by Hans ten Cate
Sunday, 21 March 2004

SPAMJAM opened in December 2003 in the Ayala shopping center in Makati (Manila), Philippines Photo credit: Michelle S. Mauricio

From Monty Python's Green Midget Café to the real thing, the SPAMJAM Café proves that truth is more lucrative than fiction.

The menu at the new fastfood restaurant in Manila, Philippines is a SPAM-heavy affair (spam burger, spam and egg, spam spaghetti, spam caesar salad, etc.) which could easily have been taken directly from the Monty Python sketch.

"I'm a Spam lover," said Philip Abadilla, who opened the world's first Spam restaurant in Manila last December. "It's always on my mind."

Selections from the

  • Spam Burger - grilled sliced SPAM between a lightly toasted "Dutch Crunch bun," exclusive to the SPAMJAM Café. Have your burger plain, with cheese, or with cheese and mushrooms
  • Spam Hero - a hearty sandwich of Spam, cheese and tomato
  • SpamJam Club
  • Spam and Egg - grilled SPAM topped with an egg, sunny side up
  • Spam Melt
  • Spam Spaghetti
  • Spam Baked Macaroni
  • Spam Poppers - bite-size combinations of mashed potato and chopped SPAM
  • Spam Nuggets
  • Cream Sticks - cheese sticks with SPAM
  • Spam Caesar Salad
  • Wranglers Hotdogitty Dawg
  • Wranglers Korn Dawg
  • Curly Fries

SPAM, the much ridiculed canned luncheon meat that also inspired the Python sketch, was introduced in the Philippines during the second world war . These days, Filipinos eat 2.75 million pounds (1.25 million kilograms) of the stuff every year.

So far SPAMJAM Café has proven to be a hit among the locals as well as curious tourists. The menu (see left) is attuned to the Filipino palate and has become its key to success, according to Abadilla.

And if you are anything like the character portrayed by Graham Chapman and just simply "don't like SPAM," the cafe also offers hot dogs and curly fries. You can almost hear Terry Jones yelling "yeeecch!"

The restaurant gets up to 300 customers each day and Abadilla is in negotiations to open two further branches. Hormel Foods, who backed the venture, is hoping to take the restaurant to other countries.