Brunei Sungkai 2014: Filio Restaurant
My readers know I am a big fan of Filipino cuisine, starting from the a simple restaurant in Kota Kinabalu and then finally tasting authentic Filipino cuisine at Manila itself. I was very happy when I found out that someone finally opened the first halal Filipino restaurant in Gadong Central, so I decided to visit that restaurant and I have to say they have been pretty consistent with their quality of food!
When Filio contacted me about their Filipino themed buffet – I was very interested to see what they have to offer. This would have to be my first ever Filipino cuisine buffet! Ma Sarap!
Unlike other Filipino restaurants I know in Brunei, which is usually like a Kopi Tiam or Kedai Kopi, Filio Restaurant has a pretty comfortable ambience. You can even say it’s suitable to bring someone out for a nice date for some exotic Filipino cuisine.
Filio offers different menus daily to allow customers to have a taste of as many different dishes as possible when they visit at different days. So if you come on a different day – you would be able to enjoy new dishes. They will update their instagram often so be sure to follow @filiobrunei on instagram. Note that they do serve dates on request for their Sungkai buffet if you’re used to starting your Sungkai with them, so be sure to request from them if possible.
Lumpiang Sariwa means fresh springrolls. This Filipino style spring roll is a good mix of shredded vegetables and is usually served with a special dipping sauce.
Don’t forget to drizzle some of this special sauce for the Lumpiang.
Pickled cucumber salad on the side.
Croquetas de Patatas is a yummy snack that is influenced by a huge Spanish presence in the Philippines. It is made from mashed potatoes rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried.
This might look like a rice dish but it’s actually an egg dish! This is the Crab Fooyong which is a dish inspired by a prominent Chinese population in the Philippines. It’s a crab and egg omelette mixed with turnips & carrots.
Rellenong Bangus is a pretty unique Filipino dish you probably never tried before! It’s stuffed milkfish,that requires a long process of preparation from separating the skin from the meat then deboning and flaking of the meat which requires a lot of patience. The skin is then marinated and then stuffed with the fish meat mixture, then fried or baked. This is usually served with tomato ketchup on the side. You can feel the love from such a labour intensive dish. Nom nom!
Filio’s Fried Chicken. Specially marinated Filipino style and deep fried till crispy! If you got friends or family members who are not adventurous, this mouth watering fried chicken is for them!
Inihaw na Panga sounds very exotic and it’s indeed a special dish. This is actully grilled salmon head drizzled with a spicy soy sauce. Salmon head for buffet! Yes please! One of my favourite things to eat in Japanese cuisine but I never thought I’ll see this in a Filipino Sungkai Buffet.
Chicken Adobo is one of the classic Filipino dishes. Chicken is stewed slowly in a soy vinegar mixture with herbs and spices till tender.
Last but not least is the rich nutty Kare Kare! This is a popular Philippine creamy stew, made from slow cooking oxtail and beef tripe for hours till tender, flavoured with ground nuts and thickened with toasted ground rice. The dish is usually served with vegetables and best eaten with shrimp bagoong!
Shrimp Bagoog is a necessity addition to the kare kare to add an extra punch to the dish! It’s the Philippines version of sambal belacan! Add a little bit first to your kare kare to try – you might get hooked or you might hate it! Give it a shot!
Make sure you also try their in house Filipino Sambal that their head chef has created. I called it a Pinoy Sambal and I absolutely love this! They should bottle and sell this to the public seriously.
TINOLANG MANOK Be sure not to miss out on their Filipino style soup! This is the Tinolang Manok, a ginger chicken stew, made by boiling chicken sauteed in ginger with vegetables and spices. This is best eaten with rice and other Filipino spicy dishes! The humble tinola is also said to be Filipino boxing superstar, Manny Pacquiao’s favourite dish and part of his staple diet before he fights.
They will have different types of rice dishes such as garlic rice, paella rice or fried rice depending on the menu to soak up the complex rich flavours of Filipino stews and soups.
For dessert, have you ever tried Maja Mais? This yummy looking dessert is made from corn-starch and coconut milk, and mixed with corn kernels. They have some drizzled with chocolate sauce and some original.
They also have yummy mango pudding and coffee jelly as their dessert of the day!
Fresh sliced oranges and Halo Halo Station condiments ~~ wait did someone say Halo Halo!? Ooooh YESH!
To my delight, they have a halo halo bar as part of their dessert! In Tagalog language Halo Halo means “mix-mix”. It is a popular summer dessert made of shaved ice, evaporated milk with boiled sweet beans, preserved fruits and ice cream served in a tall glass or bowl. I love that Filio serves theirs with yam ice cream and bits of leche flan, which is a thicker sweeter version of crème caramel! The staff will prepare the shaved ice and add the ice cream with leche flan for you as they need to keep them cold in the fridge.
Free flow of iced lemon tea to quench your thirst!
These are some other dishes I’ve tried from other days – Beef Salpacio on the left and Chicken Kiev on the right.
Filipino style Tuna Cubes on Skewers with a special vinaigrette dip and some very very good squid rings that are cooked beautifully! I dip both with the special pinoy sambal!
Filipino style corn muffins and sago dessert porridge from Monday’s buffet spread.
Did I just see chicken sisig on the menu?! OMG! I am tempted to go again tomorrow! This is for 3rd July Thursday.
Menu for 4th July Independence Day ~~ *kidding* it’s Friday. Do check their instagram account @filiobrunei for menu updates and food photos!
They also have Polvoron, a type of Filipino style dessert for take aways or gifts if you’re interested. Do enquire at the counter.
The Filio Buffet is actually mostly Filipino cuisine but they can be considered international as Filipino cuisine is after all influenced heavily by Western cuisine especially the Spanish! It’s $15.50 for adults and $7.50 for kids between 4 to 12 years old. Unlike buffets over $20 that can have quite a lot of variety – Filio’s Sungkai buffet offers quality over quantity and you are sure to enjoy their delicious Filipino dishes! Ma Sarap! It means delicious in Tagalog language!
Call 2449009 or 8991517 to make reservations.
Filio Restaurant (located on the block at the end of Gadong Central – turn left)
Unit 32, Block D, Spg. 21, Bangunan Gadong Central,
Kampong Gadong, Brunei