First Filipino food truck event in Vancouver seeks to please lunch crowd at Canada Place

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      The lunch crowd at Canada Place will have the option of going Filipino next week.

      A food truck event featuring cuisine from the Philippines will be held at the Vancouver waterfront from September 3 to September 5.

      The first of its kind in the city, the culinary experience billed Manila Comes to Town is being presented by the Philippine Consulate General headed by career diplomat Maria Andrelita Austria.

      Shameless Buns, a food truck specializing in Filipino-inspired street food, will participate in the lunchtime event, which starts at 11 a.m. and lasts until 2 p.m.

      Shameless Buns co-owner Corvette Romero said that opportunities like Manila Comes to Town are a great way to introduce the underrated Asian food culture to mainstream patrons.

      “Japanese food, Korean food, Thai food is all popular, and everybody knows what the cuisine it, but not a lot of people really know about Filipino food, so that’s kind of why we started our food truck,” Romero told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview.

      On its website, Shameless Buns describes Filipino food as the “unsung hero in the Asian food lexicon”.

      The business notes that it’s a cuisine formed “by years of influence from Spain and China”.

      “America introduced ‘war rations’ like Spam, Vienna sausages and canned corned beef during WWII [Second Word War],” the site continued.

      According to Shameless Buns, these varied influences produced a multifaceted and complicated cuisine that to this day is virtually unknown to most non-Filipinos".

      A lot of Filipinos like Spam luncheon meat, which is typically fried until a bit crispy, and paired with eggs and rice for breakfast.

      Shameless Buns pays homage to the Filipinos’ love affair with Spam with two of its offerings: Sir Spam A-Lot sandwiches, and Spam fries.

      Romero co-owns the food truck business with her boyfriend Matt Brennan.

      “We started the food truck because we wanted to make Filipino food accessible, so everybody can taste the Filipino flavours,” Romero said.

      For its sandwiches, Shameless Buns uses pan de sal (Filipino bread rolls) from Aling Mary's Filipino Store and Bakery, which has a store on Main Street.

      Jeanie-vi Llonora is a consular assistant at the economic section of the Philippine consulate general’s office in Vancouver.

      Llonora told the Straight by phone that the consulate wants to introduce Filipino food to a bigger audience.

      In addition to Shameless Buns, Llonora said that a food truck by Max’s Restaurant will also be around.

      Max’s Restaurant is part of a popular restaurant chain in the Philippines that is built around fried chicken, and traditional Filipino fare, like lechon kawali (crispy deep fried pork), pinakbet (vegetable stew), and lumpiang ubod (heart of palm egg roll).

      La Glace, a Vancouver ice cream parlour co-owned by Filipino Canadian Mark Tagulao, will have a cart at the event.