Jun 21, 2023 - Food and Drink

Nori De Vega shares her last Portland meal

Photo illustration of a place setting shaped like a skull and crossbones containing a photo of Nori De Vega.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Courtesy of Nori De Vega

Nori De Vega knows where to eat. The co-founder of Tikim, a pop-up restaurant and conversation project focusing on Filipino cuisine, also runs a popular Instagram and TikTok account highlighting local restaurants all around Portland, from the most hyped to hole-in-the-wall, mom-and-pop shops.

  • De Vega is coming off a busy few months. Along with her co-founders, she hosted a pop-up event at Abigail Hall and traveled to Austin, Texas, for the Hot Luck Festival.

We wanted to know: What would she eat if she had one last meal in Portland? Being a connoisseur of Portland's food scene, De Vega dreamed up a three-course meal to drool over.

Appetizer: Her first bite of the night consists of multiple dishes from Portland's talented roster of chefs, including the entire starter section of James Beard Award winner Gregory Gourdet’s Kann, roti canai from Thomas Pisha-Duffly’s Gado Gado, and miang plaa jaramed, a whole fried pompano fish, from Earl Ninsom’s Phuket Cafe.

  • "The pompano is insanely flavorful with the sweet sticky glaze and fresh with the salad greens and herbs on the side," De Vega tells Axios. "My husband and I also had it for the first time before Phuket Cafe even opened when we eloped inside of Paadee."

Main course: Not wanting to narrow it down, De Vega's entree would be a "dream Filipino feast" featuring dishes from Magna Kusina, Sunrice, Baon Kainan and Eat Balong.

Plus: "A dream tasting menu to come back? Chef Naomi Pomeroy’s Beast," she added.

Dessert: De Vega would end her last meal with sugary staples found across the city.

To finish it off, her mother's biko — a sweet, sticky, rice cake made with coconut milk and ginger.

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