Filipino cuisine to become biggest ethnic food trend of 2018

AFTER Thai, Vietnamese and Korean cuisines, Filipino foods will get their time in the spotlight next year as the top trending ethnic cuisine of 2018.

So says New York-based restaurant consultancy group Baum + Whiteman in their annual trendspotting report, which predicted the foods and dining concepts that will become increasingly popular in hotels and restaurants next year.

Like other immigrant populations before it, growing Filipino communities across the US – from caretakers, nurses, tech and hospitality workers – have given rise to interest in Filipino cuisine, says the group.

In 2018, expect to see that interest bring Filipino cuisine into the mainstream dining world, in the same manner of previous culinary revelations from Asia, such as Thai, Vietnamese and Korean cuisines.

Case in point: Google searches for Filipino food have doubled since 2012, says Baum + Whiteman.

Likewise, the Philippines' biggest fast food chain, Jollibee, has been aggressively opening locations in the US, introducing diners to dishes like 'Palabok Fiesta,' a noodle dish served with shrimp sauce, topped with pork Chicharron, tinapa flakes (smoked fish flakes), sauteed pork and slices of egg, and pineapple-topped burgers.

The chain has 35 restaurants across the US, along with locations in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei.

Filipino cuisine is also reaching the upper echelons of gastronomy.

Last year, editors at the prestigious food magazine Bon Appetit placed Washington DC's Filipino restaurant Bad Saint in second spot on their list of best new restaurants in America 2016.

Aside from Filipino cuisine, the group also predicts that fast-casual, Indian street food will become more commonplace next year. Think tandoori chicken poutine, spicy lamb burritos or chicken masala pizza.

And while boisterous Korean barbecue restaurants in busy K-towns have become a regular part of the American dining scene, Baum + Whiteman predicts that Korean cuisine will become more high-brow in 2018, as chefs and restaurateurs aim to replicate the success of New York's Jungsik restaurant, the first Korean restaurant in the US to win two Michelin stars. — AFP Relaxnews