Kusina Filipino Cuisine brings more Filipino authenticity to Suffolk

Published 10:00 am Friday, April 26, 2024

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Monday saw Suffolk welcoming a new restaurant offering traditional Filipino food to the Hampton Roads area.

Kusina Filipino Cuisine, located at 6550 Hampton Roads Parkway, Suite 107, celebrated its grand opening on Monday, April 15, alongside friends and family and City of Suffolk staff. The women-owned restaurant offers a rotating menu of delicious Filipino dishes, including pancit and lumpia.

While dining with other residents at the restaurant’s grand opening, Suffolk Resident Carl Lindquist said he was happy that Kusina had arrived in the area.

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“It’s something that we’ve been waiting for, something the community has needed, because there is a lot of diversity here and with diversity comes good food,” Lindquist said. “Good food, good relations. We definitely needed to have this place here.”

Donnabeel Malones and Merilou Rise of Kusina Filipino Cuisine talked about the restaurant, with Malones calling Rise her “sister in heart.” Reflecting on how they got to this point, Malones says the restaurant started with a dream.

“Every time that we [were] going to eat at a Filipino restaurant, I [said] to myself, ‘I hope I am going to have this kind of restaurant.’ But God heard my prayer,” Malones said. “It’s just a small dream and prayer.” 

Malones detailed that “Kusina” means “Kitchen” in the Filipino language, and the name was chosen to best describe the restaurant and its goal of serving delicious food. She also noted that the restaurant logo was created by a former student of hers while teaching preschool.

“She asked me, ‘Teacher, what do you want?’ I said, ‘Ok, both of us want ‘classic, authentic and aesthetic. Just simple that describes us as a Filipino and as a cook…,’” Malones said. “That is a banana leaf. In the Philippines, we eat in the banana leaves for ‘Salu-Salo’ or ‘all together.’”

Rise notes that Kusina is the only Filipino restaurant in Suffolk, saying this brings the Kusina team an opportunity to serve the entire Suffolk community and beyond.

“It’s an opportunity for us to serve authentic Filipino food for the community of Suffolk, and also in Hampton Roads,” Rise said. “We would love to serve them the best menu that we have.”

Kusina Filipino Cuisine is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. 

For more information, go to instagram.com/Kusina.FilipinoCuisine.