Filipino food is colourful, tasty … and hard to find in London

Let’s face it, Filipino food is not something we are overburdened with in London and frankly, more’s the pity. It’s a cuisine of bright colours, of big flavours and is a melting pot of the changing cultural and political makeup of the region.

FilipinoIndian, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, American have all added touches to the indigenous ingredients and ancient ways. Whole roasted pig, paellas and cocidas, fried rices, noodles, spring rolls, ginger, cumin, pineapple, it’s all there. And chilli!

The food loves to combine extremes, sweet and salty sit side by side, fruit in savoury, vinegar and cured fish, all eaten with spoon and fork.

In London, Josephine’s has probably been the most high-profile, albeit idiosyncratic, Filipino joint, serving up stuffed calamri and squid in South Sea sauce; chicken in coconut sauce; beef stew with banana blossom. Frankly, its unusual and underrated and we should all go more.

The thought of Manila beefsteak with peanut sauce and shrimp paste on the side makes HotJoint’s mouth drool.

The team in the restaurant is mainly Filipino and the welcome promises to be warm and enthusiastic. We’ll see you down there in Fitzrovia for the stuffed crab and pork belly.