5 Filipino Eateries In Melbourne Foodies Need To Indulge

Melbourne artist Powloh shares his favourite local Filipino eateries.
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

Powloh is the dark horse to start paying attention to in 2023.

The producer and singer-songwriter has cut his teeth over the years as a touring DJ and session musician, often in the background behind some of your favourite artists.

After releasing his debut EP 'Passing Romantica' in 2021, the string of Melbourne lockdowns constrained the momentum Powloh had generated. Rather than mope, Powloh instead used the 'free' time to study himself as an artist and focus deeper on the details of his craft.

A DIY artist who handles most aspects of his creative vision – from the production to the instruments, the songwriting and vocal performances, to the mixing and video/creative visuals – Powloh has today released his sophomore EP, 'Cold Summer Paradise'.

"Making music has always been my way of processing a lot of internal stuff I've got going on," shares the Melbourne-based artist.

"I pour a lot of myself into my art and I hide endless Easter eggs within my work. I spend a lot of time alone creating. I write, produce, record, mix, design and edit everything you see and hear.

"I do this because I want to but I also do it because I've always felt I needed to. In the past I've never completely enjoyed releasing music and for a while was just making music and not showing it to anyone.

"I'm now putting these songs out into the world as I feel it's time I start letting people in to see and hear where I'm at. It's a roller coaster and I go from moments of being excited about what I'm doing to moments of questioning and doubting everything.

"So here it is – my new EP, 'Cold Summer Paradise'. It's a completely DIY body of work, released independently and I am super proud that it's coming out this way."

Outside of his artistry, Powloh is proud of his Filipino heritage, as showcased by the listicle he's supplied dedicated to Filipino eateries in Melbourne. "Growing up in Melbourne, it was really hard to find restaurants that served Filipino food," he says.

"As a Filipino migrant, culturally it's common to take a safer path career wise and generally choose occupations with consistent, long-term prospects like nursing or working at the post office – not opening a restaurant (or becoming a musician, haha).

"Recently, more and more amazing Filo restaurants have opened and I have loved exploring the dishes and flavours I grew up around. These are my top picks for Melbourne."

Powloh 08 23

Serai (CBD)

I went to Serai for the first time with my mum and sister last year, and was so excited because this was the first boujee, Pinoy restaurant I had experienced in Australia.

Chef Ross Magnaye is an artist and I love how he is paving the way for more people to experience Filipino flavours and food. My top picks are the McScollop and anything from the wood fire.

Kariton Sorbetes (Footscray, CBD & Glen Waverley)

When you go to the Philippines, ice cream is sold on street carts called 'karitons'. The ice cream at Kariton is some of the best I have ever tasted!

I love how they have weaved so many iconic and authentic tasting Filo flavours into their creations in a contemporary way. I reckon anything you order will be delicious, but I especially like the Ube Halaya, Buko Pandan and Kalamansi Sorbet.

Barkada Pinoy (CBD)

As soon as you walk into Barkada, you are instantly transported to the streets of the Philippines and what it's like shopping from a Sari-Sari store also known as a variety store.

Not only can you buy some of the best snacks at the front of the restaurant (Skyflakes and Kopiko), once inside the restaurant they also serve incredible Filipino BBQ – my favourite meal from here is the Inasal skewers with garlic rice.

Barkada Pinoy

Filipino BBQ House (Springvale)

For a more home-cooked style, this place has so many traditional dishes that I grew up eating. There is so much to choose from, but my favourites here are the pork belly and halo halo which is a dessert; kind of like a Filipino sundae.

I also love the Siopao – which always reminds me of my Mum. She would always tell me stories about how when she was younger she would sell Siopao at school to get by, but a group of boys would steal them from her when they thought she wasn't looking. Shout out to Ma!

Filipino BBQ House

Manilla Bread Bakery (St Albans)

When I was a kid, my aunty owned a bakery in the Philippines, so pulling up to this spot and smelling that Filipino bread takes me straight back to that time. I loved discovering this spot because they sell all the classics including my favourite, ensaymada which is like a soft, sweet, buttery scroll.

My other favourites are the pandasal and the ube bread, but I am confident anything you get here will be amazing. The perfect Saturday trip to pair with a good coffee.

Manila Bread Bakery

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