The Richmond Community Kitchens celebrate the end of the session with dining out. We decided to try Filipino cuisine at Cucina Manila in Richmond. There were 14 members attending this dining out from various kitchens like South Arm, Caring Place and Gilmore Park Church.
Cucina Manila in located at the strip mall across Richmond Center where Staples is.
Cucina Manila serves Filipino food on steam buffet table like those you see in food court. This is a self service restaurant where you help yourself with the cutleries, water and sauces.
Although the food is served food court style, the setting is nicer than the food court.
There is combo of 2 dishes with rice for $8.50. You can also order by the dish itself which comes with bigger serving for sharing. The price for the main dish ranges from $8 to $10. Dessert price is $2. You order and pay for the food at the counter.
We ordered a lot of food to share. Linda, a volunteer in the Community Kitchen in charged of the ordering as she is from the Philippines. Some of the members asked her if she cooks similar dishes at home and she said she cooks most of the dishes and agrees to demonstrate some of the dishes in the community kitchen in future. We look forward to that.
Here are the dishes that we tried. The above is … Stuffed Milk Fish. The fish is boneless and stuffed with a salsa like filings of onions and tomatoes. The fillings is tangy which is appetizing. The fish is grilled with nicely charred skin.
Adobo is the national dish of Philipines. It is cooked in vinegar, oil, garlic and soy sauce. You can see that there is quite a layer of oil in this dish but the pork tastes very good.
The above is called Bicol Express. It is pork and prawns cooked in coconut milk with grilled eggplant. This is supposed to be a spicy dish but it is not spicy here. It is rich in coconut milk.
We also had Beef Stew. This is quite tomatoísh.
This is Oxtail with Green Beans. The sauce is peanuty.
Linda told us that the above are some very popular breakfast items. They are Filipino sausage and Tocino. The sausage is sweetish. The Tocino is like char siu in Chinese BBQ shop and is also sweetish but it’s firmer than char siu.
All the above dishes are eaten with steamed rice. They gave us mounts of steamed rice. I noticed that the serving of rice is very big here. Linda also ordered the Filipino spaghetti for us to try. This spaghetti has a shrimp paste flavour. Linda told me it’s called Palabok.
For dessert, we had the above Deep Fried Lumpia with Banana and Jackfruit wrapped in eggroll or phyllo wrapper called Turon. This is a street food in the Philippines. Deep fried banana is quite common in South East Asia but it’s the jack fruit which gives this snack a distinctive flavour.
We also had the Sweet Stick Rice and Sapin-sapin for dessert.
We had a wonderful time trying the Filipino cuisine. We enjoyed this so much that we organised another dine out the following week before we break for the summer. Stay tune.
The meal came to $11.10 per person. Cucina Manila accepts cash only.