Filipino Cuisine in Paris

In my February 3 entry, I wrote about the first Philippine food festival in Paris where I mentioned the only Filipino restaurant in the city–BoBi, located at 17 rue Oberkampf.

Many things happened since then (COVID-19 cases, lockdown in France, etc.) but finally, I was able to visit the place recently. I liked it–the ambiance, the choice of pastel blue and orange, the native lamps, the menu. When you enter, you can clearly see the message “Kumain ka na?” beckoning you to eat. The restaurant uses wooden plates, spoon and fork, adding to the Pinoy touch of the place. OPM is playing in the background. The place is not big; it can adequately accommodate about 20 customers (with consideration on social distancing). This gives it a more homey vibe.

The restaurant is also easily accessible. It’s just a few-minute walk from the Oberkampf station of Metro Line 5 or 9.

My companions and I ordered cheese sticks, lumpiang shanghai, kare-kare (this was my main dish), Bicol express, and kinilaw. We also ordered Philippine beverages; mine was calamansi juice. The counter, with its diamond shape designs with blue and orange shades proudly displayed Philippine beverage brands–San Miguel beer, Red Horse beer, and Don Papa Rum.

The restaurant owners and staff were friendly. They had lighthearted conversations with the diners. That evening, we were a diverse group–Filipinos, other Asians (I am not too sure which country in particular), French, and others. I learned that the owners are planning to add more dishes in the menu. I asked if they will add halo-halo for dessert and was happy to know that they will probably do so. 😉

According to the chef, BoBi will be closed for the summer vacation for three weeks starting August 2. I plan to visit again when it reopens. I also wish that the health threat brought about by COVID-19 will be gone soon so that I can bring friends and guests to the restaurant next time and let them sample the delicious taste of Filipino cuisine. 🙂

Author’s Notes: (Please note that the descriptions given are not official and only provided to give readers the idea of the dishes’ ingredients and taste.)

  • “Kumain ka na?” (Filipino language) translates to “Have you eaten?” or “Avez-vous mangé?”
  • Kare-kare is a beef and vegetable dish, with peanut sauce, usually partnered with bagoong (to add salty flavor).
  • Bicol Express is a spicy pork dish with vegetables cooked in coconut milk.
  • Kilawin or Kinilaw is a raw fish dish, with diced cucumber, tomato, and minced onions, soaked just right in vinegar (or citrus juice) and spices.
  • Halo-halo is a dessert which is a concoction of crushed ice, evaporated milk, and a mix of various ingredients such as sweet beans, ube halaya, sweetened saba, kaong, leche flan, ice cream (usually ube flavor), etc.

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