Monday, April 6, 2009

Ilocano Food @ Isdaan - Gerona, Tarlac (Philippines Part 2 of 3)

Isdaan is 'Fresh Catch' in the local language. This restaurant is situated about equidistant between Manila and Baguio, the summer capital. 'Fresh Catch' works both ways. Isdaan hope to catch the many who travel north on this highway. And the travelers also hope to catch some fresh food here as they take a refreshing break.

The food here is Filipino, no doubt, the lardy pork, the creamy chicken, vinegarised soup and appetisers and all kinds of grilled meat. And not forgetting the sumptuous seafood.

From my observation, the menu carried these three broad categories: Niligang and Sinigang Soup (sour and savoury), Inihaw Meat and Seafood (grilled), Sizzlers (meat/seafood on hot griddles/pans), Kawali (meat/seafood boiled till cook/tender and then deep fried in oil) and Vegetable. I am sure they are more if the Filipinos were asked.
There are many bamboo crafted pavilions for dining as well as open areas. The restaurant is sitting on top of a pond and certain pathways sway as weight was applied. Many carps live in it taking on fish food received free by customers at the door. Walking around I found many Mayan/Aztecs inspired statues adorned the compound.One of the many cooking areas. Here huge woks were cooking pork, chicken and beef dishes. See what's cooking in the following shots.Chicken in coconut cream.Niligang Bulalo. Beef soup. A huge bone with thick and fatty marrow for the brave who dared probed further.The pork belly or 'liempo' are cooking in its own fat!In another section lechon baboy is roasted to perfection. This one may costs RM250.Yet another section lechon manok (chickens) were grilled over charcoal fire.The 4 sauces. From left: 1) Shrimp/Belacan/cincaluk type thick sauce 2) Fish sauce with whole bird's eye chili within to lend some heat 3) Coconut vinegar flavoured with garlic pieces 4) Thick soy sauceBlack Rice. Marinated with squid ink and accompanied with squid pieces.The Huge Bulalo Soup. With pepper and strong beefy flavour and smell.I was too full to dig into the bone for marrow.Inihaw Liempo. Marinated overnight pork belly grilled to perfection. Melt in the mouth goodness.Inihaw Bangus. Grilled Milkfish. Pinakbet. Ilocano vegetable dish. Up to 5-6 veges inside and cooked with medium sized prawns.

13 comments:

Lai Ying said...

Oh dear i feel so jilak looking at the pork dishes. They look kinda dirty?

thenomadGourmand said...

had a hard time in Phil..food was mostly sweet n oily lohh... but frm ur pics these all looked so nice!!

Bangsar-bAbE said...

I love pinakbet!! Growing up, my Filipino maid used to cook it for me. Oh how I miss this...

FoOd PaRaDiSe said...

the foods looks delicious.....

SimpleGirl said...

some of the food made me feel that like I am watching bizzare food from AFC haha....

Life for Beginners said...

Looks like an adventure simply dining there! I think the black rice especially is enticing for me, on top of which one gets to pile on all the other meat dishes! :D

Selba said...

Have heard a few times that actually phillipine food doesn't taste really good compared to the SEA food but looking to your pics, it looks so yummy!

New Kid on the Blog said...

is this typical philippine food??

foodbin said...

a good post-glimpses of real Filipino food.

worldwindows said...

LY... I can understand. Not all like pork and also cooked certain way. When I talk about pork belly some turn belly-up food-wise:)

TNG... I may be wrong, in my experience generally the food gets better as I move up the price ladder. But still the hawker food in Baquio was good so may I venture to say that I will get those who enjoy good food to take me out!

BB... It was my first. I like the mixed of a few types of veges with a cut mix of herbs and spices. I thought there were bay leaves. The pumpkin act as a conditioner and thicken the sauces.

FB... I enjoyed the pork belly and grilled calamari very much.

SG... It is not only acquired taste but also acquired sight:)

LfB... The Black Rice smeared with squid ink. Exotic.

Selba... Heard that before but found out it was to the contrary.

NKotB... Yes in my limited interactions. Lots of meat for the well-to-do. The love pork dishes I will think.

FB... I ate with 3 affluent Filipino families in Mindanao their style and variety has impressed me!

rich said...

LY do you know what dirty is?

lza said...

i think i cant dare to eat some of those food... is kinda like very dirty,

Anonymous said...

i think i dont like to eat some of those food.