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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Isdaan (The Halfway to the North) Resto-Park

No, these pictures of giant bronze Buddhas were not taken in Thailand. We didn't take a three-hour plane ride to Bangkok, but instead took a road trip up north, probably with the same length of time.

This is from Isdaan, a floating restaurant and park along the highway at Gerona, Tarlac. This is hard to miss if you're going to and from Baguio. In fact, we were on our way to The Summer Capital when we spotted this restaurant and decided to stop to eat.

We didn't know it was this huge - the property's area is over a hectare and holds the floating restaurant made of nipa hut (native houses), stone sculptures, giant Buddha statues and the famous Tacsiyapo Wall.

Isdaan is short for Palaisdaan which means fishing ground. True to its name, the restaurant sits (or rather floats) on a man-made lagoon, on top of floors made of bamboo, with koi fishes swimming leisurely in the water.

After feasting our eyes on the beautiful scenery and setup, it's time to indulge our taste buds, after all this is a restaurant above everything else.

Their menu consists only of Filipino dishes, with the Tinupig na Manok as house specialty. Tinupig, a delicacy in Tarlac and Pangasinan, is made from glutinous rice and grated coconut. It is a dessert and best enjoyed with coffee.

How could they impose this dessert into a chicken main dish? Well, it didn't matter anymore at least to me the moment I tasted the chicken. The flavour of the coconut marinade and the juice of the oil from the chicken skin blended successfully. It was the best tasting roasted chicken I've had in years. We even wrapped the left overs and brought with us to Baguio.

Aside from the Tinupig na Manok, everything else seemed to be just the usual fare from any Filipino restaurant in Manila. The only difference, aside from the charming ambiance, is the price. Contrary to every first time visitors' impression, the prices are very reasonable.

Before leaving Isdaan, do not miss trying out the Tacsiyapo Wall. If you're the type who likes to vent out anger by breaking dinner wares, well, you've found a perfect venue.

Buy a bowl, mug or plate (anywhere from Php15-25 each) and throw against the wall while shouting Tacsiyapo! (an invective in a local dialect - some say it simply means 'Shame on You', but I am sure there are curse words following that, haha).

You can throw a TV to the tune of Php2000 if you're really into it. Haha. That's too much anger! Why not just bring a framed photo of that cheating ex-boyfriend?

If travelling to the north, try stopping by at Isdaan. If not for the food, the place is a great pit stop for photography.


Louise said...

Thanks for sharing this post. My friends and I have been wanting to go here and experience the fun in Tacsiapo. How's the price ranger of the menu in this restautrant by the way?

BratinelangKikay said...

Hi Lows,
the prices are reasonable, all of our orders didnt total to Php1000 and we had 1 whole chicken, crabs, 1/2 kilo tilapia, rice and drinks.
Enjoy and have a safe trip!

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