Carrying a tiki torch



A paper tiki mask is the only indication that the door to which it is affixed leads anywhere other than a dive bar. However, ring the doorbell and walk through the kitchen and you’ll be transported to an island-themed living room that’s both kitsch and cozy.

“This is just from people’s homes, like my mother’s,” says Allan Pineda, pointing to the wood carvings, water buffalo horns and rattan furniture that decorate the room. “A lot of the things you see here, you would see in a Filipino’s house at the time – like the second wave immigrants in the ’60s and’ 70s, they would bring these things home (from the Philippines). ”

Pineda is a local chef and part of the team behind the Bahay Kubo Tiki Bar, a pop-up Filipino drink and dining experience held weekly at an undisclosed establishment in Winnipeg.

Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press

Allan Pineda gives the concept of the tiki bar a Filipino – and alcohol-free – touch.

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Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press

Allan Pineda gives the concept of the tiki bar a Filipino – and alcohol-free – touch.

Details are low key as the temporary restaurant is supposed to function as a sweatshop. The dinners are an offshoot of Baon Manila Nights, which Pineda launched to showcase Winnipeg’s Filipino dining scene.

The craze for tiki bars began in post-Prohibition California, where North American restaurateurs created escape lounges with appropriate motifs from different South Pacific cultures. While Pineda is aware of the place of the tiki as a divine figure in Maori, Hawaiian and other Polynesian traditions, he wanted to give the theme of the restaurant a Filipino touch.

“We have our own gods, so we prepared it that way,” he says. “We pay tribute to this.”

The name Bahay Kubo is a reference to the iconic stilt huts typically made of bamboo and nipa grass that are indigenous to the Philippines. Cultural information is presented in chalk on the walls of the pop-up restaurant.



<p>Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press</p>
<p>"A lot of the things you see here, you would see in a Filipino’s house at the time – like the second wave immigrants in the 60s and 70s they would bring these things home (from the Philippines)," says Allan Pineda.”/><br />
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<p>Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press</p>
<p>“A lot of the things you see here, you would see in a Filipino’s house at the time – like the second wave immigrants in the ’60s and’ 70s, they would bring these things home (from the Philippines), “said Allan Pineda.</p>
</figcaption></figure>
<p>“I want to open a tiki bar, so it’s like a proof of concept,” Pineda explains.  “Filipinos were huge on the tiki scene because they were the low-income workers who made the drinks in San Francisco.”			</p>
<p>Dinner is served under black lights while a DJ spins 90s hip-hop and R&B jams. The space is an old pizzeria with 26 seats and a long bar, although you can’t find any bottles of alcohol. beyond the woods.  The pop-ups are dry events, due to both the lack of a liquor license and Pineda’s personal decision to quit drinking.			</p>
<p>Coming up with a list of non-alcoholic cocktails has been an interesting adventure for bartender Conrado Nathaniel Penales.			</p>
<p>“It’s a challenge; it definitely broadened my perspective on making cocktails for people,” says Penales.  “Since there is no alcohol, I have to bring out additional flavors in other herbs and spices that I generally wouldn’t use.”			</p>
<figure class=



<p>Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press</p>
<p>Bartender Nathan Penates prepares a blank Pina Colada.”/><br />
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<p>Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press</p>
<p>Bartender Nathan Penates prepares a blank Pina Colada.</p>
</figcaption></figure>
<p>One of those experiences was a drink with mashed pumpkin and roasted carrots topped with sage, fresh lime juice, and ginger beer.  Penales has also created zero-proof versions of piña coladas, mules and mojitos made from tropical fruits such as coconut, mango, lychee berry and tamarind.  His play on a dark ‘n’ stormy – a highball typically made from rum, ginger beer, and lime – features a dark purple ube syrup instead of the alcohol base.			</p>
<p>“I think it’s heading a little more towards (sober cocktails),” Penales said of the public reception.  “People are better informed and take better care of themselves, so they don’t want to drink alcohol.”			</p>
<p>The drinks menu is accompanied by Filipino fusion cuisine offered by Chef Eejay Chua.  Its aim is to showcase traditional flavors and ingredients in popular Western dishes.			</p>
<p>“All the Filipino restaurants here are similar: you have your rice and… as a side dish,” Chua says.  “I want to make pasta with a Filipino flavor or say a French galantine (a stuffed chicken dish) with Filipino chicken adobo.”			</p>
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<p>Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press</p>
<p>Sisig taco and mochiko chicken are the creations of chef Eejay Chua.</p>
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<p>Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press</p>
<p>Sisig taco and mochiko chicken are the creations of chef Eejay Chua.</p>
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<p>For Bahay Kubo, Chua opted for Hawaiian, Japanese and Mexican influences.  The menu includes sisig pork belly tacos, fried chicken wrapped in nori, truffle parmesan fries, and Spam breaded fries – the latter are served in a tin of canned pork product.			</p>
<p>So far, Chua says the new concept has been well received by guests.			</p>
<p>“I enjoyed seeing people from different places every week, especially during COVID when we don’t really see people,” he says.  “Most of the bars here are clubs and they don’t really have that kind of vibe where, especially for Filipinos who come here, they’re like, ‘Ah, I feel like I’m at home .  “”			</p>
<p>The Bahay Kubo Tiki Bar is open every Thursday from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. until mid-December.  Send a message to <a href=@bahaykubotikibar

on Instagram to reserve a spot.

[email protected]

Twitter: @evawasney

Eva wasney

Joshua B. Speller