Filipino cuisine is not one that you find very often in restaurants. When I lived in San Diego, I lived with Filipino roommates who always made lumpias, which are fried spring rolls. That’s about how extensive my knowledge of Filipino food was.
My girlfriend Geena who happens to be Filipino frequents Jeepney, a Filipino gastropub in the East Village. I told her that I wanted to experience real authentic Filipino food and that she had to guide me in the right direction. Lucky for me, she suggested the Kamayan night at Jeepney which is an all out feast of rice, vegetables, and your choice of seafood or pork. The only catch is they don’t give you plates or utensils. That’s right we ate with our hands.
It was the most delicious, flavorful, fun and interactive experience I have ever partaken in. I didn’t think I would be able to eat with my hands but after a while, I got used to it. So there’s this thing called balut it’s infamous in Filipino cuisine. It’s a developing chick that’s boiled alive and eaten in its shell. If you google it you’ll see some pretty graphic photos. I will always try anything once.
That night, I tried my first balut. When I peeled the shell, it looked like a discolored egg. It did not look very appetizing but when I tasted it, it tasted like an egg yolk. I was told that Jeepney’s version of balut is a conservative one so I didn’t taste feathers or anything like that. It actually wasn’t that bad. Discover Filipino food at Jeepney gastropub it’s like nothing you’ll ever experience.