Experience a new Filipino restaurant

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Four Filipino partners dream of big things for their new restaurant, Adobo Experience (left to right): Jeffrey Angeles, Eva Parangalan, George Maliwat, and Ronaldo Nunag.
Four Filipino partners dream of big things for their new restaurant, Adobo Experience (left to right): Jeffrey Angeles, Eva Parangalan, George Maliwat, and Ronaldo Nunag.
Dr. Christine P. Oriel

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.”

Chicken Adobo Haven comes in at under $8 a plate.
Chicken Adobo Haven comes in at under $8 a plate.

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.

A staple dish at Adobo Experience is the Long Life (pancit bihon).
A staple dish at Adobo Experience is the Long Life (pancit bihon).

“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.