A Filipino-Canadian chef serves popular Pinoy foods in Ireland – and she’s finding success with her business venture in this foreign country.
Popular Pinoy Foods Served in Ireland
A lot of Filipinos who work abroad long for their favorite food from back home, but many couldn’t find a restaurant offering these foods in the place they’re working in.
Since many Filipino foods use ingredients or spices that aren’t readily available in these places (except when they find an Asian store), they find it difficult to replicate the Pinoy dishes and favorite kakanin.
After discovering the lack of Filipino food in Belfast City, the capital of Northern Ireland, Filipino-Canadian chef Nallaine Calvo decided to make her own.
It became a Eureka moment for Nallaine who decided to open Kubo Belfast at a popular food market site called Trademarket.
“There is a lack of Filipino food in Northern Ireland, which is really what pushed me to start it. I figured, if I was going to cook for myself, I might as well cook for others as well,” the young chef explained.
“I was also inspired after the success of my monthly kamayan events or supper clubs. I loved watching people eat Filipino food kamayan-style, which is with their hands. It was amazing.”
So, she opened Kubo Belfast, named after the iconic Filipino native house, kubo (nipa hut), in July 2022.
Nallaine was born to Pinoy parents in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, but her family migrated to Toronto, Canada before she turned 2 years old.
Despite practically growing up in Canada and becoming a citizen, Nallaine and her family never forgot their Pinoy roots. They grew up enjoying Filipino food, speaking Tagalog, and staying connected to their Philippine heritage even as adults.
She moved to London and was traveling to Belfast when she met a local and her now-partner, Paul. So, she moved to Belfast where she would later open her Pinoy restaurant.
Pinoy Favorites with a Modern Twist
Kubo Belfast serves Pinoy favorites, such as their BBQ which is among their bestsellers, but she also creates Pinoy dishes with a modern twist.
“For example, we roll our pancit palabok into lumpia and reduce down the pancit sauce to turn it into a dipping sauce for the lumpia,” the young chef explained.