WHENEVER I meet Filipinos abroad who were able to put up successful businesses, I cannot help but feel a sense of pride even if I was not in any way part of their success.

Being an immigrant myself, I know firsthand the struggles of moving to another country and learning the culture and nuances of the second adopted country you have. What more if you were able to perfect the learning curve and venture out into the unknown perils of entrepreneurship in a country you did not grow up in.

This is the story of the Vidanes couple Sheila and Kokoy, who, together with some of their other Filipino friends decided to open a Filipino eatery in the city of Surrey, a 45-minute drive from downtown Vancouver in British Columbia in Canada. Surrey is one of the fastest-growing cities near Vancouver and is home to a number of Filipinos who have called this city home.

It is fitting that the Vidanes couple and their friends chose this city to put up their first eatery. It is in a central location, accessible by public transit and private cars.

The name, is an interesting play on Filipino words, Eat Kanadyan, which sounds so much like Eat Canadian. This playful name was a good choice for a good name recall.

I had the opportunity to see Sheila and Kokoy at work and boy, were they busy. They are definitely on top of their game. They prepare most of the dishes they serve turo turo style so their mornings start early to do mise en place. Their eatery is located in a very busy Asian supermarket called Lucky Supermarket and the influx of customers are non stop. It is basically a captured market.

Not to rest on their laurels, the Vidanes couple is constantly thinking of more ways to reach customers. Thus, for the Christmas season, a season of gatherings, Eat Kanadiyan has made a pork belly lechon platter with a larger than-usual pork belly in the center with all the beloved Filipino favorites around it.

The taste of an oh-so-juicy pork belly is enhanced with several herbs and lemongrass that seep into the very meat of the belly, not just on the skin. The crispy skin lets you know that the belly is perfectly cooked. To add variety to their array of festive offerings, the Eat Ka Na platter for $75 has grilled prawns, and delicious mussels are included.

The quintessential lumpiang shanghai fried to perfection tops the garlic rice also included in the platter. A tilapia fish, more grilled chicken barbecue, and long green beans. What is a platter without the pickled vegetables or atchara accompanying the viands? And of course, the soy sauce with chili, garlic is also included to serve as dip for the fried seafood. This is the complete party platter, I tell you. The pork belly alone is $160, while the other platter with the other goodies is $75

For orders this Christmas season, please get in touch with Eat Kanadiyan for your orders. Head to https://eatkanadiyan.ca/product-category/platters/ and order their platters directly from their website. They offer delivery service for a minimal fee.

Eat Kanadiyan is located inside Lucky Supermarket at The Dell Shopping Centre, 10628 King George Blvd, Surrey, BC V3T 2X3 which opens 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.