With strong Asian and Spanish influences, it should be hard to ruin Filipino cuisine, but I have been continuously let down by some of the fast food type set ups a lot of the local Filipino restaurants have around Seattle.
In 2010, I stumbled upon Fil Cuisine, hidden in the East Hill neighborhood of Kent parked in-between a 7-11 and a laundromat. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all of their food was cooked to order. A quick look back into the kitchen area affirmed another positive for me; I saw an older Filipino lady taking charge of the kitchen…always a good sign when you see grandma doing her thing, ensuring that every dish coming out of the kitchen is prepared to her specifics.
When Fil Cuisine first opened in the same location, they boasted a modest set up in half of the size of their current restaurant. After gaining quick traction through word of mouth within the local Filipino community, the owners of Fil Cuisine were forced to expand to accommodate the rising demand by customers.
Although, I have not been let down by any of the new dishes I’ve tried, I’m a creature of habit and can’t help but order the same delicious dishes every-time I visit.
Being a huge fan of peanut sauce, the oxtail kare kare never fails with the beefy goodness falling off the bone, exactly how oxtail should be served, along with green string beans, bok choy and eggplant(insider tip: request a side of “bagoong”. An in-house made fermented shrimp paste that pairs exceptionally well with the kare kare by cutting down the richness of the oxtail and peanut sauce).
The lechon kawali is a pork lovers dream. Pork belly, deep fried to perfection with succulent bits of meat falling right off the crispy belly skin as you dunk it into the accompanying sugarcane vinegar. If you are a feeling adventurous, try the crispy pata which is the deep fried pork hock. Either way, you can’t go wrong with fried pork.
Live a little and order the garlic fried rice to accompany your dishes. Wash it down with a refreshing glass of house-made watermelon or cantaloupe juice.
I find satisfaction in knowing that all of my Filipino friends that I have introduced to Fil Cuisine are also enamored with all of their dishes. #treatyoself and drop by Fil Cusine for an authentic and exceptional Filipino meal.
Written by: Krishan Kumar