I honestly never thought about Filipino cuisine until the day we bumped into this little place called Josephine’s in the heart of Fitzrovia. The place clearly does not express the glamour and the fame of some of its Charlotte Street’s neighbours (Charlotte St Hotel, Roka, Fino, Bamboo, etc). We almost kept on walking, but we were looking for something different from our normal routine, so took a chance and are delighted we did!
The place is a little sanctuary decorated with Philippine landscape portraits and pictures that somehow takes you to travel through space and time away to the far east.
We were welcomed with the warmest of entrances. Keen to please and make us feel comfortable, with not an inch of fakeness. There was a guy, who could have been a host, a waiter, whatever, the important thing was that he was a great introduction to what was new territory for us. We felt at ease from the get-go.
We chose our table and it was near the back where a “don” like lady sat assessing the operation. We assume she was Josephine. The menu was brought right after we sat, however being our first time we asked the nice waiter/host for some recommendations on what we should try for our first filipino food experience.
Suggestions resulted in ordering some beef dumplings to start, followed by some lovely juicy chicken with banana blossoms and vegetable in peanut sauce and a very clever slow cooked pork stewed in black pudding sauce accompanied by garlic rice and cassava chips as a sider and a coconut and fruit cheesecake as a dessert. Yes, there was a south american influence in the menu with the cassave chips!
We were hesitant about the choices, it was a rare thing for us to leave such an important decision concerning our food to someone else. It ended up being a fantastic choice.
Throughout the lunch the restaurant got very busy and I was happy to notice that the majority of customer were from the Filipino community… that can only mean one thing about food: authenticity.
All in all, a pleasant and relaxed experience made special by the little attention to detail from our waiter/host who never stopped to looking after throughout the meal. The owner is blessed to have this guy on her payroll.
I can’t wait for my next visit to venture in some new Filipino recipes.
4 Charlotte St, London
W1T 2LP, England
T. 020 7580 6551