Veronica Heads to the East Bay to Try Oakland’s FOB Kitchen
In Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood is the newest addition to the growing Filipino food scene in the Bay Area. The long awaited opening of FOB Kitchen took place last November, taking over the space of Preeti Mistry’s beloved Juhu Beach Club. I decided to try FOB Kitchen’s brunch menu on a Saturday morning, waiting about 45 minutes to be seated. Growing up in a Filipino household, I was, as always, intrigued to see how it compares to my grandmother’s cooking.
I ordered the Pandan Iced Coffee, iced coffee infused with pandan leaves — an aromatic plant commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine. It was a delicious and refreshing take on iced coffee. If it’s a Friday night out or you’re just feeling extra thirsty, check out the awesome beer and wine list including San Miguel Lager, a Filipino staple. They offer a brilliantly named cocktail list featuring drinks like “Feelin’ Myself“, “Blow the Whistle“, and “The Town“, tying in its East Bay roots.
To start, we began with Shanghai Lumpia, a must-try classic with ground pork, carrots, and water chestnuts with a sweet chili sauce. We shared a few “silog” plates, silog meaning with fried garlic rice topped with an egg. The Tocino, sweet cured pork shoulder, was tender and juicy — a relief from what I’ve sometimes experienced as dry and chewy. The Lechon Kawali, thrice cooked pork belly, was fried, fatty goodness dipped in spiced vinegar to offset the fat. We also tried the Adobo Fried Rice as with Filipino cuisine, you can never have too much rice. The Adobo Fried Rice was a winner — rice cooked with pork adobo, the Filipino national dish.
Did it compare to my grandmother’s cooking? While nothing can ever compare to her dishes, FOB Kitchen sure hit close to home. It’s a refreshing take from the usual cafeteria style Filipino restaurants, with a great atmosphere, friendly service, and delicious eats!