It’s surprising that KL doesn’t have more Filipino restaurants, considering we have a large Filipino community in Malaysia. One of the few is Laguna Restaurant along Jalan Gereja in KL, just next to the Telekom museum. Parking can be hard to find, but I recommend the road behind the restaurant, where the church is. There was a friendly old uncle here selling cupcakes. He insisted on putting the coins in for our parking meter, then asked us to ‘do charity and buy cupcakes’. I see what you did there Uncle. -___-
Anyway, we came here because E craved some home cuisine, which is apparently hard to find where he stays in Cali. Laguna is run by a Chinese entrepreneur married to a Filipina, and they employ Filipino cooks from that region (Laguna is a place in the Phil) , so you can be guaranteed of an authentic experience.
For food, I had the tapsilog, which is beef tapa (cured beef), egg (itlog) and fried rice (sinangag). It’s kind of like Chinese zhap fan (mixed rice), where you have the rice with some side dishes. Simple, but yummy. The beef was a bit dry though and tasted like it was cooked in Marmite sauce. The rice had bits of fried garlic in it. Pretty tasty!
I read some reviews on their pork Sisig: chopped pig’s ears mixed with chillies, onions and topped over with a runny egg over a sizzling hotplate. The chewy bits of ear were great, but I think the temperature for the plate was too hot and ended up burning the meat. But other than that, this is chewy, greasy goodness.
Last but not least, Lechon Kawali. I have seen this on the Internet and drooled over how good it looked, so I was psyched to be able to try it. The dish is deep fried pork belly pieces served with ketchup. The pork skin is crispy and crunchy, while the fat adds just the right amount of texture to the lean pork, not unlike Chinese siew yuk (roast pork). Thumbs up!
All in all, I think Laguna dishes up great food in medium portions. The restaurant has a simple ambience and can seat about 50. Many customers are Filipinos so it’s not uncommon to hear Filipino languages being spoken here. Service is a little slow though. Since there aren’t many Filipino restaurants around, I think it’s a very niche, untapped market with a lot of potential for growth. 🙂
Laguna Mabuhay Philippine Restaurant, KL
3, Jalan Gereja, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia