Food

I Tried Filipino Spring Rolls from the Lumpia Company

Through a new pop-up at Local Kitchens in Lafayette, California, the Lumpia Company is offering its Filipino spring rolls for a limited time. I went to Local Kitchens and tried some of their delicious fried creations. (You can also get the lumpia at other Local Kitchens locations in the Bay Area.)

Lumpia Company was launched in 2015 by Bay Area native Alex Retodo. The rapper E-40 is also a partner in the company. The idea is to share Lumpia, a kind of traditional Filipino spring roll. The Lumpia Company company started working with Local Kitchens this week for National Lumpia Day, which was March 16, to launch their pop-up.

“Growing up in Vallejo, a lot of my best friends were a part of the Filipino Community. I ate lumpia with the kids I grew up around, and it became one of my favorite dishes of all time.” Said E-40, Bay Area rap legend and co-owner of The Lumpia Company. “We’re excited for this Local Kitchens pop-up to bring lumpia to more communities around the Bay Area”

The pop-up includes several of the food company’s top items. It’s a limited menu, so it doesn’t include all of the tasty spring rolls that they make. On offer are their signature Shanghai spring rolls, which include shrimp and ground pork. The Lumpia Company also has some creative variants on traditional lumpia. These include a bacon cheeseburger lumpia which has smoked bacon, ground beef, and cheddar cheese in it.

Trying the Shanghi Lumpia

On my visit, I tried the Shanghai lumpia. The lumpia come in a takeout container. They’re a little bit pricey, but you get a good number. My container had eight lumpia.

I had never tried them before, and I was excited to try something new. The lumpia are a bit like Chinese spring rolls, except the feel filling feels more like a rich, cohesive mixture. The outsides of each lumpia are crisp and fried golden brown.

These are great items to take on a picnic. They’re thinner than a traditional Chinese spring roll, making them easy to grab and eat on the go. They also hold together better than a traditional spring roll, where the skin can sometimes flake apart and the less-cohesive filling can spill out.

The Shanghai lumpia had a rich, delicious flavor. I could definitely taste the ground pork’s fatty yumminess, and the shrimp did not add any kind of fishy flavor. The water chestnuts provided a nice bit of crunch, and the oyster sauce sweetened everything up.

The lumpia were served with a side of a delicious, somewhat-spicy sweet chili sauce. Dipping them in the chili sauce added just a bit of piquancy and a pleasant sweetness that contrasted with the fatty richness of the fried skin and the filling. Despite their small size, these are a very satisfying item to eat. You could definitely make a meal out of one order of the lumpia, or get them as a side item along with other food from Local Kitchens.

Ordering Lumpia

If you want to try some of the lumpia company’s food, you can either seek out their food truck that stops at locations around the Bay Area, or visit their brick and mortar locations in Oakland or at Oracle Park. You can also visit the pop-up at local kitchens in Lafayette (or one of Local Kitchens’ other locations) for a limited time.

Local Kitchens told me that the pop-up will stay there for an indefinite time, depending on customer popularity. I’ve got my fingers crossed that perhaps the Lumpia company could become a permanent part of the Local Kitchens community.

I ordered my lumpia directly through the Local Kitchens app, which works really well on an iPhone. You can also get them through DoorDash.

The Bay Area has a proud Filipino heritage, and sampling this tasty lumpia is a great way to connect with it. Again, this was a new taste experience for me and I will definitely be trying their other offerings.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times.

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