Filo Station is a restaurant in Croydon park that serves up Filipino classics like enormous Crispy Pata aka a pork hock (one of the best in Sydney!), Pancit Malabon noodles, charcoal grilled Chicken Inasal and an incredible rice flour dessert called Puto Bumbong with a purple sticky rice flour cake topped with cheese, butter and coconut!
"Are any of you Filipino?" the friendly waitress asks us eyeing the three Caucasian and one Asian person lingering on me for a second longer. None of us are but Monica and I love Filipino food for, but not limited to, because of their devotion to pork. It's a large, long restaurant with a Filipino decorations with lots of photos of Filipino life on the walls.
There is a double page menu and we choose a range of dishes based on what they recommend. When they tally up our order they say, "We'll just extend your table." My love language is getting another table added to ours what can I say.
Jug of Sago and Gulaman $12
There are some Filipino soft drinks in the fridge but we go for a jug of sago and gulaman for Mr NQN and Marco who both adore sweet foods and drinks. It's filled with sago or tapioca balls in a sweet brown sugar syrupy drink. The gulaman refers to gelatin in the jelly slices that float in the drink. It is very sweet, too sweet for me but the boys adore it. They recommend watering it down with water if it is too sweet.
Pork BBQ $14 for 3
We start with the barbecued pork skewers that come three to a serve. The marinade or glaze is tasty and they are sweet and chewy.
Crispy Kare Kare $22.50
You can get two types of kare kare: crispy and regular The kare kare sauce is a creamy peanut sauce seasoned with shrimp paste. When I've had it previously I have noticed a stronger peanutty vibe and it reminds me more of satay while this is much milder. The crispy version has slices of crispy pork belly on top.
Pancit Malabon/Luglog $16
These are stir fried rice noodles cooked in annatto sauce with a pork and shrimp broth and seasoned with crab fat with a strong seafood taste to it. Pancit Luglog and Pancit Malabon use thicker rice noodles (rather than thin vermicelli style of noodles). Traditionally they are a celebratory dish as they are quite laborious to make and they are one of Filo Station's signature dishes.
Arroz Caldo Special $15
Mr NQN requests the Arroz Caldo gruel as he loves congee. There is a regular Arroz Caldo with chicken as well as a special version with crispy pork bits, boiled egg and chicken which is what we order. It's a mild, very thick congee with texture from the crispy, crunchy pork bits and perfectly comforting for this chilly Winter's day.
Chicken Inasal $18.50
The Chicken Inasal is two chicken marylands that are marinated in lemon, pepper, coconut vinegar, lemongrass and annatto then grilled over coals and served with garlic rice. The chicken is tender and has so much flavour that permeates through the burnished, highly flavoured skin. "This beats El Jannah any day," quips Monica.
Chop Suey $20
The vegetables are really to supplement the meat fest that is currently occurring on our table. Usually Chop Suey is a dish you find in North America with noodles but this is a chicken vegetable only affair flavoured with oyster sauce. There's said to be prawns in it but I don't really see any.
Crispy Pata $25.50
Then the last savoury dish arrives and makes an entrance like only a crispy pata could. They described it to us a Filipino version of a German pork hock. Often Crispy Pata is served with deep slashes in the skin but this one has the skin intact. It's a deep fried pork leg that has a perfect crispy skin, melting fat and juicy, succulent meat. Having the skin intact means that the meat is so much more succulent and this is one of the best crispy pata I've had. It is served with soy vinegar and a wonderful apple, tamarind and chicken liver sauce (I ask for more of this it's so good).
Halo Halo $12
It's time for dessert and Monica is a huge fan of Filipino desserts and we almost order three or four of them but decide to stick to two. Mr NQN loves halo halo and all variations thereof. This is a crushed ice dessert with condensed milk, fruit and sweetened beans and jellies. If you're sharing this it's best dispensed into a bowl to allow for easier eating.
Puto Bumbong $16
Apart from the fact that we absolutely love the name Puto Bumbong their signature dessert is everything and more - literally. It is a stretchy purple rice flour cake topped with coconut, grated cheese and butter just for good measure. The purple rice flour cake is steamed in bamboo tubes and the finishing touch is slices of leche flan on top that really completes every bite. Monica loves it so much that she orders one to take home with her!
So tell me Dear Reader, have you eaten much Filipino food? Do you have a favourite dish? And how often do they extend your table?
This meal was independently paid for.
155 Georges River Rd, Croydon Park NSW 2133
Wednesday to Friday 11:45am–8:30pm
Saturday & Sunday 11am–8:45pm
Phone: (02) 8957 5090