Mabuhay: Of Food and Fiction

Today is the Philippines' Independence Day and Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and I are back with MABUHAY, a feature we bring back every year to celebrate Filipinos in literature. We love getting to share a bit of our culture on our blogs and having the opportunity to connect with Filipino authors or any writer whose stories are inspired by our heritage.

This year, which happens to be our fourth year of hosting this (!), we're each sharing: a super mini Q&A with a Filipino author, books we're interested in reading and a Table for Two featuring Kuma Inn.

Mini Q&A
We reached out to Randy Ribay and Kate Evangelista (on Alexa's blog!) to ask them what aspects of Filipino culture they would like to see more in books.

Books I want to read
Even though there are a bunch of Filipino authors I'm interested in checking out, these are the top three I hope to get to this year. 

Table for Two: Kuma Inn
Alexa and I went to dinner at Kuma Inn, a Filipino restaurant whose name never fails to make us giggle a little bit (it's a spin on the Tagalog word "kumain" which means "to eat"). It's literally a hole in a wall that's extremely easy to miss even if you're looking out for it. We would know because that's what happened to us! The exterior is admittedly grungy looking, which felt strangely authentic, but once you walk up the flight of stairs and into the restaurant, it's a whole other story. It's simply yet nicely decorated, spacious but cozy and the service was good too. We were impressed when we walked in and even more so by the food. It does try to be a bit fusion-y (we were confused that they gave us chopsticks because that's not a Filipino thing) but we stuck to the traditional dishes, most of which are served tapas style. That worked out well because it let us try a bunch of different things!

For dinner we got: lumpiang shanghai (crispy pork spring rolls), lechon kawali (deep-friend pork belly), pancit bihon (stir fried rice noodles with pork, sausage and veggies), inaihaw na gulay (grilled spring vegetables) and adobo chicken wings.  We enjoyed them all but my favorite was the lechon kawali and the dessert but you'll have to go Alexa's blog to read about that.

I would definitely go back here again and recommend it to friends but one very important thing to know is they only accept cash.

You can find Kuma Inn at 113 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002. Let us know if you check it out!


Hope you enjoyed today's post and don't forget to head over to Alexa's blog too!

To see our posts from previous years: 

1 comment

  1. I'm now thinking about the delicious food from Kuma Inn, and thinking we need to visit again! Also, I'm just so happy that you and I continue to keep this feature going. It's really nice to shoutout our cultural heritage every year in what ways we can!


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