New Year Lunch at Isdaan Floating Restaurant in Tarlac

The year 2015 has been a good year for us, albeit there were inevitable challenges along the way. It might not be as prosperous as the other years, but it was a year of new experiences, new friends, and new ventures.

As we welcome 2016, we would like to set aside all the negativities of the previous year and move forward. So, what we did was, we unleashed all the bad vibes on the Tacsiyapo wall! Located within a popular stop-over dining spot in Tarlac called Isdaan Floating Restaurant, the family-owned (the same owners of Barrio Fiesta) restaurant offers the same Filipino cuisine the Ongpauco family is known for, as well as some activities that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

Tacsiyapo is a Capampangan swear word, of which, even Google, couldn't even give the exact translation. The Tacsiyapo wall is where people throw plates, mugs, or even a television on the wall while shouting the word "Tacsiyapo!" with the intention of releasing anger or other bad vibes. Guests have to pay for every plate, mug or what-have-you. The experience was actually liberating and fun at the same time!

Choose your weapon
The entire property is clad in beautiful landscape and native huts that serves as the dining areas. As its name tells, it is a floating restaurant so children are mandated to wear a lifevest at all times.

There are a lot of photogenic spots around the restaurant, so be prepared to hone your cam-whoring skills. You can also try fish feeding (fish food is available at the Tacsiyapo wall for free), boating (no required fee, just a donation), and the San Kilo Bridge, where you would have to cross a narrow catwalk with water on both sides while balancing two pails with a kilo of tilapia in each. Winners are given a free kilo of tilapia as a prize.


San Kilo Bridge

The food is the main draw here, so prepare your tummy as you browse the long menu of Filipino specialties. It might turn you off at first because the prices seem steep, but the servings are huge and may actually pass as worth it. We were four adults and a kid and what we got were actually good for six or so!

We ordered the signature dish, tinupig na manok or chicken marinated in coconut milk and lemongrass, grilled while wrapped in leaves; binangkang sisig, a huge serving of the Capampangan favorite split into two variations--pork and fish; sinigang na sugpo sa buho or prawns in sour soup cooked in bamboo; and kaning bagong saing or rice cooked and served in the usual home kaldero.

Tinupig na manok
The tinupig na manok was a winner--well-marinated, grilled to perfection without being too dry, and the flavours, oozing. The group unanimously agreed that this was the star of the table.

Sinigang na sugpo sa buho
The sinigang na sugpo sa buho was served piping hot out of a bamboo tube. The broth was rich and zesty with just the perfect tinge of sourness--not overkill.

Binangkang sisig
The binangkang sisig was overwhelming. The portion is so huge that we feel it could feed 4-5 people who will not order other dishes, otherwise, this can be good for 6-8. We find the pork sisig too fatty and could have been crispier or tastier. It was good but nothing special except for its humungous size. Oh and they have a bigger one, too! They call that Titanic sisig.

Pork sisig upclose
Overall, the experience was worth it. Good food, good ambience, and good service. If you want to bring your family away from the bustling city, bring them here for a day and indulge.

This was how we started the year 2016--with good food and good vibes. Happy new year everyone! Here's to a productive and healthy year ahead! Cheers!


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