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Thursday, August 5, 2021

New Filipino pop up restaurant bringing “Buwan ng Wika” to Melbourne

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Angel Cuerpo
Angel is a student at Monash University currently undertaking her Masters of Applied Linguistics. Angel has always had a passion for writing and languages completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English as an International Language. In her spare time, Angel takes drama classes where she performs and writes scenes.

A new pop-up restaurant located in Richmond is honouring Filipino cuisine and performance in a push to promote Filipino cuisine to Melbourne. 

To celebrate buwan ng wika (Filipino language month), head chef of Bar Pigalle Fhred Erick Batalona, has organised a pop-up restaurant that celebrates Filipino culture through cuisine and performance. 

“As a Filipino here in Melbourne, I felt that we didn’t have enough Filipino restaurants that can help encapsulate what our cuisine is,” Fhred said. 

Having moved to Australia when he was 19 to pursue culinary management, Batalona has worked in many iconic Melbourne restaurants from Langham Melbourne, Sake, Guylian, and Pink the Restaurant. 

Working in Melbourne’s food industry, Batalona noticed a gap in the market when it came representation of Filipino cuisine, despite the interest Filipino cuisine generates. 

“We’re not sought after as much, unlike other Asian cuisines and I’m always asked what is Filipino Cuisine,” he said. 

This is where the idea for “Barangay” the pop-up restaurant was created. Not only is it a space to promote Filipino cuisine, but it provides an immersive experience of Filipino culture. 

Fhred Erick Batalona
Fhred Erick Batalona
Fhred Erick Batalona
Fhred Erick Batalona
Pop-up Barangay restaurant on Bar Pigalle

The event will happen on Sunday the 29th of August from 4 pm, where tickets can be purchased, and an Early Bird Sale ends on the 2nd of August.  

Tickets can be purchased on their website at barangay.com.au, and for updates and news, information can be found on Facebook and Instagram @barangayau. 

The night will incorporate both performance and cuisine, with a four-course meal curated by Fhred highlighting different Filipino dishes from various regions. Filipino beverages have also been designed for the night by Roy Martins Das Neves. 

Guests will be treated to a fashion show highlighting traditional Filipino fashion, organised by Filipino-Australian fashion designer Lilian Bermudez. 

Aileen and Allen Baladjay, Hiyas Dance Group, and Dazzling Dancers will do traditional Filipino folk dances and performances. 

Hosting the event throughout the night, ensuring a smooth transition, will be Carlo Cruz. 

“I want Australians and other nationalities to learn more. I also want fellow kababayans to feel at home or remember what home feels like, even if it’s just through food,” he said.

Open to all, the event aims to promote all facets of Filipino cuisine to a mainstream audience while creating a space for Filipinos living in Melbourne that emulates the Philippines.

“I want the challenge that comes with further increasing the scope of what Filipino cuisine can be,” he said. 

Barangay, hosted by Bar Pigalle, is located at 48-50 Bridge Rd, Richmond. Bar Pigalle is normally a Burlesque Venue, where classes are taught in the adjoining studio. Experienced with putting on a show, Bar Pigalle offers a range of performances every week. 

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