Our second stop was a six course lunch prepared by Chef Sau del Rosario. This was held at the Filipino-Spanish heritage house of Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda in Angeles, Pampanga. This was built mainly using stone and wood in the year 1824. Centuries old, the house was in pretty good condition still and it was massive. We didn’t get to explore so much but based on what I did see, it was pretty cool. Chef Sau welcomed us with a Buko-Lychee drink that came with a cute little straw hat. I noticed he is fond of welcome drinks. I am fond of welcome drinks too.
Before the big meal though, Chef Sau and his staff showed us how to make Tamales. It’s sort of like kakanin but instead of being sweet like most of them, it’s savory cause it has chicken, egg and is doused in achuete oil.
Usually after cooking this, one wraps it in thick layers of banana leaves and then boils it before serving. It was my first time to try it and I found it rather odd. Not my cup of tea, the rice was soft and didn’t taste like anything really. I thought the dish was rather bland, honestly. I’d take the sweet kakanin over this anyday. After just one bite, I was ready for lunch.
First, we had Forest Fern Salad with a Coconut Vinegar dressing. I’m not too fond of any sort of vinegar whatsoever but I knew I had to give this a shot. Chef Sau said the greens were actual ferns from Pampanga. The salad had some flower petals and a large prawn that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was surprisingly good but certainly not something I think I’d ever look for since it had vinegar.
Next was Buro with Fried Catfish on a Mustard Leaf. When I heard that we were being served buro, my insides got jumbled. A Kapampangan friend of mine served me burong isda once and I absolutely couldn’t take it. This buro though didn’t have fermented fish but fermented rice. Combined with deep fried catfish shreds and the peppery mustard leaf, I thought this was an interesting and tasty combination. The buro itself had gingery hints and reminded me of arroz caldo. It didn’t taste fermented at all.
We were served Bayabas Sinigang na Baboy which translates to Guava Sinigang with Pork Ribs. Now, I’m used to the Bayabas Sinigang they serve at Fely J’s so I had my own set of expectations. This was presented to us in a really cute manner, arranged in small cups. Chef Sau came out into the dining room to personally pour the sinigang soup in our cups. I found this dish to be rather disappointing. The soup didn’t taste guava-y. It had a strong pork taste and that’s about it. It wasn’t bad but it there was nothing guava-y about it apart from the little slice. Go to Fely J’s instead.
The next dish was Relyenong Bangus au Jus which I enjoyed quite a lot, along with the others at my table. It was different from the relyeno I’m used to which is usually served dry. The bangus retained its smokey flavor and was cooked perfectly. My only issue with this dish was the tinik, but apart from that it was a pleasure to eat.
Last up was the Beef Morcon. This has to be my favorite. I loved it instantly. It’s ground beef rolled up with carrots, spices and other things I was not able to identify, combined with a rich tomato based sauce. It was served with some boiled pechay leaves and a little ball of rice. I could’ve eaten this all day. The beef had a pretty smokey taste and was really tender, the tomato sauce was bursting with flavor and even if the rice ball looks tiny, the sizing couldn’t have been more perfect. I really want to eat this again.
Right when we were all pretty stuffed and fulfilled, they brought the dessert out and there were three kinds; Jalea Ube, Tibok-Tibok and the Leche Flan. The tibok-tibok they served here was different from what was served in Mrs.Borromeo’s house and while this wasn’t bad, I preferred hers to Chef Sau’s. Chef Sau’s is only better on the count of the fact there were more coconut toppings. The flan was just okay with the dayap aftertaste a little stronger than I would like it to be. The dessert highlight was certainly the ube which tasted so buttery, it was great. The texture was perfect too, good enough to rival the ube from Good Sheperd Baguio but on a league of its own. Might I add that all of these were made with carabao milk. Yum!
As if this post didn’t already have enough pictures. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.