4 restaurants We tried in Pampanga: A Food excursion travel plan

When TLC invited us to join them in retracing Anthony Bourdain’s steps in touring Pampanga, we were absolutely psyched. We’re fans of great food and fans of Bourdain, so we started off bright and early to join TLC and SkyCable for the FoodSteps Culinary excursion in Pampanga for a day of eating and learning.

This post is brought to you by TLC Asia.As we stepped into our ride by The Luxe Bus, we knew we were in for a treat. It was the swankiest bus we’ve ever been in, and there were two attendants who cheerily welcomed us in and immediately handed us a menu of drinks that they could prepare for us the whole trip whenever we wanted, and however much we wanted to get. There were also two widescreen televisions that were showing Bourdain’s show parts Unknown, that got us psyched (and hungry) for what was to come. We bought a couple of waters and cappuccinos to perk up our bodies and freshen our minds before our first stop, Kusina Matua ni Atching Lilian.


1. Kusinang Matua ng Atching Lilian Borromeo
2. Bale Dutung by chef Claude Tayag
3. Susie’s Cuisine
4. cafe Fleur

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1. Kusinang Matua ng Atching Lilian Borromeo

Address: Brgy. Parian, Mexico, Pampanga

Lilian Borromeo is a force to be reckoned with. When we arrived she was organizing the buffet of Kapampangan breakfast dishes including tamales, meatloaf, longganisa, dinuguan, and a host of several other dishes that were homemade and served fresh. We filled ourselves with breakfast while she went around, made sure the buffet was refilled before dishes ran out, and spoke to a few of us. She said she was a fan of Anthony Bourdain, but did not know exactly who he was, self-deprecatingly saying “Pag matanda ka na di mo na inaalam talaga, basta papanoorin mo kapag nandiyan” (When you’re older, you don’t really pay attention, but you enjoy when you see them).

San Nicolas cookies ingredients, Kusina Matua
She started her demo of baking the popular Panecillos San Nicolas and shared her experiences of making them. captivating and humble, she told us why she’s making sure the recipes of the 16th century are still in circulation, saying there are people making old things new, but that she wants to start from the root and make sure the original recipes aren’t forgotten.

Unlike a lot of chefs, she shares all her secrets and tricks with the crowd, and lightheartedly cracked jokes often, with a demeanor that only endeared her a lot more to everyone. We listened and asked questions, and after the demo, the line to take pictures with her was understandably long as we all wanted to remember this sweet, incredible woman who is living gracefully, and so joyfully.

2. Bale Dutung by chef Claude Tayag

Address: Paul Ave, Angeles City, Pampanga

Happily filled with breakfast, we piled into our Luxe Bus again and travelled the 30 minutes to Bale Dutung, Claude Tayag’s family home. We knew we were in for a treat, as we had been told that ten courses would be served, the food that Bourdain had eaten when he had visited, plus a few a lot more courses to complement those. starting off with a salad, we ate leisurely through the ten courses, with chef Claude introducing each course with the history and background of each dish. While each course had its own appeal, our table raved about the lumpiang ubod, adobong pugo and the seafood kare-kare.

Kare-kareng Laman Dagat, Bale Dutung
Piniritong Lumpiang Ubod, Bale Dutung
Paradiso, Bale Dutung
One woman at the other table even cried after being asked how she liked the kare-kare, saying it was the best kare-kare she’s ever had. four hours of eating did not seem quite enough to absorb all of the information and delectable quality of each plate set before us, and we left moaning in contentment to head to our next stop.

3. Susie’s Cuisine

Not really a restaurant. a lot more like a food store. Susie’s Cuisine did not leave us wanting, and sent us bags of Pampanga’s best kakanin, and until a few days later (with a ton of restraint to not eat it all in one sitting), we were still enjoying their sylvanas, and our favorite, carabao milk pastillas, best with a cup of coffee for merienda.

4. cafe Fleur

Address: 463B Miranda St, Angeles City

Café Fleur was the last stop for our Pampanga food tour, and while we thought we couldn’t fit in another bite in our bellies, the cooking demos by the three in house chefs of Tamales Pampaguena, Okoy and Sisig got us ecstatic for the food komen.

Crispy Okoy and Shrimps by cafe Fleur
Sisig by cafe Fleur
As chef Chloe explained, the street food served in the café are elevated concepts to not just look great, but use herbs they grow in the garden, and are made of ingredients sourced locally. With a backdrop of the old house they converted into the multi-concept restaurant, it was the best end to the day.

Every stop we went to, while using different cuisine,Allen hadden dezelfde dingen gemeen: mensen die zich inzetten om het beste te tonen van wat Pampanga te bieden heeft, en een passie om dingen heerlijk te maken. Het was een genot om te ervaren en in aanwezigheid van mensen te zijn die trots zijn in de keuken van hun regio en hun vaardigheid delen met zowel de lokale bevolking als buitenstaanders. De wereld is klaar voor Filipijns eten en waar beter om te beginnen, maar thuis, proeven wat onze lokale chef -koks te bieden hebben, en deze delen met de wereld. We verlieten de dag trotser van ons erfgoed als Filipino’s, en als eters, om die marathon van eten te hebben doorlopen en leefde om het smakelijke verhaal te vertellen.

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