My knowledge of Filipino cuisine is limited by the few experiences I had spending the weekends rolling up lumpia for squadron fundraisers when I was stationed in Misawa Air Base, Japan. I also once tried to cook longganisa but watched it melt like a snowman leaving only a reddish oily pool in the frying pan. But this weekend my gal and I were invited to a “Boodle Fight” by the family who operates LetsYOWN (official Facebook page). Here I received a proper education in Filipino cuisine and culture, while meeting a wonderful family and making some new friends.
LetsYOWN is a delivery service that offers authentic Filipino food delivered to your doorstep at portion sizes for 8-10 persons, and at prices that will blow your mind. Let me show you some examples of their food, then I’ll tell you a bit more about the family running the operation (and what the heck a Boodle Fight is)…
I don’t normally start off with the menu. But I felt it important to provide it up front because you’re going to see some prices in the article that seem unbelievable. It’s not a misprint. These are the prices. What blows my mind is the fact that at these prices these huge portioned dishes are completely authentic, delicious, and a guaranteed crowd pleaser for dinner guests.
Feasting with Friends…
I had a small get together at my house with a few friends who were curious about Filipino cuisine. From LetsYOWN I had their Lechon (pork belly roll), Guinataan Style Chicken Adobo, and trays of Leche Flan for dessert. All I had to do to round out the meal was pick up a couple of loaves of crusty baguette bread, a bag of salad, and copious amounts of San Miguel beer!
LetsYOWN’s Star Dish: Lechon!
No Pinoy feast would be complete without the star dish, the Lechon (700 baht/2kg). This crispy skinned pork belly roll is like the turkey on Thanksgiving…a must have! LetsYOWN has a proprietary process for cooking their lemongrass and garlic stuffed Lechon that keeps the meat super tender and juicy while the thin crispy pork skin crunches like glass.
Words just can’t describe it. It’s better to watch and listen. Which is why I am sharing this short clip of me crunching through the skin as I carve this “turkey” while my dinner guests moan pornographically in approval!
Each Lechon pork belly roll is accompanied with 2 different dipping sauces. From the northern Philippines region they provide a homemade version of Mang Tomas, a creamy sauce made from blended pork liver. Imagine liquid pâté and you get the idea. This sauce is especially delicious with the pork meat.
From the southern region of the Philippines they also offer a homemade sweet sauce of soy, various vinegars, and garlic . This is amazing with the fattier bits of pork as the vinegar cuts through the fat nicely.
Guinataan Style Chicken Adobo
Not found on the menu, but available by request, is LetsYOWN’s Guinataan Style Chicken Adobo (450 baht). It’s unlike any adobo I’ve tried, but that’s because in the Philippines there are many different styles of adobo based on the regions. The Guinataan style uses coconut milk which makes it creamier and sweeter than other adobos I’ve tried.
To give you an idea of just how big the portion is, this dish uses 2 kg of chicken breast and thigh meat! We used the bread to soak up the sauce, but if you’re a rice fan that’ll work, too.
Spanish food heavily influenced Filipino cuisine. Which is why leche flan is a hugely popular dessert in the Philippines. LetsYOWN makes an amazingly creamy Leche Flan (5 trays/400 baht). With a party of 5, we managed to finish 1 1/2 trays (I’m not complaining about the leftovers). It’s a great way to end the meal, and the caramel sauce a the bottom of the tray is wonderful to drizzle over this creamy dessert.
A chat with the LetsYOWN family…
LetsYOWN is the creation of husband and wife Ace and Nica with the photo/marketing talents of their adorable son, Calix. Both Ace and Nica came from the Philippines to Bangkok 6 years ago to work as nurses (and they continue to work full time in the medical field).
They began to cater for local church functions, which quickly evolved to cooking lunches for their hospital colleagues. Soon they were also cooking for their friends. Becoming hugely popular in the Bangkok local Filipino community they decided to offer a delivery service available on weekends.
LetsYOWN officially opened it’s delivery service in 2017. The strange name has two meanings. First, it is similarly sounding to “lechon” which is the very popular crispy pork belly roll they are so well known for. Second it consists of two words which are “Let’s” and YOWN which is a present Tagalog slang for iyon (that, this).
“YOWN” is an expression to affirm something or to say something’s good, (e.g. when you are able to find something that you’d been keen to look for). It may be translated as “This is it!“.
If you are looking for amazing homemade Filipino food this IS it!
Both Ace and Nica began their cooking journey to satisfy the Filipino community, but now they’ve expanded it with LetsYOWN in the hopes of reaching others who have an interest in Pinoy cuisine and want to experience it.
Their portions are designed to satisfy 8-10 diners because it’s their belief that the food needs to be shared and enjoyed family style or “Boodle Fight” style!
Okay…what the heck is a “Boodle Fight”?
I wondered the same thing when Ace and Nica invited us over for one! A “Boodle Fight” is actually a term that is derived from American military slang. As a former military member, I get a kick out of this. Soldiers used to dine in the jungles and pool their “boodle” which was sweets from their rations together and then go at it until the last boodle was eaten with the goal being to get your fill before it was gone. It’s not quite a “fight”. It’s more like aggressive dining.
This particular experience at their home deviated from the historical Boodle Fights in that we didn’t stand shoulder to shoulder and have the senior member at the table declare “Ready to the left, ready to the right, commence boodle fight!” However we did eat kamayan style (with our hands) and all of the treats were served on a table covered in banana leaves. Camaraderie ensued.
Of course Boodle Fights are no longer just sweets. Nowadays the cornerstone of each meal is the lechon. Surrounding this yummy main are various dishes like lumpia, rice, salads, and adobos. For my gal and I this was a real treat to enjoy such delicious food and to have such a warm and welcoming host family to introduce us to it.
If you would like to put on a Filipino meal at home or Boodle Fight of your own contact LetsYOWN and let them make it a memorable event!
You will smile like this…
To ensure you are able to receive your order message them via their Facebook page within 5 days to a week prior to when you want to entertain. During the busy months of October through December you may need to provide 1- 2 weeks advance notification due to Filipino festivities during those months.
Should you try them out I’d love to hear your feedback! Please feel free to contact me or post your comments in the comment section below.