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PHNO TRAVEL & LIFESTYE (FOOD)
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports)

SOL JOSE VANZI's  TRAVEL LIFESTYLE & FOOD PAGE THIS WEEK

SOL IS LIFESTYLE COLUMNIST AT THE MANILA BULLETIN
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

WELCOME TO 'CABALEN, MALAUS KO PU !!
A BUFFET FOR ALL SEASONS: REVISITING AN OLD FAVORITE


NOVEMBER 11 -THE GRANDCHILDREN: Happy Balikbayans For balikbayan guests or foreigners who want a taste of real Filipino food, I always recommend Cabalen. It has an extensive and varied buffet of dishes from all over the country, cooked the way our grandmothers did when we were kids. For 30 years, the brand spread to over two dozen branches all over the Philippines plus one in California, while keeping the quality and the authenticity of the dishes true to their roots. Cabalen entered my life after Edsa 1 when I joined friends at a new restaurant that promised authentic Pampango cuisine. I was hesitant. Born and raised in a Caviteño household, I had grown up with very strong food prejudices mostly strengthened by ignorance and cultural biases.
READ MORE...

ALSO: Welcome to Cabalen!


Cabalen, which literally translates to a fellow Capampangan, is a group of casual - fine dining restaurants known for authentic Capampangan dishes and different Filipino specialties, originating from Pampanga. This province is known to food connoisseurs as the seat of sumptuous food and delicacies while the Capampangans are widely known as people with good taste and innate cooking talent. These factors contributed to the eventual birth of Cabalen, the Capampangan specialty restaurants. Cabalen family started in 1974 in San Fernando, Pampanga as a small Bahay Pasalubong Restaurant selling specialty food dishes, then grew into a restaurant called "Ituro Mo, Iluto Ko". In 1986, the first Cabalen Eat-all-you-Can, Eat-all-you-Want Restaurant was opened in West Avenue, Quezon City that ushered the expansion .to more outlets. Gradually it became the most popular buffet restaurant in the Philippines.READ MORE...


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CABALEN - A buffet for all seasons: Revisiting an old favorite

Images by Noel Pabalate


THE GRANCHILDREN Happy Balikbayans

MANILA, NOVEMBER 14, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN LIFESTYLE) -  November 10, 2016, 12:05 AM By Sol Vanzi - For balikbayan guests or foreigners who want a taste of real Filipino food, I always recommend Cabalen. It has an extensive and varied buffet of dishes from all over the country, cooked the way our grandmothers did when we were kids.

For 30 years, the brand spread to over two dozen branches all over the Philippines plus one in California, while keeping the quality and the authenticity of the dishes true to their roots.

Cabalen entered my life after Edsa 1 when I joined friends at a new restaurant that promised authentic Pampango cuisine. I was hesitant. Born and raised in a Caviteño household, I had grown up with very strong food prejudices mostly strengthened by ignorance and cultural biases.

READ MORE...

That first encounter with Cabalen’s all-Filipino buffet changed my outlook and taught me to taste before judging.

With one meal, Cabalen gave me a thorough education in Pampango food. I fell madly in love with mustasa at burong hipon (fresh mustard leaves folded around pickled shrimp in fermented red rice) paired with grilled freshwater fish: dalag, hito‚ and bangus.


BRINGHE

The main courses at Cabalen were, and continue to be, what I consider fiesta food: morcon (stuffed rolled beef) caldereta (spicy beef stew thickened with liver and cheese), pork estofado (stew sweetened with saba bananas), kilayen (Pampanga-style dinuguan), and bringhe, a sticky paella tinted and flavored with turmeric.

Kapampangan food, I realized, was akin to Cavite’s but a bit sweeter from caramelized muscovado sugar that colors and flavors the meat dishes. Even their embutido is more colorful and more richly flavored.

Rice field frogs, which Cavite folk love to sauté in young garlic leaves, get meticulous star treatment in Pampanga. They are skinned, stuffed with langonisa, and deep-fried. Batute, as the dish is called, is a must-serve during special celebrations.


Sisig bar (six kinds of Sisig)

After that first Cabalen experience in 1986, I never again avoided Kapampangan food-related events. In fact, I look forward to them.

It was with thus anticipation that I went to Cabalen for a reunion last weekend with Japan-based grandchildren who were being familiarized with the food of their parents’ homeland.

In my heart I was worried that the upper-class ambience and clientele of Glorietta might have influenced Cabalen’s cooks to go fusion the way many young chefs have. My worries turned to joy and relief. The original dishes were still there, joined by other well-loved original specialties from distant towns of Luzon and far-flung islands in Visayas and Mindanao.


CRUNCHY CRAVLETS

The most popular item on the buffet was Cabalen’s special lechon, prepared in a secret way. It seems like a skin-on shoulder or belly is roasted, cooled, sliced, then deep-fried, rendering all fat, and leaving the skin crisp while retaining the flavors and juices of the meaty parts.

In addition to greaseless bulalo, the second soup of the day was Bas-Uy, which could have been the roots of bachoy, using freshly slaughtered pork and liver with hints of garlic, ginger, and lemon grass.

As the menu changes daily, the soups also vary from day to day.


PAKSIW NA LECHON

On our visit, there were 10 meat (beef, pork, chicken) dishes in addition to tokwa’t baboy, crispy kangkong, pancit puti, and six kinds of sisig.

My grandchildren loved the dessert bar: chocolate fountain, fresh fruits, biko, a halo-halo corner, and a tray of tibok-tibok made with fresh carabao milk.


kuhol sa gata

The restaurant is so popular it fills up almost immediately after its doors open at 11 a.m., and is consistently busy up to closing time at 11 p.m.

Aside from the bountiful offerings, one big attraction of Cabalen’s buffet is the price: P298++ or P333 including VAT.


CABALEN ONLINE

Welcome to Cabalen! MALAUS KO PU!

Cabalen, which literally translates to a fellow Capampangan, is a group of casual - fine dining restaurants known for authentic Capampangan dishes and different Filipino specialties, originating from Pampanga.

This province is known to food connoisseurs as the seat of sumptuous food and delicacies while the Capampangans are widely known as people with good taste and innate cooking talent. These factors contributed to the eventual birth of Cabalen, the Capampangan specialty restaurants.

Cabalen family started in 1974 in San Fernando, Pampanga as a small Bahay Pasalubong Restaurant selling specialty food dishes, then grew into a restaurant called "Ituro Mo, Iluto Ko".

In 1986, the first Cabalen Eat-all-you-Can, Eat-all-you-Want Restaurant was opened in West Avenue, Quezon City that ushered the expansion .to more outlets. Gradually it became the most popular buffet restaurant in the Philippines.


26 years of Best Home Cooked Filipino Food For 28 years, the Cabalen chain of restaurants has been the standard for excellent Filipino cuisine. Combining the freshest ingredients and the most stringent quality control, Cabalen has kept its patrons coming back for more through the consistency in Taste and Quality of its dishes served in the buffet.

Balikbayans and regular patrons say that dining at a Cabalen Restaurant will make you feel the aunthentic traditional home-cooked food the Kapampangan way that you have not experienced for a long time in a very reasonable priced buffet. This is why Cabalen is every family’s all-time and leading buffet favorite for 25 years now.

CABALEN CATERS FOR ALL OCCASION

Every Cabalen catered gathering boasts of everything that is great about being a Filipino. From its modern filipiniana ambiance to its competent professional service. The Cabalen trademark of excellent cuisine selection and dependable personalized service is flexibly priced. Complete buffet lay-out with special and unique centerpiece and comprehensive dining lay-out with individual tables with dressed chairs make each Special Occasion more memorable at Cabalen Catering.

Cabalen Catering Services embodies the festive Filipino fiesta and prides itself with an unforgettable catering experience that promises impeccable service and great menu selection of Filipino, Thai and Japanese Dishes.

Catering We guarantee excellent Quality food and Service satisfaction from our loyal clients that includes the following:

•Malacañang Palace
•Senate of the Philippines
•Philippine Congress
•Department of Foreign Affair
•GMA 7 Network
•SM Supermalls
•Bench Clothing
•Ayala Land Corporation.

Cabalen Catering For inquiries, call 911-1584 0922-8963777 or email catering@cabalen.ph
WEBSITE: http://www.cabalen.ph/index.html 



SOL JOSE VANZI's PHNO PAGE


Photo from Kyle Victor Jose's iPAD
Lifestyle/Food and Arts & Culture columnist of the Manila Daily Bulletin.
Signature title "Timpla't Tikim" EVERY THURSDAY OF THE WEEK.
http://www.mb.com.ph/lifestyle/


Sol in 1997 Photo: PHNO Editor/Travel & Leisure page
http://www.newsflash.org/staff/solvanzi.htm


Photo of Sol and young Kyle Victor Jose in March 2005 at PHNO/QCNet
office in Levitown, Paranaque. Photoshot by Leo Q. Carolino.


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