Full-packed first day after Razon’s of Guagua opened its third branch in UAE, situated inside Ibn Battuta Metrolink food court, Dubai last July 8. Amidst the summer heat, Filipinos strolling attended the opening ceremony and did not even give a passing plate from ordering famous Filipino food.
Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes arrived at around 6PM and meet Walid Abdulla, managing director of Razon’s third branch in UAE and partner of Razon’s company in the Philippines.
Filipino bloggers and food enthusiasts also attended the opening event.
Missing the Filipino taste
OFWs Coleen Tautho and Christian Santiago do not know “Razon’s of Guagua” in Manila since both of them are from Cebu City, until they found out the newly built restaurant at the second floor of Ibn Battuta mall. They were just strolling inside until their attention transferred to Filipino-inspired resto sitting beside with other famous fast foods. But the two did not hesitate to head point to Razon’s.
For Coleen and Christian, missing Philippines is a usual part of their OFW-journey, and staying for nearly six years in Dubai give them a sense of “missing” feeling to some extent, especially on the food they regularly eat before.
“Kadalasan ang mga kinakain namin dito mga fast food tapos mga arabic, indian… until nakita namin yung Razon’s na Filipino food so ti-nry namin,” (Most of the food we eat here are from fast foods, while other meals are Arabic or indian-inspired. So when we saw Razon’s offering Filipino food, we immediately had a try) Coleen shared.
Meanwhile, Christian had no second thoughts after seeing the offered Filipino dishes.
“Nakita namin yung menu parang lutong bahay po, namiss namin yung luto ng parents namin,” (we checked the menu everything is home-cooked. We missed what our parents cooked) he explained.
“It taste like home… pinoy na pinoy yung lasa. Huling huli nila yung lasa,” (it tastes like home, very Filipino taste. They got the cards) Christian described.
Sharing food thoughts
Abdulla shared his thoughts about what makes Razon unique and effective in the UAE market.
“I think Razon’s is really a homemade Filipino food and the community is quite large in United Arab Emirates in terms of Filipino population…Razon’s is very unique, in food items especially their halu-halo,” he said.
Abdulla also like the Filipino food especially the halu-halo. He said that the comfort of Filipino food touches his heart.
“I visited Philippines many times…Filipinos are enjoying life-the food. I love the Philippines,” Abdulla explained.
“I think it has great potential in United Arab Emirates. And the best thing is halu-halo. The fruits. The ice. The milk. The weather is very hot here and I think it really works… with unique Filipino taste,” he claimed.
Abdulla is also planning to expand his Razon’s business to nearby areas in Dubai.
Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes graced the event and primarily headed the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“We’re very happy that Razon’s is continuing to spread its wings in the whole UAE community. Not only for the Filipinos to enjoy but also for our friends from other ethnicities and nationalities,” Mr. Cortes said.
“Hopefully we get more people enjoy exactly what Razon’s is famous for. Their loglog of course, halu-halo which is very appropriate especially in this sweltering times… the Dubai’s sweltering heat,” Cortes added.
This is Razon’s third branch in UAE. The other two branches are located in Abu Dhabi Al Wahda Mall, and in Karama, Dubai.
Photos courtesy: Stanley Gajete