Looking back at the creation of RAPSA at 100 Hoxton; Chef Francis Puyat together with the Zilouf family, creators of our reputable 100 Hoxton and former sibling 100 Islington, have created a el trendo new addition of what they do best..creating a progressive ambience to a culinary experience that gets you day-dreaming at your work desk. The menu is the brainchild of Mediterranean-trained Pinoy chef Francis Puyat, formerly of NOPI, Yotam Ottolenghi’s West-End masterpiece and after the success of the pop-up Kinilaw&Buko as an extension of 100 Hoxton, the kinilaw section got a seat on the main menu and the meditearean flavours on the a la carte got a Pinoy Twist and a new name on the front door.. 100 Hoxton received the new first name RAPSA.
Chef has brought a little bit of home to Hoxton with delicious menus inspired by the flavours of his homeland in the Philippines that he brings into a space that celebrates just that; in the trendy heart of Hoxton. For Rapsa, Francis has set out to create an innovative but accessible menu, mouth-watering in its simplicity and heart-warming in its prices. ..Tantilising! (Did we mention there is a karaoke machine?)
“Like all good stories sometimes you need a glimpse of the end or at least the beginning of the end. My story has brought me to Rapsa, my temple of Filipino cooking, drinking and partying. It has everything I could hope for. A dedicated kitchen team to help me cook the delicious food of my home, an amazing gang of people from all over the world hosting customers from everywhere you could think of, with the addition of great drinks to complement my dishes and a lovely setting to make people feel at home. One final thing a karaoke system that has had more amazing voices than pop Idol.
Many of you may not agree with me that my Pinoy brothers and sisters are the kings and queens of hosting. No matter what culture you have experienced- the carnival in Rio or a party in Glasgow..the simple fact of the matter is that Pinoy people have been everywhere; and everyone has been to the Philippines. We have had centuries worth of exposure to the best in the industry, trendsetters, party starters and the party lovers and like anything- experience can only add to the offering.. And the Pinoy Way and the people indisputably being a top runner for being the maestros of the party scene. So welcome to RAPSA.”
Many of you will know the feeling of visiting Rapsa, or heard about it from a friend. Others may have walked past 100 Hoxton street and seen the fluorescent neon-pink lights behind the large vinyl of a beautifully designed octopus that occupies our front glass windows. Where did the design come from? We will give you 1 clue and it is the photo below of the left fore arm of Head Chef Francis.. the man who has carved a path in the 100 Hoxton building for past 6 years.
“So why Rapsa? What is in a name? The symbolism it carries, the tone it conveys and of course its history. As we traipse through the corridors of such momentous political times it is our commitment to a greater good that we must all hold in our memory. When we celebrate together, we heal the divisions between family and friends and revive our own souls. Argument becomes discussion and talk becomes chat with the soothing properties of shared food.
In the Philippines we have very strong opinions and we don’t need a topic like brexit to get us started. That’s why the sharing of food is so important for us. Every achievement in the family is celebrated. Our health is toasted. Our friends are praised. Prayers made together and when we are in luck prayers answered together.
Rapsa means delicious. It is taken from a very old tagalog word Sarap. Jumble up the letters and you get a modern appreciation of how hard we have strived to make food the best it can be. When our guests come their worries melt away with every bite of our food. Every inisal grill made, every Kinilaw lovingly put together and above all every Kamayan Boodle Fight painstakingly put together shows our friends and family there is a joyful rhapsody in connecting with loved ones. By sharing our food we share our hearts and in that way we will never be apart.
It is my job here to also make you feel special.I feel so privileged to be where I am and for those of you who can’t make it over to RAPSA or have been here and want to take a little bit of the joy to be found here, home with them- we are working on something very special to help guide you on how to host the best parties and prepare Pinoy food at home. You are going to find lots of delicious recipes for sure, some amazing cocktail ideas, some music suggestions – just suggestions but really try them they are perfect to get you in the mood for cooking and maybe a couple of teensy karaoke hints.”
For now, we at Rapsa are excited for the upcoming festive season and to create experiences for all from our solo diners to our large party groups. From Kinilaw boards to Boodle Fights to sumpous sharing plates, afforable lunchboxes and with extending our offering into local offices and wholesaling. Ironically Rapsa means beautiful in Filipino..coincidence? We think not.