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Jun 13, 2010 02:19 PM

Filipino restaurants.

Anyone encountered any? Been a while since I had a good Adobo.

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  1. There are several threads regarding this topic. One recently had close to 100 replies. These restos are all over the city mostly tucked away in plazas. Scarborough may have the majority of them, or it seems like it: Jesse Jr. (several locations - one is Kingston Rd. and Markham Rd.), Kapit Bahay (Lawrence Ave. E. and Morningside Ave.), Barrio Fiesta (Sheppard Ave, east of Markham Rd.), Cucina Manila (Pharmacy and Lawrence), Remely's (in the same plaza as Ten Ichi AYCE Japanese resto). A new one seems to spring up every now and then. In the other thread, the majority of CHer's seem to agree that most of these restos don't do the Filipino recipes justice and your best bet for very good adobo is to be invited to a filipino party or just for dinner. It's one of those cuisines where "mom does it the best" seems to hold oh so true. Mind you Cucina Manila and Barrio Fiesta seem to get good reviews.

    Jesse Jr.
    4415 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M1S, CA

    Barrio Fiesta
    19 Lapsley Rd, Toronto, ON M1B1K1, CA

    Remely's Restaurant
    4830 Sheppard E, Toronto, ON M1S3S3, CA

    1. I encountered Filipino food at the Treats on Adelaide near Church. Adobo, sinigang, kare kare, bikol express, etc. You get a lot for a little and it'll satisfy the craving. There's also a Filipino market w/ prepared food in a shopping plaza on Sheppard and Brian.

      5 Replies
      1. re: GoodGravy

        More centrally, there are several Filipino restaurants/bakeries/takeaway joints on Bathurst north of Lawrence, and on Wilson east of Bathurst. I haven't tried any of them - can someone suggest one or two in that neighbourhood worth checking out?

        1. re: gimel

          I used to go to the stores at the corner of Bathurst & Wilson. FV foods has a great selection, but i often found the store cramped and too full of people to more around. I now go to the FV foods at St Clair/Bathurst. If you want fresh (HOT) Pandisal (Filipino bread), they have it at Manila bakery just west of Bathurst.

          My favorite bakery is called Daily Bread, i like the sweetness and texture of the pandesal. They also have flavoured ensaymada (ube, macapuno, plain) as well as other items that i haven't tried.

          Last but not least Restaurants in the area. If you want a quick sitdown or takeout, Jolly Tops has hot and fresh food, with a wide variety. If you plan in eating in my fave is Sampaguita Village. It has two sections on the menu Filipino and Chinese. BBQ pork and chicken are awesome. Fried tilapia with escabeche (sweet and sour) is good also. Noodle dished are gigantic, but seem a little less authentically Filipino.

          Sampaguita Village Restaurant
          322 Wilson Ave, Toronto, ON M3H1S8, CA

        2. re: GoodGravy

          "here's also a Filipino market w/ prepared food in a shopping plaza on Sheppard and Brian"

          That would be Marcy Fine Foods, which my Filipino nanny visits often. Note the entrance to the plaza is north of Sheppard, off Brian, and Marcy FF is at the extreme east end of the plaza. I don't recall them having a lot of hot food, but it's where we pick up langouiza (sp?) (the small sweet sausages, tilapia, thin cut beef ribs,etc., and the sauces/mixes for palabok, sinigang, lechon, etc. She also picks up the jarred fruits (ube, macapuno, etc.) to make halo-halo in the summer.

          1. re: FrankD

            Marcy's got some good prepared foods that you can heat up when you get home. On Saturdays, we pick up pancit palabok, turon, lechon, fried shrimp patties, etc., after judo. If you're having a bbq, you can also pick up longaniza, tocino and other marinated meats to grill at home.

            1. re: GoodGravy

              Marcy's is great for ready made BBQ Pork and Chicken skewers! It's already prepared, marinated great to bring home to BBQ!!!! big time saver!

        3. Yummy. Also been looking for a good one in Mississauga/Oakville area. If anyone knows any out that way, please post. Thanks

          1 Reply
          1. re: fryerlover

            The only one I can think of is Aristokrat in Mississauga. Its on Novar (Dundas and Confederation). I haven't eaten there, but have tried the (good) BBQ take out, and i have heard good reviews (from non filipino's) I'm not sure if they are connected with the Aristokrat resto at Wilson/Bathurst).

          2. Well my father tried Kapit Bahay which is in a plaza at Morningside and Lawrence Ave. E. (not the Morningside Crossing, but the plaza right beside it). He said that the chef is Kampanpangan and a lot of his dishes are recipes from Pampanga. IMHO this is the province that boasts the best recipes for most of the Filipino cuisine. He enjoyed the chicken afritada and told me that they also served ampalaya, bopis, but he didn't see adobo on the menu.

            Kapit Bahay
            4218 Lawrence Avenue East
            Scarborough, ON M1E4X9
            (416) 283-4404

            Also north along Morningside Ave. past the 401 is a new plaza and tucked away in the south east corner facing the parking lot is Bella Lechon. This is the real deal folks. $9.99/lb. (pricey but worth it) and you can also pre-order a whole lechon. There is no seating as is take out (I did see a counter along the front window so you can stand and eat). When I ordered the lechon the server went to the back and I could hear him "hacking" away at the lechon with a clever? machete? Anyway the skin was thin and crisp, not salty but flavourful. The meat was juicy BUT NOT greasy and he cut it into chunks. They do give you a couple of small containers of their own lechon sauce, but I didn't try it as I prefer San Thomas lechon sauce (spicy). Now their lechon sauce seemed to be a vinegar based sauce and it was watery not that thick goodness of the San Thomas version. I also noticed they had other dishes such as Mechado Baka, lumpiang shanghai, crispy pata (mmmm... deep fried pork), and filipino style beef barbecue. Now they do have a menu posted that seems to list many more items, but I've noticed with many filipino restos sometimes half of the menu is not available on any given day and this was the case with Bella. They listed different kinds of pancit, but no noodles in sight this day. For dessert I picked up a pack of espasol. Still I'll definitely go back for the lechon.

            Bella's Lechon
            (416) 282-1325
            1135 morningside ave
            Toronto, ON M1B

            7 Replies
            1. re: scarberian

              thank you! I am going to check out this place (Bella Lechon) ASAP.

              1. re: scarberian

                My dad invited me over for dinner last night and he bought some food from Kapit Bahay. I tried the sweet and sour fish and it was quite good. He did mention that many of their dishes heavily use the deep fryer, but the fish wasn't oily, He mentioned that they don't keep any food over for the next day, unlike some Filipino restos that tend to continue this very bad practice, and actually make their dishes fresh every day. However, is it due to the length of time it takes to make many Filipino dishes that it's difficult to make things to order?

                1. re: scarberian

                  Some things, like bistec, bbq sticks, are relatively quick to make if they're marinated ahead of time. Things like palabok and lechon are labor intensive or just take a lot of time to cook.

                2. re: scarberian

                  Just had dinner with hubby at Kapit Bahay tonight. We tried their bistek tagalog, bicol express & pinakbet. All were good! The place was very clean and well-lit. There was also a little grocery indoors. We satisfied our inner children and bought chocnut & curly tops!!! We will be definitely going back. (IMO, this place is better than Jessie Jr.)

                  1. re: scarberian

                    I just tried the Lechon and filipino style BBQ at Bella's Lechon. The Lechon meat was very moist and skin was nice and crispy. Great flavour...Very good. The sauce was good, but I prefer it thicker. The BBQ was good as well. The BBQ is better than the ones they serve at Jesse Jr and Remely's. I got the two item combo which comes with rice or pansit and a drink. It came up to $7.90. Money well spent.

                    Jesse Jr.
                    4415 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M1S, CA

                    Remely's Restaurant
                    4830 Sheppard E, Toronto, ON M1S3S3, CA

                    1. re: demeen25

                      My dad brought over 3 lbs of the lechon from Bella's for my wife's bday party. I can tell you that it does freeze well =). We had about half of it left over and we froze it and ate it a few days later (reheated in the oven at 300). BTW I prefer Mang Tomas lechon sauce as it's thicker and has a much better flavour. As you said the meat was very moist and the skin crispy and oh so good. The texture of the meat reminded me more of pulled pork, very soft and juicy. It was seasoned just right.

                    2. re: scarberian

                      Recently went back to Bella's to satisfy a lechon craving (wife actually sent me and we'll probably be going once a month for lechon =9 ). Anyway I ordered 2 lbs of lechon and 4 sticks of the filipino BBQ. As someone mentioned their BBQ is very good, better than most filipino restos and actually better than many parties I've been to.

                      Anyway I spoke to the owner who has been listening to his customers regarding his lechon sauce and he said that they've tweaked it and improved on the texture. From the first time I saw the sauce to his latest version I will say that it was thicker (like Mang Tomas). I tried it at home and was quite impressed. I mean why not go for the home made stuff instead of the commercialized factory stuff?

                      On a side note I noticed he had a batch of sisig on hand and he said he makes it only on Fridays and Saturdays. I didn't order it this time, but maybe next time. BTW the left over lechon was used in a pancit bihon I made the next day. The meat just shreaded like pulled pork. It was the best pancit I've made so far.

                    3. I went to the Filipino festival in Dundas Sq today and saw a stall for a place called Fy Foods in Mississauga. The BBQ skewers looked good enough to my admittedly untrained eye.

                      There is a small grocery store/eatery on St. Clair West, past Vaughn st). There are no tables, only 3 stools and a small street facing bar type thing. On both my visits I have been the only non-filipino in the store so I am leaning to awarding a star for authenticity. When I peeked in this week, they had a select menu of 3-4 dishes each served with rice. On looks alone, I think I saw Pinacbet on both occasions.
                      They are on the same side of street; and just a few doors down from El Fogon.

                      El Fogon
                      543 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C1A3, CA

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: meatnveg

                        TO edit my own post:
                        The place on St. Clair I mentioned is infact the DT branch of FY Foods. They also have a website:

                        1. re: meatnveg

                          its actually FV Foods, and the website is