Being Filipino, I’ve always been extremely proud of my heritage and Filipino Cuisine. When I heard about Pilyo and their pop up events, I immediately bought tickets for Nerd Burger and I. For $33.00 we will get to enjoy 5 Afternoon Delights with a delicious dessert to finish.
Iñigo Castillo, Morris Baco and Chrissie Ablaza-Castillo, are the geniuses behind Pilyo. Their aim is to put bold and saucy flavours in traditional Filipino Cooking while adding a ‘Cheeky’ feel.
Chrissie and the team were kind enough to answer a few questions regarding what inspired them to start Pilyo, their take on Filipino Food and what it means to have a bit of Cheek in their cooking.
1. What inspired you to open Pilyo?
After almost 10 years in Sydney eating and cooking other cuisines professionally, we decided it was time to share our heritage. In Sydney, Filipino food is still very much undiscovered, has been limited to a handful of restaurants and is not as widely known as other cuisines regardless the growing size of the Filipino-Australian community. We thought it was time Sydneysiders learn about our amazing food culture in a way it has never been presented here before.
2. What Filipino dish do you think everyone should try?
Sisig, definitely. It’s how we would describe Filipino food. It’s adventurous, rich, full of flavour and texture, and at the same time zesty. There’s complexity in what looks like a simple dish, when in fact it’s not the easiest to cook given the preparation involved. It’s a feast for the senses – it smells great, looks great, and sounds great (literally!). Who can resist the smell of caramelisation and the sight and sound of food sizzling on a hot plate?! We think non-Filipinos just have to get over the stigma of eating offal.
3. Pilyo means "Cheeky" in Tagalog, what cheeky twist do you add to the dishes that you make?
You know how Filipinos are very proud and always compare someone else’s cooking to their Lola’s? Often we hear, “wala ‘yan sa adobo ng Lola ko!”
Well, what we have to say to that is:
PILYO is nothing like your grandmother’s cooking. So don’t even compare us to your grandmother. We’re cheeky. We’re PILYO.
We’re just being PILYO, we don’t actually mean to be arrogant (though it may come off so!). Our Lola's cooking gave us our flavour palate and this has been the strong foundation to everything we create today. We respect flavours that are part of our tradition but at the same time we make bold combinations and apply cooking techniques that make the dish current. That’s the cheeky twist.
PILYO – Traditional flavours. Bold combinations. Cheeky techniques.
4. Growing up, what was the one thing your Lola taught you about cooking Filipino Food?
Notice how there are no salt and pepper shakers on the dining table?
Our lola’s taught us that everything should be well seasoned to show proper respect for the ingredients.
5. Filipino Cuisine is certainly making its mark in Sydney, where would you like to see the future of Filipino food?
We would love for Filipino cuisine to be on the Sydney food map! …alongside other popular Asian restaurants. We believe if presented well using current techniques, Filipino food can easily be the regular weekend go-to for Sydneysiders.
The first afternoon delight Batchoy Tonkotsu - pulled chicken breast, soft boiled quail egg, noodles, crispy garlic & pork crackling crumble in pork bone broth
The Team creating the assembly line for the second afternoon delight
The second afternoon delight Naked Lumpiang Betel Leaf - prawn & pork veggie crepe with crushed peanuts, puffed rice, powdered seaweed & peanut sauce
The third afternoon delight Lechon Kawali Bao - crispy pork belly in a steamed bun with atsara & pork umami sauce
Longga Burger - chorizo de pilyo with coleslaw, cream cheese & mango sultana chutney
Empanada Ni Lola O - sweet & savoury beef, tomato, plantain, green olives & sultanas
Preparing the last afternoon delight
The Big Finish. Ensaymada & Cheese Ice Cream Sandwich - coconut jam & parmesan crisp
It was certainly a great afternoon, filled with flavour explosions and Cheekyness. I am looking forward to whats up next with Pilyo, from pop up dinners and stand up events now, maybe later on we will see a restaurant in every city. I wish them all the best.
For more information regarding Pilyo check out their Facebook Page
Make sure you like the page for updates on their next event.