Going to Sisig Fiesta? 7 restaurants for your Pampanga food trip

Joko Magalog-De Veyra

Posted at Apr 28 2018 05:55 AM

ANGELES CITY -- Pampanga's annual Sisig Fiesta is set to once again celebrate the joys of this Kapampangan dish on Saturday, April 28, at "Crossing" in Glaciano Valdes St. in Angeles City. 

Part of the city's ongoing bid to enter the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for the Gastronomy category, the festival aims to preserve and cement the cultural significance of sisig to the region. 

With various cooking demonstrations by prominent Kapampangan chefs, as well as a long list of local food purveyors, festival-goers are in for a Pampanga-style feast! 

And while you can spend the entire Saturday night gorging on various versions of sisig, we recommend staying the full weekend to explore some of the gastronomic delights of Angeles City. 

Here are some of our picks: 

1. Fortune Tea House

Photo by Jeeve de Veyra

Hankering for Chinese food? Fortune Tea House has an extensive menu that covers your Chinese staples – from satisfying dimsum (order as the cart passes by), hotpot (Fortune combination shabu-shabu), and a variety of things that go well with Yang Chow rice. We particularly enjoyed heaps of the yellow rice with melt-in-your-mouth beef tenderloin steak that came in a pool of thick peppery sauce, bites of salt and pepper spareribs that surprised with spice, and of course, the ever-reliable sweet and sour fish. 

2. Gills Sherbet and Ice Cream

Photo by Jeeve de Veyra

Pampanga is known for its hot and humid days, so what better way to beat the heat than some iced treats? Head over to Nepo Mart for some sherbet and ice cream from the Gills Sherbet and Ice Cream cart. This unassuming stall sells iced buko (coconut) wonders like the refreshing buko sherbet, or buko sherbet with lychee. We also recommend getting the 4-in-1 ice cream – which is a richer spoonful with a fiesta of Filipino flavors (langka/jackfruit, cheese, corn and buko). 

3. Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy and Sisig

Photo by Jeeve de Veyra

If you want to delve deeper into the history of sisig, head on over to Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy and Sisig. To “sisig” means to snack on something sour, and in Mila’s that can mean the traditional way of sisig -- boiled then marinated with vinegar (but they also have the sizzling variety). Pork pieces here are cut bigger so you get to enjoy chewing the slide of textures from crunchy to soft. 

Take it a step further and order their other namesake dish – the tokwa’t baboy, which has pork that gets the same treatment as their traditional sisig, joined by crisp celery, tokwa, and dark and rich vinegar sauce. 

Bonus points: the tocino barbecue is also a celebration of the bovine – sweet meat kissed by the grill, to be doused by their table-side vinegar concoction. 

4. Kanin Unltd

Photo by Jeeve de Veyra

For rice meals for the rice-hungry, there’s Kanin Unltd in Hensonville. Rice is the star here and the restaurant gives you multiple options for your meal. We recommend the Pindang Damulag (in photo), a plate full of breakfast goodness (some of them more “unique" than most) like dark and sweet champorado with tuyo, garlic rice paired with carabao tocino, salted egg and tomatoes, pandesal for the bread lovers, and tamales (because you are in Pampanga). 

Another combo offering is the Tinapa Batotay which has batotay longganisa (beef longganisa) and tinapa with your garlic rice, together with arroz caldo and tamales. 

For something more streamlined, your Filipino breakfast bestsellers are all here with various silogs (pair with their pako salad), goto, pares, danggit, and mami on the menu. Don't miss the tokwa’t baboy if you’re going for their rice porridge dishes, and if you’re not in the mood for rice, there’s also a Continental breakfast with the works available. 

Sweet endings include rice-tastic desserts like suman bulagta (suman sa lihiya) dappled in sweet coconut/latik sauce, and the suman and manga that’s akin to Thailand’s sticky mango rice (our suman has more heft though). 

5. Susie’s Kakanin

Photo by Jeeve de Veyra

Susie’s is a name that’s synonymous to pasalubong in Pampanga. Theispecialty is, of course, the tibok-tibok — a carabao milk pudding -- slick with coconut oil that chews smooth and sticky in the mouth. 

To get the best of everything, we recommend Susie’s bestseller bilao which has a multi-layered extravaganza of native treats like lakatan ube, suman/pinipig, biko, kalamay ube, and moche. 

6. Teaspoon Café

Photo by Jeeve de Veyra

Experience nostalgia in a cup with the Teaspoon Café’s Pinoy Chillers -- coffee and milk concoctions based on beloved childhood candies. From Haw Milk to Curly Tops to White Rabbit, these Instagram-worthy cups will bring you back to the joys of simpler days (the vintage décor of the café helps too), especially if you take bites of soft and buttery cashew macaroons, or dense and creamy queso de bola cheesecake. The Banoffee Triffle also hits the spot, especially if you’re looking for something luscious and sweet. 

7. 25 Seeds

Photo by Jeeve de Veyra

If you’re looking to enjoy more of Pampanga’s culture, we recommend a visit to 25 seeds. This restaurant by celebrity chef Sau Del Rosario is housed in one of the oldest, lovingly preserved houses in the city. And here, not only do you get elegant ambiance, you also get the freshest ingredients as 25 Seeds is a farm-to-table restaurant. 

Vegetables grown in the back garden, and produce from nearby farmers are showcased in dishes like the Kalabasa Blossoms Stuffed with Kesong Puti, and the Mushroom Tom Yum and Fried Vegetable Dumplings. The former came crisp and light to the table with melty and briny white cheese, to be dipped in a sweet sauce, while the latter was a demonstration on the robustness of mushrooms as these stood up to a bracingly spicy tom yum broth. 

Other dishes include Clams on Squid ink, which had fresh pasta with a generous amount of clams; the Salted Egg-yolk crusted free range chicken, that packed heat and rich flavor thanks to fragrant curry leaves; or the Duck Oriental which was fragrant and soy-tinged, to be enjoyed in between steamed buns with a slices of lightly pickled julienned carrot or cucumber. 

For dessert, do not miss the Jackfruit Sans rival cake that will take you to sans-rival heaven with its chewy layers of nuts and meringue, and lankga-tinged buttery icing. 

Looking for more Kapampangan-centric fare? Don’t fret as the first floor of 25 Seeds houses Café Fleur, Del Rosario’s Kapampangan restaurant.