Every Filipino loves Pancit. We love pancit so much that we eat it for breakfast, lunch, merienda, dinner and even as midnight snack. We eat pancit everywhere, at home, at work, in schools, and even on the road. No Filipino party is complete without it.
Pancit comes in different names; based on the main ingredient used to prepare the noodles, the manner it was cooked, and the place of its origin. Pancit Center in Kapitoyo, Pasig City brings regional pancit specialties under one roof. "We currently have 20 different types of pancit on our menu," says Marc Angeles, General Manager of Pancit Center.
|Marc Angeles telling the story behind each pancit|
Marc manages their family-owned company which his grandmother established in the 70s. In addition to their bestselling Pancit Malabon, their menu includes the all-time favorite pancit variants Pancit Palabok, Canton Guisado, Bihon Guisado and Sotanghon Guisado. But what sets Pancit Center apart from other panciterias is the variety of regional pancit specialties they serve.
Marc, together with his brother who is a chef, traveled around the Philippine to learn about the different pancit and noodle dishes from other provinces. "Pinuntahan talaga namin yung lugar nila para matkman namin yung authentic na lasa ng pansit nila." (We really went to their place so we can sample the authentic taste of their pancit) Marc told us. To keep the taste of their pancit dishes true to the original, Pancit Center gets its supply of noodles from the dish's province of origin.
|Pinas Muna's Choice: (L-R) Pancit Cabagan from Isabela Province & Pancit Bating-Patong from Cagayan Province|
Among Philippine regional pancit specialties, our personal favorites have always been the Pancit Cabagan of Cabagan, Isabela Province and the Pancit Batil-Patong of Tuguegarao, Cagayan Province. We had our first taste of these two back in January 2012 during a trip to Cagayan Valley. Since then, we would always drop by a panciteria whenever we revisit these provinces. That is why we were overjoyed to learn that Pancit Center serves pancit cabagan (P60) and pancit batil-patong (P70). They taste and look authentic! "Kuhang-kuha ang lasa ng pancit cabagan," Edgar says. Their pancit batil-patong is also served with egg soup, and eating there was just like eating in a panciteria in Tuguegarao.
Another pancit dish that we love so much is the Ilocos Pancit Miki, specifically that served in Batac, Ilocos Norte (see image below). Pancit Center's version of miki (P60) again did not disappoint! It was prepared with miki noodles and the soup has Batac's signature orange color. We remember our trips to Laoag when we would take a 30 minute bus ride to Batac just to eat Empanada and Miki for meryenda. Ayy Apo! Naimas talaga ti miki ditoy Pancit Center!
(L-R) Kinalas from Naga, Camarines Sur; (right) Pancit Miki from Batac, Ilocos Norte
While sharing travels stories, Marc also introduced us to other regional pancit specialties. We stared with Tamis Anghang Chami (P60) of Lucena, Quezon Province. Cooked with miki noodles and topped with chicken and quail egg. From its name, it has a rather sweet chilly taste which is very unfamiliar for our palate, strange and interesting at the same time.
Our pancit tour then moved to the Camarines Sur Province in the Bicol Region. Naga City's Kinalas (P50) is a soup dish cooked with miki noodles in pork broth (see image above). It is then topped with a special thick brown sauce, hard boiled egg and boiled pork meat that got loose from its bone, thus the term kinalas. Pancit Bato (P70) a specialty of the town of Bato, is a dry noodle dish similar to canton guisado. It is cooked with miki noodles and is traditionally served with dinuguan (pork blood stew) as a side dish. Pancit Center's version has dinuguan as a topping. We really got curious how this combination would taste like. They actally jive! The saltiness of the noodle dish perfectly complements the light sour taste of the dinuguan. "Ang sarap nya, parang masarap iulam sa kanin," (It's so delicious I'd like to eat it with rice), Ram acclaimed.
We ended our food trip with pancit dishes from the Visayas Region. No other pancit dominates the Visayas (and even Mindanao) than Cebu's Bam-i. Pancit Center's bam-i (P70) is cooked with a combination of canton (egg noodles) and sotanghon (bean thread noodles), mixed with vegetables and topped with shrimps. We then sampled Pancit Center's Pancit Efuven (P70). "Efuven does not refer to the dish but to the flat noodles used in Iloilo," Marc explained to us. We learned that there is no single or traditional way of cooking efuven, each household, each restaurant will have its own version. Pancit Center shared to us their version of efuven that is prepared with crispy fried noodles and topped with chopsuey.
As travelers and food lovers, dining at Pancit Center is like traveling around the Philippines. It invokes you to go beyond your usual and explore the unfamiliar. It brings back nostalgia of the places you have visited. It reminds you of your childhood memories, you childhood friends, and your family back home.
Pancit Center has four branches in Pasig City and Cainta serving all the 20 pancit variants on their menu. Their flagship branch is located in Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig while they have three take-out counters at C. Raymundo Avenue and Amang Rodrigues Avenue in Pasig City, and at Greenwoods Subdivision in Cainta, Rizal. They are open daily from 9:00am to 9:00pm.
Pioneer Street corner San Rafael Street (near Shaw Blvd.)
Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City
C. Raymundo Branch 642-6981 | Amang Rodriguez Branch 681-4899 | Greenwoods Branch 368-3996
Foodtrip Staycation in Ortigas Center
Why not combine your foodtrip with a relaxing staycation in Ortigas Center. Kapitolyo is located across Capitol Commons, another famous food district in Pasig City. Tune Hotel Ortigas is strategically located along Shaw Blvd and in close proximity with Kapitolyo. Book your Tune Hotel Ortigas stay now at tunehotels.com/ph/en and experience a culinary adventure in Ortigas Center.