After hours: Filipimiana
April 8, 2009
With fresh fried lumpia, pancit and adobo, a taste of the Philippines is but a five-minute drive from RAF Lakenheath.
Filipiniana, a small eatery on Lakenheath High Street, is a gem for those with a penchant for Philippine food and for those looking to expand their culinary horizons.
Filipiniana has such a popular following among the American military community that it even accepts dollars, along with pounds and credit cards.
"We do that to make it easy for them," said Jenet Samonte, part waitress, chef and hostess extraordinaire.
Samonte helps run Filipiniana with her older sister, Ruwela, who opened the restaurant in 2000. The Samonte sisters also hold down jobs at the base, working nearly seven days a week.
"But you have to smile. What else are you going to do?" Samonte said during a recent weekday lunch rush, beaming from ear to ear.
Even when the sisters are not officially working, they are busy rolling between 200 and 300 lumpia every day. Similar to a spring roll, lumpia are stuffed with meat and vegetables and fried to a golden brown.
One word. Delicious.
"We make it fresh. It’s best that way," Samonte said.
For those who are new to the flavors of the Pacific archipelago, Filipiniana is the perfect place to experiment. Like the Asian, American and European cultures that have shaped the island nation, its food reflects that diversity in a unique combination of flavors.
"I usually ask people if they like rice or noodles," she said. "And then I’ll bring them a sample of the lumpia or the chicken teriyaki."
So don’t worry, you’re in good hands at Filipiniana.
Samonte’s attitude speaks volumes about the customer service at Filipiniana, which, along with the good food, is what makes the restaurant such a success.
The menu is basic and includes five chicken dishes, three beef dishes and three pork dishes, pancit (sautéed noodles) and lumpia (Philippine spring rolls.) Each comes with a side of white rice for 4.95 pounds and you can try up to five dishes for 11.95 pounds. Side orders include kimchee (pungent picked vegetables), soup and chicken wings.
Basically, you can’t go wrong no matter what your order. And you can’t help but smile at the fast, friendly and helpful service at Filipiniana.
Address: 25 Lakenheath High St.
Phone: 01842 862660
Hours: 11 a.m.–2 p.m. for lunch, 5–9 p.m. for dinner. Closed Sunday.
Price: Main courses are between 4.95 and 11.95 pounds. Credit cards, pounds and dollars accepted