In the city of Seattle, Asian cuisine is one of the main sources of sensory satisfaction. Dim sum is a highly-sought stomach warmer, sushi bars are booming and the constantly increasing number of ramen restaurants are all the rage. Somehow, however, there’s been a shortage of Filipino establishments in the Emerald City—though that may be changing soon thanks to some innovative pop-up restaurants.
According to Seattle Magazine, Filipino chefs such as Geo Quibuyen are starting a movement with Filipino pop-up restaurants, which borrow space from established restaurants to host occasional meals. Quibuyen and his wife, Chera Amlag, started the pop-up Food and Sh*t in an effort to integrate more Filipino flavors into the city. At Food and Sh*t, Quibuyen blends traditional and inventive Filipino cuisine, serving everything from sisig (pig ear and face) tacos to purple ube cheesecakes— all of which have been met with high praise.
The Filipino pop-up movement is also being fronted by Irbille Donia and the duo of Garrett Doherty and Shane Robinson, the creators of Lahi pop-up and Kraken Congee, respectively. Lahi specializes in creating authentic Filipino food with local ingredients, while Kraken Congee is known for its congee (rice porridge) that comes with toppings such as candied squid and seaweed and curried pumpkin.
For these pop-up restaurants, collaboration is also key to making the movement work. The chefs of Food and Sh*t, Lahi and Kraken Congee often co-host meals; and last August, they all cooked alongside Brooklyn-based chef Yana Gilbuena in Seattle for The Salo Project, which is working to bring Filipino pop-up restaurants to all 50 states in 50 weeks.