It’s here! “It just is...” It’s BASTA!
We are excited to announce the newest addition to The Forks Market, BASTA! Filipino Kitchen. A new food option where locals and visitors can sample delicious Filipino cuisine.
The word “basta,” pronounced bus-tah, means “it just is” in Filipino. The phrase is used to emphasize simplicity, and in this case, simplicity through your dining experience.
When we asked around about who’d be best to bring Filipino food to The Forks, everyone pointed us toward the same person. Enter Canadian-born Filipino Chef Norm Pastorin. Norm is the face, the mind, and the creative genius behind BASTA!
Norm is known to create memorable experiences through food. He has previously launched and operated popular Winnipeg restaurants, such as The Grove, The Cornerstone Bar and Restaurant, and Black Bird Brasserie, where he incorporated Filipino flavours throughout their menus.
“I’ll do my best and try my hardest to be a good representative for the Filipino community,” says Norm. “It’s a huge opportunity for me to explore my personal cultural heritage.”
Winnipeg is home to Canada’s largest Filipino community. With most Filipino restaurants located in the north and west ends of the city, we thought, what better spot for BASTA! than a central meeting place, like The Forks. Where everyone can connect with Filipino culture and food.
When Norm thinks of his culture and tradition, he thinks of warm hospitality, large family gatherings, and delicious food shared by all. “It’s what I understand the Filipino culture to be,” says Norm.
Norm’s goal for BASTA! is to craft a delicious, fast-paced menu that not only respects the traditions of Filipino cuisine, but also welcomes non-Filipino visitors.
The menu at BASTA! offers something for everyone, no matter the time of day. Silog (see-LOGH), a classic Filipino breakfast dish, is served with garlic-fried rice and egg, and it’s often paired with a sweet or savoury meat option. It’s hearty enough for dinner or lunch, but also adaptable for a cozy morning brunch option.
Pancit Bihon (PAN-sit BEE-hn) is a Filipino noodle dish loaded with sauteed vegetables and delicious flavour. This is a great option for vegetarians or anyone looking to cut down on their meat intake. BASTA! will also offer desserts and small snacks, something satisfying no matter what you’re craving.
“I want people to realize that Filipino food is festive food,” says Norm. “It's fun, it's convivial. There's something for everybody.”
Everyone is welcome to come and try the delicious Filipino food BASTA! has to offer. Indulge and experience the culture that makes up such a huge part of Winnipeg, and remember, “it just is…”