Cafe culture in Kootingal

FOOD JOURNEY: Edwin and Lhen Cabuhat have travelled far to bring Tamworth’s cafe culture to Kootingal. Photo: Rebecca Belt 140715BBB01

IT’S been a long journey for the Cabuhat family, with the result being a reason for Kootingal tastebuds to celebrate.

Edwin and Lhen Cabuhat have moved from the Philippines to Newman in Western Australia, and now to Tamworth, to open the Cafe Koo Tin Gal Diner.

The diner opened on July 1 and the new owners said the community had rallied behind them.

“It’s our first time to have a cafe,” Mrs Cabuhat said.

“Edwin is a chef and was in Western Australia in mining, working as one of the chefs in the Seasons Hotel in Newman.”

The family have a Filipino friend in Tamworth who encouraged them to the city to check out business opportunities.

“We decided it was beautiful,” Mrs Cabuhat said.

“I love the mountains and everything.”

Mr Cabuhat moved to Australia in 2007, his wife followed in 2008, and their two daughters made their homes in Australia in 2010.

One daughter is now studying environmental science at the University of New England and the other is in Year 6 at Tamworth Public School and is a keen softballer.

Mrs Cabuhat said the business premises in Gate St had been known as a takeaway, but they wanted to make it a cafe.

“We are bringing the cafe culture out of Tamworth to Kooty,” she said.

“We want it to be a cafe where people can have a catch up and everybody’s welcome. Kids, teenag- ers, we want to welcomeeveryone.”

As well as offering traditional diner and cafe fare, Mrs Cabuhat said they would offer some Asian food.

She said Kootingal was a good place to have a business because they were building new houses and the new IGA supermarket was in the works.

“Kids come here, they love the (Disney and movie) posters,” Mrs Cabuhat said.

“Kids are bringing their friends.

Business is picking up little-by-little.”

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