Mama’s Kubo restaurant
Mama’s Kubo on 250 Finchley Road

On a whim, my friend Shalimar (a chef) and I decided to check this previously unknown (to us) Filipino restaurant. I am not picky, but I do appreciate a well-made dish.

First impressions on the place: As soon as we went inside, we got the impression of a well thought out space. There’s a touch of Filipino culture here and there but it’s minimal and does not distract from the fact that it is clean and bright. The floor staff welcomed us with a big beautiful smile.

Chef & Director Rommel. Kitchen and bar space.
Our order

We ordered Kare Kare (Oxtail & Beef stew), Squid Adobo, Spring Rolls, Tomato & Mango salad and plain white rice. Each dish was simply yet nicely presented. It’s not just a dollop of whatever on the plate.

Baby Squid Adobo

The last time I had Squid Adobo was 20ish years ago, I was pleasantly surprised that they have it on the menu. Being from a fishing family, it was one of the family staples. For me, this taste like home, less the additives.

Tomato & Mango Salad

When your friend who cooks for high-end guests swoon over a dish made by somebody else, you pay attention, taste it and remember it.

This salad is simple but the fresh ingredients and the right balance of flavours make it great. I ended up grabbing some from her plate 😅

Kare Kare

I really like this one. Rich flavours with melt in the mouth meat that’s perfect with rice. I like that they grilled the aubergines first, the bright green pak choi (Pechay in Filipino) is a genius touch, it works as a garnish and an optional vegetable.

Spring rolls.

The spring rolls. Crispy, light and definitely no greasy.

Dessert : Papa Turon

By the time our desserts arrived, we are too stuffed to take the camera out for a better photo. At least, I am. 😅🤣

Turon, a popular Filipino snack made of thinly sliced banana and jackfruit wrapped in spring roll wrapper and deep fried. They drained this well and it’s good that they did not add a dusting of sugar on it.

One of the chefs.

Shalimar and I have this ongoing debate about another dish called Biko, whether it’s cooked with aniseed or not and etc. We know there’s a difference between how the people of the north cook it and those from the south. To cut the story short, he does not add aniseed but he uses Pandan (screwpine) to add oomph to his Biko. And just to be picky, the glutinous rice is a bit overcooked but the flavours are still swoon-worthy.

Biko Pandan , photo by Shalimar.

Conclusion: I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food that arrived on my plate. Great flavours, reasonable prices, excellent ambiance and friendly staff. Highly recommended. Yes, that means I will be taking my family there soon.

Mama’s Kubo is located on 250 Finchley Road, West Hampstead, London NW3 6DN.