The food at Bobi, Paris’s only Filipino restaurant, is so authentic that halfway through lunch there, one of two Filipina friends at the table was declaring, “I’m getting homesick!” It’s not just authentic – with an occasional well-judged twist – but also delicious and made with great ingredients.
We started with some pica-pica (finger food): okoy (vegetable fritters) – proclaimed good but not flavorful enough by the two experts – and lumpia (fried spring rolls filled with, in this case, chopped pork, carrots and celery), which received full approval. Both were accompanied by banana ketchup (a condiment made with banana, sugar, vinegar and spices), a lot tastier than it sounds, and peppercorn-infused vinegar.
The best-known Filipino dish is probably adobo, meat marinated in a mixture of white vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bobi’s chicken version was melt-in-the-mouth tender and delectable.
We also tried the delicious kare kare, a stew of beef in a rich peanut sauce, with eggplant, green beans and baby bok choy.
The fishy main course was kinilaw (normally served as a starter, with no rice on the side), a kind of Filipino ceviche, here made with sea bream marinated in cane-sugar vinegar, calamansi (Philippine lime), coconut milk, pineapple, ginger, shallots and chili peppers, with fresh tomatoes, radishes and cucumber added. Fresh, refreshing and delightful.
Desserts were Filipino favorites: ube (purple yam) ice cream, with its distinctive color; a lovely cassava cake topped with tender strips of macapuno coconut; and an excellent kalamay, a creamy dessert made with coconut milk and sticky rice and topped with muscovado-sugar caramel sauce and almonds.
My highly discerning Filipina friends are anxious to return to the restaurant for another taste of home. And I am anxious to return for a taste of good Filipino food at amazingly reasonable prices.Favorite