Without any exceptions, every single Filipino I've known in my life has been the kindest and thoughtful people I ever met. Whether they know you or not, they will always do everything in their power to please you and put a smile on your face.
Last Sunday we experienced this very kindness at the Kapamilya Restaurant where they serve authentic food from Philippines. Unlike other weekends where we time our meal in mid-afternoon, we walked into this smallish grocery/restaurant in Fountain Valley at around noon expecting to see at least a few ex-pats dining, but there was no one around. The door was open and the neon OPEN sign was turned on but nobody in sight. We inched our way to the back of the store and made it to the kitchen door inside which two ladies were slaving away making huge trays of food. The younger one came out to greet us and told us that they only serve breakfast on Sundays. Oh no, not again! BUT, she said they are cooking for some catering events and they'd be happy to share some of the food that was already ready and more than what was ordered.
She disappeared into the kitchen to prepare our food, and left us to explore the refrigerator for some authentic Filipino beverages. The only one we found was the Soursop Guyabano, a very refreshing lightly sweetened fruity drink.
Filipino cuisine is heavily influenced by Malay, Spanish, Chinese, and American cooking styles and tastes, adopting their local ingredients. She brought our food in to-go containers and we set down at one of the tables to enjoy the generous portions of Caldereta, Menudo, and Beef Stew served with rice.
While looking for beverages earlier, in one of the fridges I found a peculiar looking stuffed somethings and asked the girl helping us what those were. Sumang Moron is a pudding like dessert made from rice flour, coconut milk, chopped peanuts, and chocolate wrapped in banana leaves that are wilted on fire. While we were working on the main dishes, she took our dessert to the kitchen to warm them up for us.
The Filipino food has comforting and satisfying qualities that put the same kind of smile as their people do on your face. During the time we were at the restaurant, patrons came to shop and they all told us how much they love the food from this humble place. There is so much more on their menu that we would like to try some other day.