Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lunch at Cabalen

We had a couple of gift certificates from Cabalen that were about to expire so we decided to use them before going to the supermarket.

 Originally, Cabalen was an all-Filipino buffet restaurant, particulary Kapampangan cuisine, which would always be a big hit with the balikbayan crowd. I remember eating my first camaru(fried cricket) here, imagining I was trying out for Fear Factor. 
 With the entry of other buffet restos like Triple V, it has slightly changed gears and scuttled the insects to make way for some Asian fare like catfish salad, chicken pandan,dismsum  and veggie tempura.  They also added some old photos and newspaper clippings to make it look very retro-modern.
 At P392 per person, Cabalen food is affordable, filling Pinoy food but not very exciting. For that, you must go to Triple V where  you have to shell out P620 per person on weekends, but you also get abundant food choices like shrimp tempura and grilled steaks. One thing they do not have is sinigang, which my Canadian cousins craved for when they last went here.  Cabalen has sinigang and bulalo as well as burong hipon, bringhe, and deep-fried talangka.
Mama gets some spicy raw tuna from the Asian section
 I like the capiz lights.
 The dessert table has the local kakanin like maja blanca and biko as well as a chocolate fondue. Not in photo is the make your own halo-halo area which did not have leche flan or ube....Boooo!

 A dish I have always loved since I was first introduced to it at a resto called "Pinausukan", an a la carte Pinoy food resto similar to Barrio Fiesta--Ginataang Kuhol (Snails in cocomut milk)
 My appetizer: Crispy crablets, Thai catfish salad, grilled squid, chicken pandan, fried kangkong leaves, veggie salad with burong hipon and lechon de leche.

Something new to make with lechon: Pritchon (fried lechon with veggies wrapped in pita bread)

We were stuffed! We didn't even get hungry after grocery shopping and it's 9PM now and I'm still feeling too full to eat dinner!

Meanwhile, it seems the American tradition of Halloween is catching on here, thanks to the malls. I envy my officemate who witnessed an actual nangangaluluwa in Batangas. I've only read about it in my Sibika at Kultura books, it's like a Pinoy version of trick or treat, where a group of singers go from house to house to sing  like carollers, except they're supposed to be travelling souls. In the old days, I read that while they sang, some of them would steal your chickens or hide your livestock as a prank. Nowadays that'll get you sent to jail or worse, to a live show called Face to face (it's like Jerry Springer)


Lou said...

I'd loved to go to Cabalen later! I will surely consult your blog for all the "gourmet relais" that I would like to visit and eat in. It is is going to be tough to surpass those wonderful food adventures you've done in the past, but I'll simply chose the best and look up to your advice.
Excellent work, Adrian..

Ailee Verzosa said...

YUM! it is a feast indeed!!!

mojacko said...

actually tantie, baka mas ok pa sa barrio fiesta or kamayan na lang kumain kasi di masyado nasiyahan si mama...


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