New Openings: Carinderia
Carinderia is a new Filipino restaurant that specializes in authentic Filipino cuisine - a concept created by owner and local resident Dolly Flores. Carinderia is defined as an eatery that sells native home cooked meals.
Flores has 23 years of experience, having come from a large fast food chain and overseeing the operation of multiple units. It's experience she's used to open up her very own eatery. Flores saw the opportunity for a Filipino restaurant in a city with only about a dozen Filipino restaurants and a very large Filipino community. Carinderia is hidden in a small plaza at the corner of Eglinton Ave. E, just off of Tomken Rd. (former location of Blue Sage restaurant).
The restaurant is unique for serving authentic Filipino cuisine, including native sweet delicacies - sweets Flores defines as authentic Filipino desserts - with pre-Spanish and pre-Chinese influences. Everything from the sauces to the ingredients for a popular Filipino frozen treat called halo-halo are all made from scratch by her team of chefs who have worked in kitchens in Israel and California.
The restaurant is open for business (a soft-opening) and the official grand opening date will be announced on Carideria's Facebook page.
Food Menu: The menu is categorized into various sections including merienda (a light meal, typically enjoyed late in the afternoon in the Philippines), iced dessert & parfait, kakanin (native sweet delicacies), smoked/grilled/BBQ, soup, fiesta (dishes typically reserved for weekends or special occasions in the Philippines), gulay (vegetables), isda (fish and seafood) and spicy dishes.
You can try everything from tokwa't baboy (fried tofu with pork belly), pancit bihon (noodles with chicken, pork and vegetables), ginataang bilo-bilo (glutinous rice balls, tapioca pearls, jackfruit, sweet potatoes in a creamy coconut cream sauce), lumpia Shanghai (a popular favorite - pork spring rolls), crispy pata (a very popular dish in the Philippines of deep fried pork knuckles/trotters that have been marinated in garlic-flavoured vinegar), lechon kawali (fried pork belly), BBQ pork and chicken skewers, smoked beef and pork ribs, sinigang (a tamarind based savory and sour stew), bistek (savory beef dish made with a soy and lemon juice with carmelized onions), adobo - chicken/pork or beef (the national dish of the Philippines stewed or braised in a sauce usually made from vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and bay leaves) and more.
The dessert menu includes a number of shaved ice desserts including halo-halo (the resto is equipped with a dedicated halo-halostation with an ice machine imported from the Philippines and has over seven ingredients all made from scratch), saging con yelo (sweetened plantain banana known as saba with shaved ice), sago't gulaman (tapioca, brown sugar syrup with shaved ice), ice cones (aka slushies) and eight tropical fruit flavours available that are made with pure cane sugar, including pineapple, banana, guava, mango, lime, coconut, watermelon and strawberry. You can also try a number of native sweet delicacies including puto bumbong (steamed purple heirloom glutinous rice with coconut shavings and brown rice sugar topping), leche flan (creme caramel flan), ube halaya (purple yam dessert), cassava cake (cassava pudding cake made with cassava root and coconut milk), palitaw (sticky and chewy sweet flat rice cake coated with coconut shavings, sugar and sesame seeds).
Goto with tripe (chicken or beef also available) and Tokwa’t Baboy. Goto is a variation of Filipino congee aka lugaw. It is made with glutinous rice and beef tripe simmered in a ginger-based broth usually enjoyed in the Philippines as a midday snack (merienda).
Drink Menu: Tropical fruit juices and coconut water.
What's Up and Coming? Coconut grater imported from the Philippines to make freshly grated coconut for the dishes that include it.
Type: Quick service restaurant.