The appeal of Hoy Pinoy lies in its laid-back, self-possessed, quietly confident authenticity. Its goal is not to take Filipino street food and make it haute, or hatted, commanding prices that would put off its current mobile market following.
Hoy Pinoy has always valued sticking to the basics: why improve on perfection? The recipes are all from Regina’s family. The Hoy Pinoy staff are all Filipino, and they communicate in Tagalog and English.
All the food is cooked fresh on-site immediately before serving. The seasoning and spices are from the Philippines. Advertising, aside from mentions in the promotional material for mobile markets and food festivals, is strictly by seduction: tempted by the smells and the crowds, people pile into 15-20-minute queues, and after finding satisfaction at the end of a barbecue devoured all too quickly, bring their friends the next day.
The open-air grill that thickens the air with smoke and the scent of roasting meat swathed in savoury-sweet marinade are reminiscent of the Olongapo street food vendors making their after-school rounds, a memory still fresh in Regina’s mind after over 20 years of resettling.