In its report to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, the Philippine Embassy in Lisbon mentioned that a Filipino restaurant named “Kababayan Restaurant” located in Lisbon, Portugal was featured in the February 2014 issue of the Portuguese magazines Revista and Time Out Lisboa.
Kababayan Restaurant which opened only in December last year, is owned and managed by Mr. Peter Cayabyab, a Filipino who had been living with his family in Portugal for 13 years. Before deciding to put up his own restaurant business, Mr. Cayabyab had worked for La Trattoria, a well-known Italian restaurant in Lisbon.
The article entitled, “Philippine Food made by Happy People”, mentioned that regardless of the dish you order in Kababayan Restaurant, they always serve them with a smile a distinctive Filipino trait commonly associated with the warmth and hospitality of the Filipino people. The Kababayan menu boasts of the famous adobong manok, rellenong bangus, and longanisa which are offered at very reasonable prices.
The restaurant’s cool ambience coupled with the traditional warmth of the Filipino provides a very welcome feeling and serves as prelude to a highly satisfying gustatory experience in Kababayan. The uniquely-arranged presentation of the buffet table with touches of Filipino art and culture creates a fiesta atmosphere without compromising class and elegance usual in fine dining. Images of Philippine destinations adorn the restaurant’s walls serving as invitations and testament to the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” experience. Capiz candle holders and a host of other Filipino handicrafts create a semblance of a showroom, of the fine quality of Filipino craftsmanship.
Indeed, a visit to the Kababayan restaurant in Lisbon promises not only gastronomical delight but also a genuine taste of Philippine culinary culture made possible by the Filipino’s talent and passion for cooking. Within two months since its opening, the restaurant has already attracted a huge following from its satisfied and loyal customers both from the Portuguese and Filipino communities.
Mr. Cayabyab refuses to be complacent and has set his eyes on capturing an even bigger market in the local restaurant business through more aggressive promotion. He counts on the local Filipino community for its support and foresees a big potential in attracting Filipino seamen from cruise and cargo ships which regularly stop in Lisbon’s various sea ports.
For Mr. Cayabyab, the restaurant is a dream come true since the whole family works together as a team in running the business. As chef-owner, Mr. Cayabyab is a hands-on manager who prefers to spend most of his time in the kitchen to make sure only the highest quality dishes are served to its customers relying on his discriminating taste buds and years of experience working in restaurants starting as a waiter until becoming an accomplished chef.
Just recently, Ambassador Philippe Lhuillier and his spouse visited the restaurant and recognized Mr. Cayabyab’s contribution in promoting Philippine cuisine and culture to the Portuguese community. In support of this initiative, the Embassy also provided the restaurant with Philippine tourism posters, audio-visual material and brochures.
In response, Mr. Cayabyab thanked Ambassador Lhuillier for his huge support and backing even before the restaurant started its operations last year. The Ambassador whose previous stint as the country’s top diplomat to Italy for 12 years, had always been a staunch supporter of Filipino entrepreneurs and start-up businesses.
Kababayan Restaurante is located at Rua Marques de Fronteira No. 173 in Lisbon, Portugal and is open everyday from 12:00-15:00 and from 19:00-24:00 except Mondays. It is near the city center and can be reached in 5 minutes by taxi from the Port of Lisbon. The restaurant offers buffet lunch and a la carte for dinner with free wifi internet for its customers.