Kapampangan Goodness @ Pinác in UP Town Center

Me and my wife have been to the new foodie hub UP Town Center quite a number of times already. Katipunan is familiar place since I graduated from nearby UP Diliman.

Pinác UP Town Center
Pinác @ UP Town Center

Our first visit was in Ginza Bairin while the second one was in a Greek restaurant called Kos Greek. So when Seats For Two  was invited by Pinác to try their Kapampangan dishes, our tastebuds were excited to travel a little north. 🙂

Pinac is located at the second floor of the UP Town Center. The restaurant interior has a neat take on classic Filipino design native to Pampanga down to the chairs and tables.

Kapampangan Goodness

Kapampangan lunch is served! Before going on with the mains, we had one of their specialty dishes and 2 salad variety for starters.

Crispy Hito Balls
Crispy Hito Balls, Mustasa at Buro P235

Pinác got us on first bite as we started with a boom with their specialty dish called Crispy Hito Balls, Mustasa at Buro (P235). It looks really simple with 5 pieces of Crispy Hito Balls (catfish). But what made it special is when you combined it with all the other ingredients including the ‘buro‘. Buro is Filipino for “fermented fish“. You dip the catfish balls in buro, wrap it with mustard leaves, and enjoy! 🙂

It was followed by the salad duo Fried Kesong Puti Ensalada (P145) and Ensladang Pako with Fried Itik Floss (P125). The former is your basic mixed green salad but includes kesong puti balls and bagoong vinaigrette.The latter is a bit more exotic as the Fiddle Fern with salted egg , green mangoes, cucumber, and tomatoes, is topped with deep fried “itik” floss. It is then served with Pinac vinaigrette.

Kesong Puti Ensalada
Fried Kesong Puti Ensalada P145
Ensladang Pako
Ensladang Pako with Fried Itik Floss P125

Both were good but I liked the Ensladang Pako more because of the added texture care of the itik floss. 🙂

Mains

Starting with the right appetizers, wifey and I were in high expectations for the main dishes. And we were not disappointed.

First in line was the famous Kapampangan Paella also known as Bringhe (P345). With a glutinous rice base, gata and chicken is mixed with it cooked in banana leaves-lined skillets. It was a refreshing take on the common paella.

Next came the gigantic Crispy Pata (P645). Pinac’s Crispy Pata (pork knuckle) is poached with secret ingredients for at least six (6) hours and then deep fried to achieve the signature crispiness of the dish.

Bringhe
Bringhe P345
Crispy Pata
Pinac’s Crispy Pata P645

With UP Town Center being surrounded by offices and schools, Pinac thought of catering to the students and regular employees as well who looks for quick-serving but quality food that is still easy on the pocket.

So Pinac came up with no-fuss meals that come with a serving of rice. In this category, we tried the Beef Salpicao (P275) and Lengua (P285). My wife and I shared an order of both. The Beef Salpicao came in beef tenderloin cubes with butter, Worcestershire, plus  garlic rice and pan roasted vegetables on the side. The Lengua (braised ox tongue) came with shitake sauce, garlic rice, and mixed vegetables, as well.

Beef Salpicao
Beef Salpicao P275
Lengua
Lengua P285

Cooked just right and full to the flavor, we fell in love with both.

Prawn Thermidor
Prawn Thermidor P395

More Capampangan Cusine

We can say we were already full by this time but I think we were only halfway through the menu tasting. :)For me, this next dish is the highlight of  this gathering – the Prawn Thermidor.

The visually appealing Prawn Thermidor (P395) offers roughly chopped prawns topped with mushrooms and cream sauce served with a side salad. It’s so good I think it should be priced more. 🙂 lol

Somewhere along the sequence of serving the main dishes, we had the Lumpiang Ubod Taquitos (P185). I’m featuring this last because I want you to remember it.

Lumpiang Ubod is a common dish in Filipino restaurants but I’m loving Pinac‘s Lumpiang Ubod Taquitosis for its modern twist as it is also mixed with shrimp and shitake lying on top of fried crispy wontons and finally drizzled with light peanut sauce.

The combination mixed well with the taste of all the ingredients. It is highly recommended by Seats For Two.

Lumpiang Ubod
Lumpiang Ubod Taquitos (P185)

Desserts

To end the good and filling meal with a boost of sugar. we had Calamansi Panna Cotta and Turon with Dulce De Leche (P120), the endearing Dulce De Leche Cheeesecake (P195), and the Brazo De Mais at Salabat (P185). The last one is a merigued filled with creamy custard. The ginger tea that came with it properly cleansed our palate.

Calamansi Panna Cotta
Calamansi Panna Cotta
Dulce De Leche Cheeesecake
Dulce De Leche Cheeesecake P195
Brazo De Mais at Salabat
Brazo De Mais at Salabat P185

On a last note, the Cucumber Mint Dalandan (P85) beverage was a refreshing treat which accompanied us in this gastronomic journey.

Cucumber Mint Dalandan
Cucumber Mint Dalandan P85
Pinác Heirloom Capampangan Restaurant
Pinác Heirloom Capampangan Cuisine Restaurant

Pinac Heirloom Capampangan Cuisine
2/F UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave.,
Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines
(632) 775-9450

Surely, we will be back at Pinác Heirloom Capampangan Cuisine in UP Town Center to try more of their dishes in our next visit.

Jonel Uy
Jonel Uy is the hubby in the SeatForTwo.com tandem. Hailing from UP Diliman with a degree in Computer Science, he is also the Managing Director of #DigitalCircles.asia engaging and amplifying social media campaigns for brands. On Mondays, he teaches information technology classes at a local college.
http://JonelUy.com

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