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Following the success of their most recent Soho opening, Donia, the Maginhawa Group are pleased to share an in-depth look at the restaurant concepts that make them one of the most successful and diverse restaurant groups currently operating. Co-founded by Florence Mae Magnaloc and Omar Shah in 2018, and rooted in Kentish Town, the Maginhawa Group is one of the UK’s most under-the-radar success stories, transforming the narrative of Filipino food within the British culinary landscape.


The group’s first concept, Bintang, was originally opened in 1987 by co-founder Shah’s parents and drew inspiration from a variety of Asian cuisines. Born in London to a Filipino mother and Bangladeshi father, Shah recognised a lack of representation for Filipino food within the London dining scene, and since taking over the reins from his family, has put his distinctive stamp on the menu – with a greater focus on the cuisine of his mother’s heritage.

In 2007, Shah opened the group’s second concept, Guanabana, where he met his partner and Maginhawa group co-founder Maglanoc, who helped to define the company’s identity, shaping it into the success that it is today.


Encompassing eleven sites across seven distinct restaurant concepts, the group takes its inspiration from the combined Filipino heritage of its co-founders, with the aim of bringing people together through shared dining experiences. From the street food-inspired Mamasons to the group’s most recent opening Donia, which offers pioneering modern Filipino cooking with a European twist, each concept offers an original culinary journey, inviting diners to experience the diverse and rich flavours of the sometimes underrepresented Filipino and Southeast Asian cuisines.


Encapsulating this ethos is Ramo Ramen, which pays homage to the Japanese staple and reimagines it through the lens of Magnaloc and Shah’s background. On the menu, diners can expect to find dishes steeped in tradition with a creative twist. The Oxtail kare kare plays on the comforting Filipino stew by transforming it into a noodle soup, while the Sinigang ramen presents a sweet, sour, hot tamarind broth topped with grilled King prawns and nitamago egg - a reinvention of a familiar classic.

A stalwart of the North London dining scene for over 35 years, Bintang showcases the breadth and richness of Filipino and Southeast Asian flavours. Offering a selection of Filipino fusion sharing-style dishes, the menu also features a curated selection of handcrafted cocktails, as well as an entire section dedicated to Silogs - the quintessential Filipino breakfast comprising of garlic fried rice, pickled papaya (atchara), and fried egg.

Award-winning ‘dirty ice cream’ parlour Mamasons, with sites in Kentish Town, Chinatown and Westfield, offers authentic Filipino desserts and ice cream, inspired by the hawker stalls found on the streets of Manila. The menu includes a handful of signature Filipino ingredients such as Ube and Milo, plus monthly specials to celebrate seasonal produce, all churned on site in small batches. Other treats include their signature Bilog, a toasted milk bun filled with ice cream; and Halo Halo, a beloved and unique Filipino layered dessert served with shaved ice.

Translating to ‘female baker’ in Tagalog, Panadera is a tribute to Southeast Asian flavours through unique baked goods and Filipino dishes. In addition to the bakery’s signature Japanese-style ‘sandos’, diners can also expect to find Filipino classics, such as Pandesal and Pan de coco, a traditional bread roll filled with sweetened coconut. The drinks menu draws a similar inspiration, with specials including an Iced milo mocha, Buko pandan frappe, and the bakery’s beloved Iced ube latte - a mainstay on Instagram feeds of keen foodies and fans of the bakery alike.

The first halal restaurant of its kind in London, Guanabana specialises in Latin-Caribbean cuisine, drawing inspiration from Jamaica, Colombia and Mexico; whilst the restaurant’s take-away concept, Moi Moi Island, focuses on West African and Caribbean cooking, with dishes including Curry lamb stew; Suya beef with jollof rice; and Jerk chicken with rice and peas and fried plantain.

Marrying Filipino flavours with British techniques, Donia brings a fresh new concept to the London dining scene. Occupying a space on the top floor of Kingly Court, the menu at Donia offers a curated selection of snacks and smaller plates, like Chicken ofal skewers and Prawn and pork dumplings; as well as larger plates designed for sharing. Dishes include Pork belly, roasted Léchon-style until perfectly crisp and served alongside liver peppercorn sauce; and Chicken Inasal, a beloved traditional dish grilled over coals and served with an indulgent butter emulsion.

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