By Catherine Dunwoody
“I used to work for an investment firm for 15-plus years,” says Rose Samaniego, co-owner of Coquitlam’s Kulinarya Filipino Eatery. She decided to take the leap and open Kulinarya while still also working her full-time job.
Fast forward from 2009 to today, and Rose clearly feels she made the right decision to leave her day job and focus on this busy restaurant, including plans to open a second location on Commercial Drive in Vancouver.
Rose is passionate about bringing authentic Filipino cuisine to BC, and guides her chef Joemel Gracilla to keep it real when it comes to the dishes served. So much so, that Kulinarya was given honourable mention for Best Southeast Asian restaurant in the 2013 Vancouver Magazine awards.
For those not familiar with Filipino food, think Asian with a strong Spanish influence. Signature dishes? Kaldereta (beef and potato in a spicy tomato sauce), crispy pata (Deep fried pork leg) and kare kare (beef, tripe, and vegetables in peanut sauce) are menu items to watch for.
“We also started kamayan (eaten with your hands) where people eat from banana leaves with their hands, no utensils,” Rose says.
Will the new second location on Commercial Drive offer the same menu? “It will be slightly different with more vegetarian choices and some new Spanish dishes inspired by our recent visit to Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia.”