To be known as “Restaurant of the Yr” in these extraordinary occasions is noteworthy and further significant. Not solely does a restaurant want to supply nice meals and repair, it ought to have additionally been capable of adapt to the occasions, whereas remaining true to its function. It’s for these causes that Musang, a Filipino restaurant in Seattle, Washington, earned the popularity from Seattle Metropolitan—or Seattle Met—a month-to-month information, tradition and life-style journal masking town.
In her article on Musang, author Allecia Vermillion says the restaurant was capable of efficiently navigate the distinctive realities imposed by the pandemic whereas remaining true to its values, like having an important appreciation for constructing and nurturing communities, for providing meals from her tradition that speaks not solely to those that realize it however to those that are simply being launched to it. These are why Musang is Restaurant of the Yr—these and its superior kare-kare.
On Musang’s Instagram web page, Miranda posted a heartwarming observe, dedicating the accolade to her mother and father, who she describes as “the epitome of coronary heart” and “unconditional love.” She additionally made particular point out of the neighborhood of cooks that helped her alongside the way in which—“all of us hustlers, grinders and everybody that simply reveals up.”
Rising up with a household who likes to cook dinner, the Washington-born Miranda had proven curiosity in meals at an early age. In a video published by Bon Appetit, she shared the recipe of a dish that she grew up with—Adobong Pusit Pancit. Her dad, who she jokingly known as a “squid whisperer,” would go hand-catching squid on the pier at 2 within the morning, and when he will get again house, Miranda would all the time be as much as the problem of cleansing the squid. This stated noodle dish, like many dishes which are impressed by her household’s cooking, is obtainable in Musang.
Miranda graduated with a sociology diploma from the College of Washington and later moved to Italy to review meals and hospitality on the Florence College of Arts. She afterward labored at Il Santo Bevitore and Vivanda, earlier than transferring to New York Metropolis the place she labored at Felice, Sant Ambroeus, and Mayfield.
After her stints in Italy and New York, she moved again to Seattle with the intention of pursuing Italian cooking.
When she realized that the Filipino eating places she grew up with of their space had sadly already closed store, the thought to arrange pop-ups was born. “My Italian pop-ups morphed into Italian-Filipino pop-ups, after which I assumed, ‘How can individuals admire Filipino meals in the event that they don’t know what Filipino meals is? I can’t reinterpret kare-kare for those who don’t know what kare-kare even tastes like,’” she shared in an essay she wrote for Zagat.com, a US-wide food website.
Her first huge Filipino pop-up known as “Feast of the Seven Fishes” wasn’t precisely only a pop-up—there was a Filipino people group known as Rondalya enjoying music, there have been dancers performing a candle dance, there have been Filipino artists and distributors. And that was how her Italian restaurant grew to become a Filipino restaurant, she informed Zagat.
“A variety of Filipinos who got here had been like, ‘Oh my God. We haven’t had this meals in so lengthy.’ And numerous new individuals informed us that they didn’t notice that that is what Filipino meals tasted like,” Miranda recalled to the web site.
As for the way the identify of her restaurant grew to become Musang—there’s a again story there. Her dad used to drive a Mustang. However the ‘t’ fell off the mannequin tag of the automotive, and so his dad’s pals began calling him musang, which is wild cat in Filipino. “He’s six ft tall with honest pores and skin. He had huge hair. He was this girls’ man. My dad is aware of lots of people, and so anyplace we’d go—from the mall to Chinatown to simply being on the streets—individuals would name out, ‘Musang!’”
Whereas within the Philippines for a trip, she went to Benguet and consulted a neighborhood healer for her again ache. “She’s this tiny girl who solely speaks in dialect,” she informed Zagat. “As she’s working, she seems to be down on the owl tattoo on my arm. In dialect, she says to my good friend Teresa, ‘Why does she have an owl tattoo? She ought to have a musang.’ I used to be like, ‘What the fuck? Did she simply say ‘musang’? That’s my dad’s nickname. That is loopy.’”
Musang, the resto, began out as a brunch pop-up with a rotating preset menu so she might “educate” the patrons concerning the dishes she’s serving. “You knew that each month you’d run into pals or make new pals. That was the Seattle I remembered, the Seattle I needed to convey again,” she shared
Musang lastly opened in Beacon Hills in January 2019. “We are saying that this restaurant is community-driven, not chef-driven,” she wrote in Zagat.
Musang serves lutong bahay take-out menu Wednesday by means of Saturday, and their patio for in-house eating from 11am to eight:30pm. A few of Musang’s bestsellers embody Crispy Lechon Stomach Bicol Categorical, Silog Particular, Lola’s Roast Beef, Beef Mechado, Dinuguan and Kare-kare.
On her Instagram, Miranda says that whereas Musang’s journey has been met with challenges, it is usually one which has been stuffed with pleasure and blessings. Musang the restaurant, she says, is barely the start. “We all know and we dream that that is far better than we even can start to comprehend,” she wrote on Instagram. “It’s a neighborhood area, a therapeutic area, and that is our house.”
Images from Musang’s and Melissa Miranda’s Instagram account