I finally did it. I always wanted to introduce my children to Kamayan. So this past Summer, I got extra ambitious and created a family fete. We had to do Kamayan!
Never heard of Kamayan before? Kamayan is a traditional Filipino feast. In Tagalog (Philippines national language), the root word “kamay” means hands, and “kamayan” means “with hands”. That means, there will be no utensils in this celebration! Some refer to the Kamayan-style of dining as Boodle Fights, a Philippines military term for mess hall eating.
But that’s not the only exciting part of a Kamayan’s communal experience. It is the large family-style traditional spread of the most colorful array of Filipino dishes on top of the banana leaves that will get your mouth watering! I can’t imagine a more picture-worthy moment. Everyone is seated around the table and uses the edges of the table (covered with banana leaves) as their place of setting.
Now before you get in on the chaos of planning your own Kamayan, I’ve decided to feature some local restaurants that are already offering the Kamayan experience. Make sure to check out the list below.
You should also probably know some etiquette tips, too.
1) Wash your hands thoroughly
2) Only use your right hand for eating, left hand for serving spoons if available.
3) Your palm should not be touching your food, only your fingers.
4) Mold your rice into a small ball, then add whatever you want on top of the rice, but keep the size just big enough to place into your mouth.
5) Use thumb to assist food into your mouth
110 W. Illinois
Chicago, IL 60654(MAP)
First Thursdays of every month
$55 per person
25 Randhurst Village Dr,
Mount Prospect, IL 60056 (MAP)
At least 3 days notice
Minimum of 15 people
Starts at $50 a person
598 East North Avenue,
Carol Stream, IL 60188 (MAP)
24 hours reservation
Minimum 2 people
Adults $29.95 / Kids $16.95
Sandok n Palayok
14149 Cicero Ave.
Crestwood, IL 60445 (MAP)
Minimum 5 people
Note: Can provide gloves if requested.