Adobo Experience has been open for one month and the four Filipino partners of the new restaurant are experiencing success beyond their expectations.
With full reservations and line-ups out the door for lunch and dinner, Jeffrey Angeles, George Maliwat, Eva Parangalan, and Ronaldo Nunag are extremely pleased with the community response to their new restaurant venture.
“I’m getting a lot of good and positive feedback,” says Parangalan. “They like the food, they like our service and they like our price.”
Offering many of the main adobo dishes and other entrees under $10 or around the price point, Adobo Experience is drawing in a lot of people looking for an affordable Filipino meal.
“If you have $10, you have a complete meal,” explains Nunag. “For me, it’s like a magic $10. If you have $10, you can have drinks and whatever you want, like adobo.”
The main feature of the restaurant’s menu is their varieties of adobo. With a selection of meats from pork, pork belly, chicken, fish and beef you can mix it to a variety of adobo sauces ranging from traditional, spicy, crispy, coconut, tropical and cheesy.
“People should try everything, not only the adobo,” states Parangalan. “We serve everything. Like favourite dishes like sinigang and kalderata.”
The menu is aimed at bringing the real Filipino tastes to customer’s palates, but the experience doesn’t stop there. Nunag in particular is proud of the atmosphere Adobo Experience provides.
“You look at the surroundings and you feel like you’re back home in the Philippines,” says Nunag. “You sit down in the rattan chairs and especially Filipinos, they love eating and after they eat they want to relax.”
The four partners have put their hearts and souls into the restaurant each taking a turn at the essential jobs around Adobo Experience from managing, hosting, cooking, taking orders and bussing the tables.
“We each have equal partnership and equal rights in this restaurant, but it’s more about sharing the whole experience,” says Angeles. “All of us can do everything. The concept is everyone, even the servers, need to wear a chef’s uniform so we can all run around with no one noticing, ‘Oh that person should just be in the kitchen.’”
Each partner has experience in the food industry as chefs and managers. And everyone upon coming to Canada has dreamed of opening their own restaurant.
“It’s a blessing in disguise that we met and then together we planned to open this restaurant,” says Nunag. “We opened this not only to have a better career, but we opened this to encourage all the Filipinos living here.”
The former contract workers hopes to wake the sleeping giant that is over 50,000 Filipinos in Calgary.
“Filipinos are known as hardworking people and I want to show everyone that we’re a business-minded people as well,” says Nunag. “I want to show every Filipino living here that we can do it.”
Angeles points to the various cultural cuisines around the city that are already popular like Japanese and Vietnamese food. His hope is to make Filipino food known as well through a specialty dish that people can associate Filipinos with.
“We’re trying to have a signature dish that when people see it, a Filipino restaurant comes to their mind,” says Angeles. “When we were talking about how we want to stand out and we looked at adobo, we thought it is very easy to cook, but we’re going to put it to the next level.”
Angeles says that their expectation for sales and customers has been doubled from their first estimates with 50 to 60 percent of people coming through the door as repeat customers.
“We haven’t even done a lot of promotions yet,” says Angeles. “We didn’t even do flyers, just word-of-mouth.”
The group has plans to continue growing. Each hopes their success will mean future locations, but are focusing on their current location and building up what they offer on their menu.
“Right now we have limited items on the menu to stick to the basics so we can give the best of those items,” says Angeles. “We want the people to see how we grow every month, where we start to add one item at time to interest our followers.”
To become a follower of Adobo Experience visit their restaurant on 17th Avenue and 42 Street in Southeast Calgary or search for them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.