Monday, January 21, 2013

Kabayan Filipino Restaurant in Singapore

I must admit, the last time I've eaten at a turo-turo or carinderia (a type of eatery in the Philippines) was around 5 years ago.  Call me a snob; but you really can never know with these types of establishments.  They may not have the most sanitary of conditions.  Plus most offer food, although extremely friendly on the budget, that fall on the average side or worse, leaves you extremely disappointed.  Overly watery viands (that are not meant to be), highly salty or sweet meals, dirty utensils -- it's enough to make you do an about face.

But the life of a Filipino in another country is a lonely one; and food, aside from family, is what most OFWs usually miss from home.  So you take what you can; enjoy whatever you can get. 

And here in Singapore, most Pinoys flock to a small carinderia-like restaurant in Lucky Plaza aptly named Kabayan.

Kabayan Filipino Restaurant in Lucky Plaza, Singapore

Kabayan (a Tagalog word meaning "countryman") is a straight on, no-frills eatery that sells Filipino food.  Patterned like a turo-turo, you queue in front of the glass and steel counter, choose and pay for your meal there, then park yourself over a vacant seat.

Sort of reminds me of an old Binondo eatery

The food is a hit and miss thing.  Some are great; some aren't.  But it is affordable, with set meals (composed of a serving of rice and 2 viands) usually selling for S$4.50 (Php148.50*).  Special items (like lumpiang sariwa, a type of fresh vegetable spring roll with peanut sauce; and sisig, sizzling chopped pork bits) may cost a little more.

Set meal of lumpiang shanghai and ginisang ampalaya (sauteed bitter melon)

We'd usually order the lumpiang shanghai (a type of fried spring roll with pork filling) and lechon paksiw (a slightly sweet and tart pork stew) since these are 2 of the Little One's favorite dishes.

Set meal of pinakbet (sauteed pumpkin and green beans) and lechon paksiw

Kabayan also offers an extensive array of local desserts (their fruit salad and leche flan/milky, vanilla custard are really good), pastries and breads.

You can also enjoy a few minutes watching popular GMA-7 TV shows, through cable, while having your meal.

This is no 5-star eatery, folks, so don't expect too much. But for the homesick Filipino, Kabayan will always remain a haven. 

*S$1 = Php33


Kabayan Filipino Restaurant
304 Orchard Road
#03-25 Lucky Plaza
Singapore 238863
T          +65 6738 0921


Planning to visit?  Drop by my "Getting Around Singapore" post (click here) for more details on how to get around the Lion City.


  1. I remember going to a Fil resto in Lucky Plaza for their awesome tapsilog (but I forgot thename. It's smalland cramped). Have you tried 7107 Flavours?

    1. Love 7107 Flavors! We used to live near Suntec Plaza and we'd have dinner there often. Unfortunately, they've relocated to a new area. Near Orchard Road, I think? =)

  2. This is nice...parang kumakain lang sa tabi tabi...the food looks homey...:)



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