“Only Filipinos crave Filipino food. Fortunately, someone had the passion and heart to serve OUR food in Thailand.”
Hi, I’m Denise! I’m a Filipino content creator based in Bangkok and I haven’t been home for 15 months.
Being away from home was nothing out of the ordinary for me. I could still return home whenever I wanted. Not only that, but my job needed me to return to the Philippines quarterly for work. Life was good until COVID-19 hit. Suddenly all of the possibilities of going back home vanished into thin air. With the worldwide lockdown and COVID-19 cases blowing up, I lost access to home; and I lost access to authentic Filipino food I love.
With the virus being the number one source of fear and depression across the globe, one unspoken thing is about the foreigners residing or stuck in another country. We miss home. And it goes without saying, we miss food from home. My longing for Filipino food grew so big it became harder and harder to satisfy it with “alternatives”. It feels like having a very itchy spot in the back you cannot reach and you try to distract yourself with something else so the itch goes away. We all know it doesn’t help at all. The itch will drive you crazy and overpower you in the long run. That’s how my cravings feel inside.
I have been living in Thailand for 3 years now and as much as I like Thai food, there’s nothing that can compare to Filipino food for me. It’s just… home. And when I don’t have it for a very long time, I feel restless. It kinda makes you feel homeless.
In the morning, I would crave a standard Filipino breakfast: Tapsilog (a plate of Filipino tapa, Filipino fried rice, and sunny side egg) or Bangsilog (fried milkfish, Filipino fried rice, and sunny side egg) and none of these dishes were available in Bangkok. Maybe something close to it, but not really.
At parties, I crave the standard Filipino party food like Lechon (roasted pig), Lumpia (Filipino spring roll), Pinoy Spaghetti, Crispy Pata (deep-fried pork leg), and many more.
During rainy days or just a casual lunch break, I dream of Sinigang (pork soup with vegetables), Adobo, and a plate of sizzling Sisig (another pork dish). Of course, I have tried to make these at home but the ingredients are not all available here—if not scarce. In a way, my cooking is just an alternative. It doesn’t really hit home for me.
It doesn’t look like it, but trust me it’s depressing. When I heard about Lola’s Kitchen, one of the very few Filipino restaurants in the country, I was excited.
A Filipino restaurant sitting in Bangkok? I thought it was never gonna happen. Only Filipinos crave Filipino food unlike Korean food—which is obviously everywhere. Fortunately, someone had the passion and heart to serve OUR food in Thailand.
Lola is how we call our grandmothers in the Philippines. The owner of Lola’s Kitchen was inspired to build a restaurant in honor of her late grandmother who cooked good food for them. She hopes she can bring the same comfort to the Filipinos living in Bangkok. I couldn’t agree more when I went there to see it for myself.
It was like a Filipino Disneyland for me.
There’s a lot of choices on the menu including Kaldereta, Lumpia, Pancit Bihon, Pork Sisig, Crispy Pata, Adobo, and a lot more. Every bite and spoonful takes me back home even for a bit.
For someone suffering in the pandemic exile like me, Lola’s Kitchen does not only offer food, but it gives the comfort that my longing needs.
It doesn’t change the fact that I still long to be home, be with my family and friends, eat with them, and just set my foot in my home country’s soil; but I’m glad there’s a quick fix for me. This gives me the strength that I need until I can finally be home someday soon. Crossed fingers.
Thank you sincerely to Lola’s Kitchen that allowed me to have this experience of real homecooked meal like one made by a Filipino grannys!