Jollibee Singapore opens “smart city kitchens”

Well, isn’t this a treat!

Jollibee Singapore announced on their Facebook page today that they are opening “smart city kitchens” here in Tampines. This means they have dedicated kitchens for deliveries on popular food apps like Grab, Deliveroo, and Food Panda.

Since I moved to Tampines in April, I normally get my Jollibee delivery via Grab Food from the Changi Point outlet. It’s great to see that there are more options for the thousands of us who prefer to stay at home.

UPDATE: Using the Grab app, I ordered from the Jollibee “smart city kitchen” that’s situated in JTC Tampines North. The delivery took over an hour. And the poor delivery person was apologetic saying that there’s high demand at the vendor (“smart city kitchen”). Nothing entirely unexpected since Jollibee just announced it. Like when Jollibee first opened in Singapore in 2013, the demand was high.

Where I bring my friends for Filipino food in Singapore

In this post, I’ll share with you where I bring my friends out for Filipino food in Singapore.

Note (May 2020): Due to Covid-19, these establishments are most likely taking orders for delivery or take-away only. Dine-in is not allowed under circuit breaker rules. Please stay safe.

The best Filipino food should be the one cooked at home. But obviously, not all of us are chefs. I’m proud of Filipino food and I know it’s not as popular as Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, or Chinese. That’s why I’m very particular where I take friends and colleagues for Filipino food.

Gerry’s Grill at Cuppage Road

Hands down an easy go-to especially for bringing in non-Filipino colleagues for a Filipino food treat. I would take them to Gerry’s Grill at Cuppage Road. The famous resto-bar chain in Manila opened up shop a few years ago. Here you can order sizzling sisig (just like how it is back home), a bowl of kare-kare, sinigang na hipon, pancit, lumpiang shanghai… almost all of the Filipino favorites.

One time I brought a colleague visiting from India to Gerry’s Grill and he insisted on ordering a whole plate of crispy pata for the two of us.

The ambiance at Gerry’s Grill at Cuppage Road is also unique. It’s isolated from all the bars and restaurants of the famous watering hole in Orchard. It almost feels like you’ve stepped back into Quezon City.

The price point is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard not to compare how much this plate of sisig would cost back in Manila if you apply SGD to it. But the taste brings me back home to Manila. Worth it especially if you’re introducing Filipino food to your non-Filipino colleagues.

Don Lechon in Paya Lebar

Almost like a secret because of it’s “hidden location”, I understand they recently expanded to occupy a larger space at the side of the canal. As the name goes, expect lechon kawali in your menu. The barbecued pork and sizzling sisig here take you home.

This was a go-to spot for me and my dragon boat teammates before. We would feast on barbecued pork and enjoy with white rice.

You can find Don Lechon about a 5-7 minute walk from Paya Lebar station.

Lucky 69 Bar and Cafe in Boat Quay

This isn’t a Filipino restaurant but it has a “hidden” Filipino menu that somehow blends in next to Malay and Chinese dishes. You’ll have a limited but sumptuous offering here: chicken sisig, pancit, and tapsilog.

Lucky 69 Bar and Cafe is perfect for those working in Singapore’s central business district. It’s also a great night cap after enjoying a drink in the Boat Quay area. I used to eat here after working out at One George Street.

Kabayan Restaurant at Lucky Plaza

Lucky Plaza is home to many Filipino restaurants. But one of the institutions here is Kabayan Restaurant. Stepping inside is like stepping back into time. It reminds me of my first few months in Singapore when I wasn’t able to cook my own food yet. Even the staff here are the same staff from many, many years ago.

This is your carinderia-style eatery. And I mean that in a sweet, flattering way. You have your “viands” and “combo meals”. You point at the dishes you want. Mix your adobo with sinigang. Mix your bangus with lumpiang shanghai. And don’t forget to pick up a Four Seasons drink at the cashier. There’s a separate area for your Filipino dessert fix like biko and halo-halo.

Plus, it seems perpetually they have GMA Pinoy TV playing on the screens here. This is a quiet place to unwind and enjoy Filipino food that’s very cheap. It’s probably the cheapest restaurant for Filipino food.

Other restaurants

Having lived in Singapore since 2012, I’ve come to accept that compared to most other Asian cuisines, Filipino food is few and far between to come by in Singapore. There are a few other places that have come and gone through the years. After Singapore’s circuit breaker, I’m planning to visit these other restaurants (and also revisit the ones I’ve featured here). I’ll be writing more about these so please don’t forget to subscribe to this blog.

What’s your favorite Filipino restaurant in Singapore? Let me know.

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