Mama Lor: Serving you family with a side of the Philippines

Mama Lor: Serving you family with a side of the Philippines

Featured image by Jiwon Kim, Broadsheet Sydney

There’s no place like home; Mama Lor is a family-owned Filipino restaurant located at Rooty Hill, and offers a familiar taste to the Filipino community.

The Sydney-based restaurant offers a variety of traditional Filipino dishes, as well as their own recipe of bread and cakes.

“We believe that what makes us unique is our bakery,” says Sabrina Chua, the daughter-in-law of Mama Lor the second.

“We are a grill restaurant with a bakery as well, which is unusual here in Australia.”

Mama Lor was established by a family from Cebu with the heart to make every Filipino feel close to home, and to share the Filipino taste and experience with other nationalities.

The restaurant is dedicated to the family’s mother and grandmother, who both share the name Mama Lor, and a passion to make dishes and desserts for their family and friends.

For us Filipinos, a mother's cooking has like a special thing in our hearts so we wanted to incorporate that motherly love feeling, says Sabrina.

Image by Jiwon Kim, Broadsheet Sydney

Mama Lor is just four months shy from turning two, after having its soft opening in November 2017.

It started out as a conversation among the family about the Lechon, or roasted pork belly, and they realised that although there are quite a few Filipino restaurants here in Sydney that serve the iconic Filipino dish, none serve it A la Carte, and diners have to purchase the whole pig.

“That’s why it inspired [us] to open a restaurant that serves every Filipino’s favourite dish at every fiesta/party: Lechon with Rice,” says Sabrina.

The menu is inspired by Filipino culture, where they hope to serve dishes that “bring Filipinos back” to their homeland.

While their customers were mainly Filipino at first, Sabrina estimates that now three out of 10 customers are of other nationalities.

With the nation’s rich and diverse history, Filipino food is influenced by many cultures; Chinese, Spanish, and American, making every dish distinctly flavourful and unique.

Image by Jiwon Kim, Broadsheet Sydney

Their Pork Barbecue Skewers are one of the most popular dishes on the menu, perhaps because it’s a well-known Filipino street food every Filipino loves.

“But we’re surprised that even other customers of different nationalities love it too,” says Sabrina.

Their mission is to be able to serve Kababayans, or countrymen, not just in Sydney, but all around Australia, and for Filipino food to be known and accepted like other Asian cuisines.

“That’s that pain point we’re trying to solve,” Sabrina says.

There aren't many Filipino restaurants out there. That's why other nationalities have no idea about it.

Mama Lor is hoping to soon expand their unique Filipino traditions into Melbourne, and you can check their Facebook and Instagram pages for updates.

Mama Lor: Shop 5/39–45 Rooty Hill Road North, Rooty Hill

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 10am–8:30pm, Friday to Sunday 10am–9pm

Phone: (02) 8809 7778

Chanelle Mansour

Chanelle is a third-year Bachelor of Communication student at Western Sydney University, with a major in Journalism and sub-major in Creative Writing. Through writing focused and enlightening articles, Chanelle hopes to present and share news stories that readers will find both entertaining and educational. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: [email protected]