Saturday, June 29, 2024

Filipino Food Adventure at the Surrey Fiesta Extravaganza 2024

We woke up with grand plans for Bowen Island, but after a rude awakening (thanks, snooze button!), we found ourselves scrambling for a new adventure. A quick call to my mom revealed the perfect solution: the Fiesta Extravaganza in Surrey, an event organized by my dad's friend! Last year's experience was a hit, so we headed out.

A late breakfast at Tim Hortons fueled our journey by bus and train to the Surrey Civic Centre. Reuniting with a famished mom, my mission was clear: try all the pork barbecue, just like I did at the Pinoy Festival in Burnaby last week.

The vendor selection was impressive, a major upgrade from last year's event. Manny's Grill, my undisputed champion from last week, was there.

Grandt Kitchen Filipino Cuisine

Our first stop was Grandt Kitchen, where we tried their pancit (a delicious noodle dish, though grandma still holds the crown) and lumpia (spring rolls). The barbecue was flavorful—not overly sweet but a bit on the lean side. The lumpia was decent, but Little Ongpin in Richmond remains my Canadian lumpia favourite.

Pork Barbecue from Grandt Kitchen Surrey

Pancit, Lumpiang Shanghai, and Pork Barbecue from Grandt Kitchen

A craving for halo-halo, the perfect summer cooler, led us to fulfill my mom's request.

Halo-Halo from Grandt Kitchen

Ragged Rei

Continuing our food adventure, I snagged a pork barbecue skewer from Ragged Rei's booth. Their lack of signage left me wondering if it was a restaurant or caterer, but their delicious offering made up for it. Their barbecue was a delightful contrast to Manny's - fattier, more tender, and boasting a savoury soy sauce base flavour profile.

Pork Barbecue from Ragged Rei

Mabuhay Foods and Grocery

As we savoured our finds, a glorious sight caught my eye: turon, a classic Filipino dessert, at the Mabuhay Foods stall! Recognizing them from their Kingsway grocery store in Vancouver, I dove in and ordered a spread of turon, siomai, pork barbecue, and lumpiang togue (spring rolls with mung bean sprouts).

Pork Barbecue from Mabuhay Foods

The turon and lumpia transported me back home (so much so that I completely missed taking a photo of my food!). Their flavours were a delightful reminder of after-school snacks prepared by my mom — a wave of nostalgia washing over me with every bite. The siomai, while good, couldn't dethrone Macau Imperial Tea's version. The barbecue, though undeniably sweet and flavorful, suffered from a case of the chills. Fresh off the grill, it would have been heavenly.

Pork Siomai from Mabuhay Foods

Overall, despite the missed Bowen Island trip, the Fiesta Extravaganza turned into a delicious adventure filled with familiar flavours and new discoveries. It was a perfect example of how the best-laid plans can sometimes lead to delightful surprises.

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