But why is it that the food we eat can’t seem to pass the tastes of other peoples?
In the Roppongi area where I hold office, there are Chinese, Thai, Indian and even Vietnamese restaurants. And these food joints are patronized not just by their respective native eaters, but by the Japanese and other nationalities as well.
There are two Pinoy restaurants here, eat-all-you-can style – but only Filipinos can be seen there.
Why? I don’t know, but the same phenomenon happens in some of the countries I’ve been to. In Taiwan, there are hundreds of Filipino restaurants and food stalls, but only catering to Filipino customers, especially during Sundays. I heard the same thing in Hongkong and Singapore. In the US, the Goldilocks restaurant in Daly City is usually packed, but again, mostly of Filipinos. Same is true for the establishments I’ve seen in San Diego and LA.
The big wonder therefore is, what’s wrong with Filipino food?
Here are just some of the few reasons I could think of and what should be done about them:
1) Pinoy food looks so unhealthy. Prito na nga, kailangan pa bang nakalutang sa oil (read: tocino, longganisa, tapa). Japanese tempura is also fried, but they don’t turn-off foreigners because they not as greasy.
2) We lack creativity in packaging. Indian food here comes with intricately designed presentations. Thai food is likewise pleasing to the eye. Tayo, salpak lang sa pan, solb na!
3) We don’t seem to be sticklers for freshness and cleanliness. In most foreign restaurants here, the kitchen can be seen by the customers, just to show that they food they’re serving comes direct from the fire. For most Pinoy restaurants, it’s usually buffet style. Andyan na kaagad lahat. And while throwing food is abominable, di rin naman dapat i-serve uli. That’s what is known to most of us as “pangat”, or pangatlong ulit ng ininit.
There you go. I hope you could add more and from there, food industry entrepreneurs will hopefully act on our observations and apply whatever they’ve learned. I hope to see one day a restaurant serving Filipino food to patrons composed mainly of other races.
Then I could proudly say, "Tara, kain tayo!"