PINAC-athebest: Stranger to Campampangan Food No More

You know what’s the best gift after a hard day’s work? Well, aside from a new pair of shoes, a treat to a hefty dinner doesn’s sound so bad either, especially when the food is made out of passion and love.

I was invited to try Pinác Heirloom Capampangan Cuisine, and I must say the experience was enlightening, nostalgic and gustatory. Located at the 2/F of U.P. Town Center, Katipunan Ave, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, beside S&R, I never thought I would feel like a grand daughter to a grandmom I never had.

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Pinác is the  Kampampangan word for swamp. It took it’s inspiration from the farmlife in Candaba, Pampanga. If you happen to visit the town, the Candaba swamp is a popular waterbody, and is known to serve as a catch basin of the waters from the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. This makes the soil of the farms very fertile, providing good harvest for those whose main livelhood is farming.

I know I have distant relatives from Pampanga, that is why I felt more excited about the food that I will be served that night. I often hear how Pampanguenos are such amazing cooks.

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I got inside, and was greeted with a fusion of modern and traditional architecture. My shot is a little brighter than usual, but the lighting inside sure was reminiscent of that homey feel of a big old house.. with the twist of course! Owner, Ms. Angel Pelayo-Ty said, “When our guests enter our restaurant, we want them to feel that they just stepped into a home in Candaba.” She then made it a point that it had to be something both the young and old can relate to, that is why she wanted the restaurant to be hybrid of what’s contemporary and vintage.

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I arrived the earliest, that is why I got to photograph ahead of time!

I particularly love the this wall mural, because it is very artsy and posh at the same time!

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Sooner, I met Thin, one of the bloggers I will be dining with that night, and of course the manager of Pinac.

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I got Cucumber Mint Dalandan as my welcome drinks, and I have to say it’s one of the best Cucumber concoctions I’ve ever tasted. I have tried other Cucumber drinks such as the one in Shakey’s, in one resto in Maginhawa and in Sugbu Mercado in Cebu, but by far this one is the best. I love how refreshing and flavorful this one is. I think adding Dalandan made it more mouth-watering.

We were then served with the following dishes:

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Sisig Pizza – It was a surprising take on the usual barkada’s or solos’ ultimate celebratory food, and it doesn’t disappoint either! Not being a fan of spicy food, I must say that I was able to handle its trickle of spice. Pinác’s Sisig Pizza is every foodie’s must-try!

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Chicken and Chips

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Baked Scallops – OMG! This is MY favorite food ever! There was a week in Cebu when all my lunches and dinners were all either baked oysters, mussels or scallops. Because I can eat these forever! That is why my standards were very high with this one! So, I like how they were able to keep the butter and lemon in sync, but I wished the cheese was tastier to balance the other ingredients. But this  is  still a very good recipe.

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Crispy Hito Balls, Buro at Mustasa – I was pretty impressed with this dish. It was like an innovation with how you eat fish.  Catfish meat were rolled into a balls, dipped to seasonings and then fried. I enjoyed eating it too! The idea is you put the fish inside the mustasa (vegetable in the photo), and then dip into the fermented sauce. The taste was wonderful, same as how fancy it was to eat. 🙂

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Crispy Pata

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Kare-kare

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Binagoongang Lechon Kawali – This is already a meal in itself and is very heavy in the stomach. All ingredients are very flavorful. I  was surprised how I devoured in this dish for about 3 times. I guess I really liked it.Haha Maybe it’s an understatement.  I also think it is a good deal because it can be shared by at least 3 people. 🙂

20160921_203645_hdrCoconut Battered Shrimps

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Tsoknut Banana Vanilla Shake

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Graham cookies and S’mores

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Turon and Dulce de Leche

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I was lucky to snap a photo with Ms Angel before she left the restaurant. I was like a thankful niece bidding goodbye to an aunt who was able to immortalize a family legacy though innovation of food preparation and passion for cooking.

Again, dining with Pinác was like a homecoming to a place and family I never had.

I highly recommend Pinác for family dinners, barkada get-togethers, dates, and even spontaneous food trips!

Visit Pinác Heirloom Capampangan Cuisine at 2/F of U.P. Town Center, Katipunan Ave, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, beside S&R. They are open everyday from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM.

Or call and make reservations at: (02) 775-9450

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