Eating Filipino food is one of the biggest things we miss about living in Manila. There aren’t a lot of Filipino restaurants / food stalls in Wellington. Although we can easily cook most of the basic recipes in our apartment, there are some dishes we simply cannot. Kūbo by Leslie’s is one of the places we go to when we want to enjoy Filipino cuisine, without making a mess in our little kitchen.
Owned by the same family who runs the successful Leslie’s in Tagaytay, Kūbo is a small restaurant which has just recently opened near Cuba Street. We’ve been to the place twice with our friends, and each time we’ve been greeted by friendly (mostly Pinoy) staff. It’s fun interacting with them and hearing what new things they offer.
Crispy Pata (NZ$21.50). We highly enjoyed sharing this fried pork hock among us during our last visit to Kūbo. Don’t be put off in eating this part of the pig! The meat was incredibly tender and the skin was very crisp. You’ll have to ask for the soy sauce-chili-calamansi dipping sauce to make dining a lot more gratifying. Just a note: we ordered this off their weekend / Sunday menu, so it might not be part of their regular weekday menu just yet!
Bulalo (NZ$22.00). Leslie’s famous for their beef shank and bone marrow soup and we’re not surprised to see the item on the menu at Kubo. Everyone enjoyed the soup very much. Just like the crispy pata, the meat in the bulalo soup was very tender! This type of broth is perfect for the cold days in Wellington. It’ll surely make you warm and satisfied.
Fusion Dishes. Kūbo also offer some fusion dishes on their menu, like the Salmon Sinigang Risotto (left) and the Pork Sisig Bibimbap (right). While we applaud the creativity and the ideas behind the said dishes, we personally didn’t find them that spectacular. They could be great introductory dishes to those who aren’t used to the Filipino cuisine; something to ease the palates into something a bit different. For us who grew up in the Philippines, we’re sticking with the more traditional dishes to soothe our homesick bellies.
Drinks. We were also recently introduced to their new drinks menu, where we picked both sago’t gulaman (tapioca and gelatin drink) and calamansi lemonade to try. Both were reminiscent of the drinks we had in Manila.
Overall, Kūbo is a nice place to visit when you’re missing a bit of the Philippines. I’m personally curious to see how Kūbo will grow as it continues to search for its foothold in the NZ market.