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Authentic Ilonggo & Kapampangan Cuisine at Tambuli

Ever tried authentic Ilonggo and Kapampangan cuisine in Cebu? Tambuli Seaside Resort and Spa is currently hosting a special buffet celebrating these rich culinary traditions until June 30. Chef Howie Dizon and Maria Luisa Camiña are showcasing their heritage dishes from Pampanga and Iloilo at this “A Cook’s Journal” event.

Kapampangan cuisine
Birenghi, Kapampangan cuisine’s version of paella

A Blend of Cultures and Flavors

Tambuli Seaside Resort and Spa, located on the picturesque Mactan Island in Cebu, is renowned for its luxurious amenities and eco-friendly practices. This 11-hectare resort, with its lush tropical landscape and beachfront setting, provided the perfect backdrop for this unique culinary event. Moreover, the resort’s commitment to sustainability, combined with its modern facilities, made it an ideal venue for celebrating Filipino heritage through food.

Tambuli Seaside Resort and Spa
Chef Howie (Diosdado Restaurant – Pampanga), left; Maria Luisa Camina (Camiña Balay nga Bato – Iloilo), right

Diosdado Restaurant and Chef Howie Dizon

Diosdado Restaurant, situated in Bacolor, Pampanga, specializes in authentic Kapampangan cuisine. Chef Howard Dizon, affectionately known as Chef Howie, has devoted more than twenty years to perfecting and revitalizing traditional Kapampangan dishes. Influenced by his mother’s recipes, Chef Howie has become a prominent figure in Filipino culinary circles. His dishes are a testament to his profound dedication to preserving Kapampangan culinary heritage.

Traditional Kapampangan Dishes at the Buffet

Among the highlights are:

  • Ube Haleya: A vibrant and creamy dessert made from purple yam, coconut milk, and sugar. This doesn’t fail to impress!
  • Tibok-Tibok: A creamy pudding made from carabao milk and topped with latik. I first tried this at Susie’s Cuisine and it was so good too! This is one of the must-try dishes in this buffet!
  • Sisig: What’s good about this one is that it’s REALLY AUTHENTIC KAPAMPANGAN SISIG!!! Not the usual bar chow that has morphed into various incarnations. This dish consists of chopped pig’s face, ears, and liver seasoned with calamansi, onions, and chili.
  • Asadong Matua: A rich, slow-cooked pork stew with soy sauce, vinegar, and spices. The word matua refers to old-fashioned or traditional, and this is so good too.
  • Bulanglang: Love this hearty soup with very tender meat and vegetables.
  • Chicken Galantina: A stuffed, roasted chicken that is also a popular Filipino noche buena food. It’s not a common food item due to its rather time-consuming preparation, but it’s here and you should try it.
  • Birenghi: A Kapampangan version of paella, made with glutinous rice, coconut milk, turmeric, meats, and seafood.
  • Lagat Puso: I tasted this for the first time, and it’s delicious. It consists of banana blossoms cooked in coconut milk with shrimp or meat, garlic, onions, and ginger.
Kapampangan cuisine
SIsig, left; asadong matua, right

Camiña Balay nga Bato and Maria Luisa Camina

Camiña Balay nga Bato, an ancestral house in Iloilo City, embodies Filipino-Spanish architectural heritage and Ilonggo culture. Managed by Gerard and Luth Camina, this heritage site provides visitors with insights into the region’s history and traditions. Additionally, Maria Luisa Camina is pivotal in safeguarding the family’s cultural and culinary heritage, ensuring that traditional Ilonggo recipes and crafts endure across generations. Furthermore, Iloilo City’s designation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy underscores its reputation for exceptional Ilonggo cuisine.

Traditional Ilonggo Dishes at the Buffet

Key dishes include:

  • Puto Sikwate: Steamed rice cakes paired with thick, rich hot chocolate made from local cacao. At Camiña Balay nga Bato, I first tried their thick hot chocolate and was completely bowled over! One of the best that I have tasted in the country!
  • Rellenong Alimasag: Crab shells stuffed with a savory mix of crab meat, vegetables, and sometimes ground pork or shrimp. This is always a favorite, and this one is top-notch!
  • Pancit Molo: A hearty soup with handmade dumplings filled with ground pork and shrimp in a flavorful chicken broth. Other than La Paz batchoy, pancit molo is another must-try, albeit less popular than the former but equally good.
  • Chicken Binakol: Chicken cooked in coconut water with young coconut meat, lemongrass, ginger, and spices. As Luth mentioned, they specifically use 45-day-old chicken. The broth has that sweetish taste to it too.
  • Pork Binuog: Grilled marinated pork with a savory and slightly tangy flavor. I just loved this one that I got a second serving. They even grate artisanal tultul salt from Guimaras and pair well with the tomato/onion salsa.
  • Guimaras Mangga Pasta: Pasta with ripe Guimaras mangoes in a creamy sauce, blending sweet and savory flavors. This was my first time tasting this one and the presence of mango in the pasta dish makes for an interesting flavor profile. Additionally, the pickled batuan also gives it another dimension.
  • Pickled Batuan: Batuan fruit preserved in a brine solution, adding a zesty tang to various dishes. I do love its sweet-sour taste and munched on a few pieces!
Ilonggo cuisine
Pork binuog, left; artisanal tultul salt from Guimaras grated over pork binuog, right

A Culinary Celebration

The “A Cook’s Journal” event at Tambuli Seaside Resort and Spa invites guests to celebrate Philippine heritage through diverse flavors until June 30. Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in the culinary delights of Ilonggo and Kapampangan cuisines.

Tambuli Seaside Resort and Spa
Lagat puso, left; rellenong alimasag, right
Tambuli Seaside Resort and Spa
Pancit molo, left; bulanglang, right
Ilonggo cuisine
Guimaras mangga pasta, left; lengua, right
Ilonggo cuisine
Pickled batuan, left; ugoy-ugoy biscuits to be dipped with the tablea hot chocolate
Kapampangan cuisine
Tibok-tibok, left; gabi with niyog, right
Kapampangan cuisine
Minatamis na saging, left; halyang ube, right
Tambuli Seaside Resort and Spa
Puto sikwate with mango slices, left; halo-halo, right
Tambuli Seaside Resort & Spa
Buyong Road, Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines
032-2360888 | 0919-0654368 | 0968-8612971

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