My Million Pound Menu winners Bong Bong's Manila Kanteen to open new restaurant

12 May 2021 by
Bong Bong's Manila Kanteen food

Lee Johnson and Sinead Campbell, winners of BBC Two's My Million Pound Menu, have found a new London home for their Filipino street-food concept.

Bong Bong's Manila Kanteen will open within Kerb's indoor food market at Seven Dials in Covent Garden on 17 May.

Seven Dials Market is the first permanent home for Kerb, which has operated in a variety of locations including London Bridge and King's Cross.

Johnson and Campbell use the foundations of Filipino cuisine – vinegar, star anise, bay, garlic, ube (purple yam), coconut, mango and calamansi (the citrus fruit native to the Philippines) – to which they add their own twist.

Their dishes include lechon kawali (crispy pork belly with steamed jasmine rice, sesame bean salad, pickled cucumbers and coriander, fish sauce and ginger dressing); adobo-glazed cauliflower served with lime aïoli, spring onion, coriander, chilli, nigella seeds and lime; and crispy pata pancakes served with atchara (traditional pickled vegetables), mang tomas (pork liver) sauce, chicharron, coriander, lime, spring onion and chilli.

Johnson, who grew up in Manilla, and Campbell, from Ireland, were former art students when they joined forces in 2014 to set up street food truck business BBQ Dreamz, on Hoxton Street. They went on to have a presence at a number of Kerb sites before opening their first permanent site on Hackney Road in east London in October 2019.

The couple secured a £375,000 investment on My Million Pound Menu in 2019 from Charlie McVeigh, who had sold his stake in the 14-strong Draft House business to BrewDog the previous year.

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