Pinac is a casual dining restaurant at the U.P. Town Center in Quezon City featuring heirloom dishes of Candaba, Pampanga. We love Kapampangan cuisine, and if you have been following our blog, you must have read our 2013-feature Discover Kapampangan Cuisine of Candaba at Pinac. It was with great joy when Rowena of animetric.me invited us to join a group of bloggers for lunch to sample Pinac's new lunch specials.
A few appetizers were served first while we wait for the mains. We started off with the Ensaladang Pako with Fried Itik Floss (P125.00). Salted duck eggs are also added to give this salad a Candaba character. We enjoyed this salad as much as we did back in 2013.
|Lumpiang Ubod Taquitos|
The Lumpiang Ubod Taquitos (P185.00) is an interesting twist to the Filipino dish lumpiang ubod. Instead of wrapping the ingredients with a lumpia wrapper, the filling are placed on top of a bed of fried wanton wrappers. It is then drizzled with light peanut sauce.
No Kapampangan meal is complete without Bringhe (P345.00). We always loved Pinac's version with hard boiled eggs and crispy chicken skin! Yummy!
Candaba being a landlocked town depends heavily on its swaps for agriculture and even raising fresh water fish. Fresh water shrimps, locally called ulang, also grow in abundance in Candaba. Some even grow so large they look like lobsters. Pinac's Prawn Thermidor (P395.00) is made of ulang and mushrooms cooked in a rich cream sauce and served with a side of salad. Meat of ulang usually gets very dry and rubbery when cooked but Pinac was able to maintain it tender and juicy. The taste of ulang is richer compared to shrimp or lobster making this a very appetizing dish.
Finally came the lunch specials! The Beef Salpicao (P265.00) is a classic Filipino dish made of beef tenderloin cooked in butter and Worcestershire sauce and topped with tasted garlic bits. The set is served with garlic fried rice and pan roasted vegetables. The meat is very tender and easy to chew on. The gravy is very flavorful and goes perfectly well with the garlic rice.
|Lengua con Setas|
The Lengua con Setas (P255.00) is another all-time favorite Filipino dish that is usually served during special occasions. Pinac uses sliced ox tongue for this dish which they braised in red wine and shitake mushroom. This lunch set is also served with garlic fried rice and pan roasted vegetables. The meat is well cooked and perfectly tender. The gravy has a light creamy mushroom flavor which also went well with the garlic rice.
Pinac also had us sample some of the dishes we hadn't tried when we first visited them. The Smoked Tadyang with Yellow Mango Chutney (P625.00) is a generous serving of smoked beef ribs, so tender that they just fall of the bones. The yellow mango and corn salsa gives contrast not only on the color but also on the flavor.
"We hope they serve their Crispy Pata." so we prayed while on the way to U.P. Town Center. We knew our prayers were heared when this plate of overflowing chopped crispy pata was placed on our table. Pinac's Crispy Pata (P645.00) is one of the best crispy patas we ever tasted. The pork knuckle was poached in aromatic broth for six hours (the way they are cooked in the old times) and is then fried until crispy. The result is a super tender pork meat coated by ultra crispy and juicy pork skin.
The Crispy Pata is served with Pinac's homemade Atsarang Capampangan (P75.00). Pampanga's version of atsara has eggplant, ampalaya and kangkong as main ingredients while the Tagalog version is made with labanos, papaya or carrots.
Another product of the Candaba swamp are fresh-water catfish, or hito in Filipino. One of the common way of cooking hito in Candaba is by simmering it in a soysauce-based marinade. Alagaw leaves are also added in the dish to add more depth into the flavor. It's sauce is very flavorful and is perfect with steamed rice. At first glance, Adobong Hito sa Alagaw (P185.00) may look like one of those exotic dishes served at Fear Factor, but this very simple dish is nothing more that what adobo can be.
|Brazo de Mais|
Lastly, we got to try some of Pinac's specialty desserts. When you eat at Pinac, never ever forget to order the Brazo de Mais at Salabat (P185.00). This dessert went through a very laborious process just achieve the kernel-like texture of the meringue. It is then served with a cup of ginger tea.
|Dulce de Leche Cheesecake & Calamansi Panna Cotta|
The Dulce de Leche Cheesecake (P195.00) is made of a layer of plain cheesecake and topped with cream and drizzled with dulce de leche. We also got to try a sampler of their Calamansi Panna Cotta.
RAFFLE: P1,000 Pinac Restaurant Gift Certificate (GC)
We are giving away a Pinac Heirloom Capampangan Cuisine GC worth P1,000 to one lucky winner. Just follow the instructions in below. You need to log-in with your Facebook account in order to join this raffle.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
1. This raffle is open to Philippine residents only.
2. There will only be one (1) winner who will be announced on July 4, 2014
3. GC is transferable to another person.
4. GC is not convertible to cash.
5. GC will be sent via courier.
Pinac Heirloom Capampangan Cuisine
2nd Floor U.P. Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11:00am - 11:00pm