Owned by Jake and Clifford Gutierrez, Kubo’s Café Bar & Grill in Australia Fair Metro is a rare Filipino food presence on the coast, finding its audience immediately.
“We’re really happy to bring Filipino food to the Gold Coast,” Jake tells us, “especially food we love eating at home.”
Inside under a wallpapered wall of bamboo or outside al fresco on the pavement, mostly Filipino families congregate to share the food they love.
“Filipinos love their food,” says Michelle, one of Kubo’s customers. “A big breakfast is a big deal!”
Following their custom in the Philippines, Sunday brunch is a communal feast at Kubo’s after church, just a short walk away in Scarborough Street. Running from 8am – 2pm, we watch an assortment of traditional dishes emerge from the kitchen to tables of happy diners.
Typical Filipino food includes Tapsilog (marinated meat or sausage served with garlic fried rice and two fried eggs), Milkfish, Tsokolate served with Puto (hot chocolate made from raw cocoa served with sticky rice cooked in a banana leaf – the Filipino breakfast in a hurry) through to Kinilaw (a raw fish salad), grilled pork skewers, a huge pork knuckle, and pig on the spit, the extensive menu covering many Filipino favourites.
“Pork and sugar – where would Filipino cuisine be without them,” Michelle adds, laughing. And there are lots of sweet treats at Kubo’s! The cabinet is full of gorgeous Pinoy cakes with swirly icing and other sweets treats, topped with a display of beers on offer.
Finishing off the feast we spot the famous Halo-halo on the menu, the Filipino dessert that’s sweeping the world, a colourful mix of shaved ice and evaporated milk with toppings of boiled sweet beans, coconut, sago, jelly, fruit, and purple yam ice cream. ‘Mix mix’ as its Tagalog name implies, and you have a light, refreshing treat; perfect to share on a summer’s day.
While some of the dishes may be an acquired taste for Aussie diners, it’s mostly due to a lack of familiarity. There’s plenty of eagerness from Jake and his wait staff for us to try a range of dishes. Filipinos love to share their food, and the staff at Kubo’s are so culturally gregarious that it’s really endearing. Whether you order small dishes or a feast, if you’re an adventurous diner you’ll learn a lot about Filipino food and culture at Kubo’s.
Australia Fair Metro, Young St., Southport Ph: 0449 556 981