My father is Capampangan but because his family settled here in Manila at the age of seven, he doesn’t really know much about the dialect. He also doesn’t have a lot of history from the province. So I was really glad when I was invited to try out Pinác.
Pinác means swamp and they serve Capampangan Heirloom Cuisine. The recipes of the dishes served in the restaurant were passed down from the owner’s grandmother.
I know we are all used to eating Filipino dishes because it’s what we also eat at home, but here at Pinác they have found a way to reinvent and modernize the dishes and serve it in a way that will make you say “wow“.
Let me share with you what we had for lunch.
For starters we had Ensaladang Pako with Fried Itik Floss (₱125), those are fiddlehead fersn with salted eggs, green mangoes, cucumber slices and tomatoes served with Pinac Vinaigrette and topped with fried itik floss. Pinac’s Vinaigrette is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy, perfect with the fresh and crunchy fiddle ferns.
Another salad that we had is the Fried Kesong Puti Ensalada (₱145), mixed greens with cucumber and tomatoes and topped with fried kesong puti (white cheese) and served with bagoong vinaigrette.
Crispy Hito Balls, Mustasa at Buro (₱235) – I’ve had my share of eating fried hito, mustasa, and buro from other capampangan restaurants. They usually serve deep fried fish along with the buro and mustasa. Pinác found a way to make eating this fun and convenient! No more checking if there’s fish bone in your mustasa wraps!
Lumpiang Ubos Taquitos (₱185) is one of my favorites among those that were served. It’s a version of Lumpiang Hubad but the lumpia is served on a bed of crispy fried wontons. It’s like Pinoy Nachos and there was different kinds of texture on each bite making it more exciting on the palate.
Ulang Thermidor (₱395) – Ulangs are giant prawns which are roughly chopped and then cooked with mushrooms and delicious cream sauce served on top of toasts and with a salad on the side
We also had Bringhe (₱345) which is the Capampangan version of Paella. It is made of glutinous rice, coconut milk, and chicken cooked in banana leaves lined skillets and topped with crispy chicken skin and hard boiled egg slices.
We were told that Pinac’s Crispy Pata (₱645) is poached in aromatics for six hours before it’s deep fried to crispy perfection. It is served with pickled ampalaya and kangkong which tastes like candy — no trace of bitterness at all. I looooooved that pickled ampalaya not only because ut’s delish but because it also takes out the umay from eating Crispy Pata and it kinda balances out the fat. I actually asked the owner if you can order an extra serving of that when you order Crispy Pata. I have a feeling I’m going back there with my peanutbutter♥, and my in laws and Crispy Pata is gonna be one of our orders.
Beef-Lovers, this is for you! Smoked Tadyang with Yellow Mango Chutney (₱625), 750 grams of fall-of-the-bone smoked beef ribs served with ripe mango chutney and corn salsa…. need I say more?
This dish is very surprising: Adobong Hito sa Alagaw (₱185). It’s not my first time to eat adobong hito but it’s my first time to try this version with alagaw leaves and I’d say, that the alagaw leaves indeed creates another flavor dimension for this humble dish.
I just wish I could have this Cucumber Mint Dalandan Shake (₱85) right now. The flavor combination surprisingly works and it’s very refreshing too!
Lunch Specials at Pinac
Pinac offers Lunch Specials, set meals that’s perfect if you’re dining alone or if you don’t want to order a la carte dishes. The serving is actually big and very reasonably priced.
I was served Lengua Con Setas (₱255) , really tender braised ox tongue cooked in red wine and shiitake mushrooms. It is served with garlic rice and pan roasted vegetables.
Another lunch special that was served was the Beef Salpicao (₱265). Look how mouthwatering it is! Beef tendeloin cubes in butter, worcestershire, and toasted garlic served with garlic rice and pan roasted vegetables
Desserts at Pinac
These treats are the perfect meal-ender!
Their version of Buko Pandan is simple but it’s delicious. I didn’t see it on the menu, though.
Calamansi Panna Cotta and Dulce de Leche Cheesecake (₱195), I love the Calamansi Panna Cotta because it’s really creamy. I love the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake because, well, it’s cheesecake!!! It’s dense and rich but not overly sweet.
Brazo de Maiz at Salabat (₱185) this unique corn-shaped meringue is filled with custard and served with tamarind ginger tea.
Of course, there’s Halo- Halo (₱125) which I wasn’t able to try anymore because I was stuffed! Judging from the looks of it (and did you notice how much langka it has?) it must be scrumptious.
It was a weekday lunch and school hasn’t opened yet when we were there so the restaurant wasn’t busy that day. I’m carefully thinking when I should take my family back to Pinac…. I know weekends are quite busy.
Pinác Heirloom Capampangan Cuisine is located at 2/F UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights, Quezon City.