3 Filipino restaurants in Canberra

Ho, ho pinoy! Even though we have less than a handful of Filipino restaurants in the Canberra Fair, the ones here are each worth trying. Known for its very unique taste, between sweet, sour and salty, Filipino cuisine uses all its influences, Spanish, Chinese and American. You might be surprised to find a bit of Aussie there too.

3 Watson Pl, Watson

Like many of Canberra’s great food hubs, Lolo and Lola started out as a humble shipping container front, settling in Westside Acton Park in 2016. This year, Out In Canberra named them the best casual restaurant in Canberra. ACT. Lolo and Lola are owned by Kim Cudia and Jay Preto, originally from the Laguna and Bicol regions respectively. Along with their signature Filipino BBQ and Kare-Kare, their menu changes weekly to feature dishes from all regions of the Philippines – yes, the 7,000 Islands. “Ultimately!” laughs Kim. “Our aim is to give every Australian-Filipino a taste of home here in Canberra. We try to ensure that our entire archipelago is represented. Lolo and Lola’s business ethos has not changed since its name, “we want to pay homage to all Filipino Lolo and Lola (grandfather and grandmother), to honor the exquisite tradition of food they have passed down through the generations.” However, if you discover the cuisine Filipino for the first time, Kim and Jay’s family customer service will put you at ease while you try what she calls “the original fusion cuisine.”

To order, call 6248 8119.

Shop 8/39 O’Hanlon Pl, Nicholls

Opened in early 2020, Salu-Salo is run by John Andrew Dangca and his family, originally from the province of Cavite. John is driven to bring Filipino cuisine to the Australian market, starting in the nation’s capital. He says until you try Filipino food, you have no idea what you are missing. “Filipino taste is very unique. There are the Asian cuisines that you will find more commonly, but once you get a taste of Filipino cuisine, you will realize how different and unique it is in comparison,” says John. The chef’s specialty at Salu-Salo is their Dinuguan, a spicy black pork stew, and the classic pinoy winner, Chicken Adobo. Salu-Salo offers delivery, take-out and catering.

To order, call 6242 8878.

G04/21 Challis Street, Dickson

The baby of three, Papa J’s Resto Bar only opened in late 2020 – a bold feat that the colorful, pop-art restaurant has managed to pull off. Conveniently located in Dickson’s Shops, a stone’s throw from the light rail, Papa J’s is tucked away on Challis Street for foodies. C.W. tried and tasted their delicious crackling pork sisig and heavenly flan de leche. They complete Canberra’s trio of fabulous Filipino restaurants – be sure to try one (or all) this weekend!

To order, call 6170 2223.

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