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Amma's Birthday Kamayan | Villa Manila


Kamayan means "by hand" in Tagalog. For non-Filipinos, the concept of eating a communal meal with your fingers may seem daunting, but I can promise you it's such a fun dining experience. Especially when you also consider how masarap Filipino comfort food is.

For my Amma's 85th birthday, my family and I went for the one place I know does Kamayan (and does it well) in National City. It's a super cute restaurant called Villa Manila and it reminds me a lot of my grandparents' old house with all its Filipino decor. After our 20 person party was sat at the banana leaf-covered table, our server began to lay out our feast. From grilled Milkfish to lumpia and lechon, all my Filipino food faves were beautifully displayed. A feast for our eyes and appetites! We also ordered Sinigang and Nilaga for the table, but don't worry, those we had bowls and spoons for... If you know, you know. And of course we had to end with dessert... and it was the biggest Halo Halo you could imagine.

I've always loved the concept of Kamayan and it makes me feel really close to my Filipino heritage each time I have it. I love this spot so much too that I've brought a couple of friends to the restaurant and dream of hosting my own at home one day! But until then, I'll enjoy partaking in this one without the worry of cleaning up after :)

If you're in search for authentic Filipino cuisine and a Kamayan feast in the San Diego area, be sure to pay a visit to Villa Manila!


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