuguan ($99), which is pork simmered in a sauce made with pig’s blood and vinegar, and the sweet & sour pomfret fish ($125). 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
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 ($78) 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. Apart from their food, Cinta-J also has live music entertainment from 7.45 pm onwards, boasting a live band and a good vocalist in Penny Salcedo, which lends to its spirited vibe.
Cinta-J Restaurant & Lounge, Shop G-4, Malaysia Building, 69 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2529 6622
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 inihaw na liempo ($98) grilled pork belly that has been marinated in calamansi soy sauce, the fried tanigue ($128) deep-fried king mackerel with sautéed onions, 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!
Bedana’s Filipino Restaurant, G/F, 113 Woosung Street, Jordan | (+852) 2542 3088
Serving a mixture of Asian fusion and Western food alongside their home cuisine, Amore is nevertheless still a very Filipino establishment at heart. Don’t miss their relyenong bangus ($170), a milk fish stuffed with minced pork and vegetables; binagoongang baboy ($110), a sautéed pork dish with shrimp paste; or our favourite, the tortang talong ($110)—the eggplant omelette. Instead of plain rice to go with these, order a pansit bihon ($120)—a dish of stir-fried noodles. Amore is also a rare place that serves Filipino breakfasts. We’d always recommend the cornedsilog ($110), which is essentially corned beef served with eggs and garlic rice—don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Do note that Amore is closed on Mondays, though, so plan your visit accordingly.
Amore, 8 Thomson Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2877 8282
Among the Japanese eateries and Western cafés lining a side street in Wan Chai sits the city’s latest Filipino restaurant. Holy Gaw sets itself apart from the rest of this list because it’s a less grassroots and more refined 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’ ($258), consisting of juicy slices of tenderloin with garlic and calamansi, served on top of a bed of cauliflower rice. The Piggy ‘Crispy Pork Sauté’ ($188) is also worth a try, as is the Crusty ‘Gambas’ ($218) tiger prawns for seafood lovers. Don’t forget to save some space for their ice cream sandwich ($58), 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, G/F, 15 Swatow Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 2782 3988
This bar that’s popular with the Pinoy crowd and located smack dab in the middle of our clubbing district 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