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London’s Filipino Neo-Bistro Starts Crowdfund for Carnaby Restaurant

Budgie Montoya’s Sarap has a new site lined up in Kingly Court

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A birdseye view of a deep-fried whole pig’s trotter, sliced into rounds and stuffed with adobo rice, atop a banana leaf. To the left, a white pot of red dipping sauce.
The pig trotter stuffed with adobo rice from Sarap’s Mayfair restaurant.
Thomas Alexander/Sarap

Chef Ferdinand “Budgie” Montoya’s acclaimed, evolving Filipino restaurant Sarap is crowdfunding to move to Soho’s Kingly Court.

Montoya envisions the latest iteration of his proudly inauthentic approach to Filipino cuisine as combining its previous lives. Over the last five years, it’s been a supper club; a Dalston residency dedicated to the art of crackling, savoury lechon; a casual Brixton barbecue spot; and a Mayfair neo-bistro, but with this opening, Montoya wants it to be everything, all at once.

When he closed Sarap Baon, the Brixton location, in April 2022, he said that “Baon was something we always wanted to do off the back of Sarap, not the other way round.” The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t just curtail the opening of Sarap, the restaurant. It also curtailed Montoya’s longterm project to create something more malleable than his then most recognisable dish, the lechon: “An identity for Filipino cuisine in London” that refracts the archipelago’s traditions — and those of its diaspora — through the city he calls home. This new space will be the crucible of that ambition, and the fundraising begins from 12 December.

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