Cuisine in the Philippines varies from region and region, the dishes are influenced by the resources and products in that region. The Visaya region is surrounded by water so the cuisine in the Visayan islands is abundant with seafood. Whilst in the northern part of the Philippines focuses on agriculture, so its specialities are in the vegetables they farm as well as fish paste (bagoong) from the surrounding coastal areas.

However, cuisine in the southernmost part of the Philippines, Mindanao, is the least known in comparison to the other areas of the Philippines. Cuisine from Mindanao is heavily influenced by the surrounding Malay countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Where the cuisine in the north has been more influenced by the Spaniards, Mindanao cuisine is much richer with exotic spices.


Hidden gems of Filipino cuisine

Beef Kulma

A Beef Kulma is originally from the Tausug people, a Muslim ethnic group in Mindanao. And the dish closely resembles a Korma. However, what makes this dish a Mindanao speciality, is that it can be described as being a combination of the Filipino peanut-based Kare-Kare stew and coconut-based beef curry. A fusion of the two creates this spicy peanut beef novelty in Mindanao.

This dish was recently an Eid speciality at Bintang last weekend, but stay tuned on our IG @bintang_restaurant because we may be bringing it back permanently!

Bintang’s Beef Kulma

Bintang’s Beef Kulma

Filipino Lamb Rendang

Beef rendang is usually known as an Indonesia speciality but the Filipinos also have a variant of this dish. The Filipino Lamb Rendang is a spicy coconut milk beef stew, making this dish a lot saucier rather than the drier Indonesian classic. The method of cooking lamb rendang is similar to the method of cooking adobo. The is conserved through the spices and condiments that are packed with organic preservatives. 

At Bintang: The Filipino Lamb Rendang is one of our most popular dishes, as it is a slow-cooked curried lamb on the bone, with coconut and lemongrass.

Bintang’s Filipino Lamb Rendang

Bintang’s Filipino Lamb Rendang

Satti de Zamboanga

Zamboanga is a region in the Philippines that is very influenced by Spain, having at least 80% Spanish loanwords in their dialect. The Satti is a portion of breakfast food in Zamboanga, Mindanao. It is made of 3 small pieces of beef and chicken breast and chicken liver. The satti meats are grilled as is done with bbq but it is served with rice balls and a sweet and spicy soup-like sauce, also known as sambal soup.

Beef Sisig 

Originally the sisig originated from Pampanga, Philippines, as a vinegary salad of pork and papayas seasoned with calamansi. The recipe has been refined over the years by Lucia "Aling Lucing" Cunanan from Angeles City, Pampanga. 

At Bintang: The Beef Brisket Sisig is chopped cured beef brisket, sautéed with chicken liver pate, ginger, chillies and topped with a fresh fried egg to be mixed.
Read more about our Beef Brisket Sisig, here.

Bintang’s ever popular, Beef Sisig

Bintang’s ever popular, Beef Sisig

Buko Suka Manok

Literally translating to coconut vinegar chicken, this dish may not be a traditional Filipino in itself but it sure does encompass the palette of the Philippines and especially the island of Mindanao. The Buko Suka is fashioned with sea salt & coconut vinegar, crispy kara-age chicken thighs, chatted spring onions, charred sour cream, sundried tomato oil and sumac on roti bread.

Bintang’s Buko Suka

Bintang’s Buko Suka


Filipino cuisine in London

Mindanao has the largest native Muslim population, you’ll find that some of the dishes listed above are not only a speciality of Mindanao but of the native Moro people of Mindanao whose ancestors immigrated from the Malay peninsula and Arab countries. Read more about the ‘Moro’ people here

At Bintang, we’re celebrating the diversity of Filipino cuisine by bringing well-known dishes as well the hidden gems to the table. Our Bintang version of the Filipino dishes listed above, as well as the other Filipino dishes we have on our menu, are all halal certified so that everyone can relish in the Filipino food and culture. 

So reserve your table now and try some Filipino cuisine as you’ve never before!

omar shah