Filipino food lovers, you no longer have to make a trip over to Daly City to get your fix of homemade lumpias. There’s a new local option and unique dining experience for home-cooked style Filipino food thanks to Chef Eric Pascual, an Emeryville resident of 10 years. Eric’s already an up-and-coming local celebrity within the community, having two meals featured in the local media, a printed article in the SF Chronicle and on a segment on KPIX.
I discovered Eric’s Filipino pop-ups on Feastly, a website that allows you to find homemade meals and food experiences prepared and served in a cook’s home, restaurant pop-ups, or any inventive space. You can think of it as social dining or the AirBnB for food experiences, where you’re having a meal at a friend’s place without having to help clean up.
About Eric & His Love For Filipino Food
Eric’s love and passion for cooking began when he was young from watching his parents and grandparents in the kitchen. He has parents from different regions of the Philippines that involve different cooking styles. It looks like the passion for cooking runs in the family because Eric’s grandfather especially enjoyed cooking for parties and gatherings in Hawaii. Eric began to experiment more with cooking by hosting small dinner parties for friends and offering to help out in the kitchen at family parties.
Eric has been hosting meals with Feastly for a little over a year now. He admits that he was hesitant at first without having much formal cooking experience but he says, “It’s been a great experience hosting meals through Feastly.” The community and his family and friends have been very positive and supportive.
His food is sourced from local ingredients when possible. Most of his produce for the pop-up events are purchased from Berkeley Bowl. Sometimes, he also uses his parent’s fruits and vegetables from their garden, such as calamansi (a Filipino citrus), lemons and oranges.
The Pop-up Food Review
I recently went to check out one of his “Flavors of the Philippines” pop-up dinners with a couple of friends and we had a great experience. There were 6 dishes served for the price of $33, tip included. Here’s a look at each thing we ate:
Spinach, Coconut, and Artichoke Dip
Imagine an artichoke dip lightly infused with coconut milk. You get a nice creamy flavor and lovely fragrance of coconut.
There were two types of lumpia served – the traditional ground pork and shrimp and cheeseburger. I enjoyed both variations, favoring the traditional one best.
Roasted Asian Eggplant Salad
The roasted eggplant and arugula salad was nicely balanced with red onions, pickled bamboo shoots, and a garlic and ginger vinaigrette.
Chicken and Spinach Laing (la-ing)
This stew-like dish is full of chicken simmered with coconut cream and milk, ginger, garlic, chili, salted shrimp paste, and spinach. It was comfort in a bowl; the flavors complimented each other and the chicken was very moist. The shrimp paste added a nice umami component.
Slow-Roasted Pork Adobo
The best part of the night was this 8 hour slow roasted pork shoulder in cane vinegar, black peppercorns, garlic, soy sauce, and a blend of other spices. It was served with steamed white rice. The pork was very succulent with a nice taste of rendered fat, plus skin cracklings. I can only wish for more chunks of skin.
Mango and Coconut Ice Cream w/ Leche Flan
The mango and coconut ice cream was a sweet ending to our meal. The flan was decadent, rich, and delicious.
How to Attend Eric’s Pop-up Events & Future Plans
There will be more events in the East Bay with at least a couple in Emeryville by the end of the year. Eric has been collaborating with other chefs as well to host more food events. The details of all his upcoming events can be found on the eatfeastly.com website or on his Instagram account:
From preparing a filling and satisfying meal to decorating the space and providing a glass of wine or allowing guests to bring their own wine, Eric makes an effort to ensure that each guest leaves satisfied. I’d highly recommend checking out one of his events.