Sobrang Sarap Food Tour Puts Filipino Cuisine’s Range on Full Display

Portland-area chefs dreamed up four weekly specials based on some of the Philippines’ most famous ingredients.

Adobo week at Sun Rice, photo by Hannah Bernabe.

To honor national Filipino Food Month this April, the inaugural Sobrang Sarap food tour calls people across the Portland area to recognize Filipino influence on the city’s foodie scene. Sobrang Sarap, or “Very Delicious” in Tagalog, unites 16 restaurants, cafes and food carts from downtown Portland to Beaverton and beyond in sharing Filipino culture and cuisine, with a fun, challenging twist.

Menus are charged with listing weekly specials made from key Filipino ingredients: ube yams, adobo sauce, calamansi fruit. Starting April 22, the star ingredient of the week will be pancit noodles.

Chefs from kitchens including Magna Kubo, Magna Kusina, Kalesa Coffee, Sugarpine Drive-In, Tambayan Restaurant, Kalo Kitchen and GrindWitTryz have answered the call, to mouthwatering results.

Sobrang Sarap was launched by artist Beatriz Lugtu, Baon Kainan food cart co-owner Geri Leung, and marketing and business consultant Amanda Mailey, and sponsored by Travel Portland and the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon. Mailey wrote via email that Leung and the chefs of Magna Kubo and Magna Kusina chose Sobrang Sarap’s ingredients.

“We wanted to recognize iconic Filipino ingredients that had historical references and storytelling,” Mailey wrote. “The best part is seeing all the unique takes on how each spot on the tour features the ingredient in their own signature way.”

As the second half of Sobrang Sarap kicks off, Mailey is already gearing up to think about next year.

“The response is incredibly positive with hopes that we continue and even expand next year,” Mailey wrote. “The tour is not meant to be exclusive and we hope to make it bigger in the future.”

According to Mailey, Sobrang Sarap will announce its specials with more advance notice next year, and have heard requests for a passport to visit all locations, which are more common for localized food festivals.

“Some patrons shared with me that they want to fly in friends and family next year to take part in the food tour,” Mailey wrote. “Many chefs are selling out of their featured special and guests are typically visiting three to four spots in a day. The way all participants are working collaboratively too is a beautiful thing to be a part of and witness.”

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