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Plato Filipino

Today I was invited down to the newest location of Plato Filipino. The original is by Joyce sky train station, but that area has been cited for redevelopment; meaning Plato is in need of a new home, and they have found a great one at New Westminster sky train station.

Their cuisine is pre-made and kept warm under heated lamps and baths of hot water. This provides an easy take out option for those working in and around the area. However, for our first taste we would be dining in, claiming one of several self seated tables.

For non native Tagalog speakers, the ordering experience may be intimidating. This is considering that none of the pre-prepared dishes are labeled and you can’t make heads or tails out of what you are ordering if you don’t already know what it is. And looking at each chunky mix, in its pool of gravy may not be appealing, visually. But if you bring a translator or ask enough questions to the staff, the meal before you can be a sumptuous one.


I fully appreciated being able to order smaller serving sizes of the below. Truth be told, my experience with Filipino cuisine thus far has proven to be a rich and fatty one. Incredibly tasty, but also greasy, a couple of spoonfuls of each on rotation suffices. All the following was best eaten together in nibbles, moving from one dish to another to help change the taste. Each dish stood out on its own, strong and pungent in its own way.

I apologize in advance if my recall of the names of the following lacks detail or accuracy. I depended on my translator for the traditional names and the ingredient listings.

The Palabok with lechon did look good in its tray. A trough of thick sauce soaked vermicelli noodles topped with boiled egg slices and bits of fried pork. The thickness of the evenly coated, chewy noodles reminded me of salted egg yolk; but with some creamy sweetness instead. Completely slurpable, best as a side, and too much of one note as a main.

The Lechon paksiw is crispy roasted pork in a liver sauce (aka Mang Tomas). The meat was dry yet fatty, the sauce was salty yet rich like gravy. It had good depth of flavour, but needed rice as its base.

Dinuduguan is pork blood soup with pork ear cartilage. It did not taste irony like you would imagine blood to be. Instead, it had a sharp almost gamey nuance to it. The flavour punched as a cross between tangy and sour. It left your mouth feeling heavy, and craving some freshness to help balance it out.

The Pork binagoongan is pork in a shrimp paste sauce. The pork here was also on the harder side, but made more tender with the lumpy gravy and its fermented shrimp notes. This is another dish that you order for its sauce, and as a result goes best with a bowl of steamed rice.

Popis is pork organs in a tomato sauce. If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t be able to tell that this was a mix of chopped up organ meat, besides the fact that it ate more gamey. The bits of vegetables in help in providing some freshness and giving the dish a stew-like quality.

Laing is taro leaves and coconut milk with shrimp and tofu. I didn’t like the overcooked and ashy shrimp in this, nor was I a fan of the wilted texture of the leafy greens. But the flavour of the sauce is a unique one, almost dessert-like with the consistency and fragrance of the coconut milk.

The Papaitan looks like soup, but don’t be fooled. I drank a spoonful thinking just that, only to be rudely awoken with a mouth full of a salty, bitter sauce with punctuated notes of ginger. The tripe, liver, and pork in this was all incredibly tender, it felt like it melted into the soup/sauce. This is another one that needed rice to best enjoy it.

My favourite dish that we tried had to be their Cripsy lugaw. This is congee-like dish was the perfect warming comfort for chilling days like these. It is a chicken broth rice porridge that you can customize with sides of crispy pork, fish balls, fried tofu, milk fish, and/or lemon. The porridge had so much flavour on its own, that you are picking your toppings for the various mouth-feel.

The Filipino equivalent of spring rolls is Lumpia, and at Plato you have your choose between 3 varieties. The Lumpia vegetable were bigger bites dipped into a side of vinegar for tang. It read on the blander and leaner side, considering how flavourful everything else was. You craves the classic Chinese sweet chilli sauce or a sweet and sour sauce to better highlight it.

Shanghai Lumpia is given its name due to the inspiration it draws from. These were ground pork rolls wrapped and deep fried for a crispy two biter. Here, I got my sweet chilli sauce fix that I had wanted earlier. The Shanghai was the most flavourful of the two lumpia, but my favourite option has to be No. 3 below.

For our dessert, we had another lumpia of sorts. Turon is caramelized banana wrapped in a deep fried crispy shell. Delicious with sweet fruit and flaky cracks, you got the hallmarks of a great dessert in this. Although I would have liked it ideally served warmer with ice cream.

In closing, for those weary of, or have been wanting to try Filipino cuisine, Plato is a great place to do it. Easy to order meals that you can pick and point with your eyes, and comforting dishes that give you a hung inside out.

Plato Filipino
892 Carnarvon St #100, New Westminster, BC V3M 0C5
(604) 553-6747

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