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Famfanga Food Trip: Downtown Cafe

Because our day trip to Famfanga was filled with so much eating in between, I couldn’t fit all our adventures in just one post. So here’s part 2! :)

 

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Second stop. Downtown Cafe by Claude Tayag 

Claude Tayag, if you don’t know yet, is a foodie, artist, book author, furniture designer, and host of the most popular culinary experience in Pampanga at his residence dubbed Bale Dutung. Bale Dutung is on Paul St. cor. St. Francis St., Villa Gloria, San Jose, Angeles City; Tel. nos. (045) 6250169 or 0917-5359198.

As we were on borrowed time & didn’t have the luxury of sitting through a beautiful, well thought of & well prepared extensive meal for hours on end, we went to Claude Tayag’s DOWNTOWN CAFE instead just so we can still taste his take on the Pampanga cuisine.

 

Claude Tayag’s Downtown Cafe Pampanga

Plaridel Street, Nepo Quad, Angeles City, Pampanga. Mobile phone: (+63) 917-5359198.

 

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The Story behind DOWNTOWN CAFÉ In January 1956, Elvis Presley rocked the world with his first No.1 hit single “Heartbreak Hotel”, and in November of the same year, he made his film debut, “Love Me tender.” It was the time of Rock and Roll, Cadillacs, Jukeboxes and Soda Fountains. The relative affluence spread throughout the major towns and cities around the world. People went to Downtown to do business, shop, watch a movie, eat out, or simply have a good time. 1956 was also the year Claude was born, the ninth child of Katoks and During Tayag, thus naming him Claude 9. Downtown Café 1956 brings you back to the good ‘ol days, serving the familiar tastes we all grew up loving in a fresh take. It’s like hearing a familiar story with a new punch line.

 

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It’s like we were transported back in time at this retro-looking cafe!

 

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Standing proud in between lovely couple Maryann & Chef Claude Tayag. <3

 

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Trianggulos 225 php. 8 pieces of Samosas filled with tinapa, spinach, pili nut served with tomato sofrito dip.

 

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Ensaladang Pako 180 php. Fiddlehead fern with mango, dalandan vinaigrette.

 

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Mix it up a bit and TADA! Ready to eat! ;))

 

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Lumpiang Hubad 140 php. Fresh spring vegetables on a bed of romaine lettuce.

 

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Crispy aromatic duckling 620 php (420 php for a small order). Half a spring duck with Downtown Cafe’s in house 9 spy dry rub. Steamed, then fried to a crisp finish. Served with a special mango salsa. This, for me, was the WINNER that day! <3

 

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The aromatic duck came with a wrapper should you wish to eat it like a lumpia. But I ate mine without & it was glorious!

 

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Crispy crablets on talangka rice 238 php.

 

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Fried Tilapia Fillet 250 php. Served with fish roe sauce. Another winner in my book! \m/

 

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Bringhe na may tutong 280 php. (150 php for small serving). The pampango fiesta rice dish is made special with quail eggs, chicken, chorizo bilbao, and a crisp bottom! <3

 

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Special Halo halo with Crema de Pastillas, not your ordinary milk! 120 php (90 php if plain/without ice cream).

 

 

 

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We were also happy to try the Ice Lollies (90 php) as it was a very hot & humid day. The refreshing creamy fruit salad flavor of this lolly cooled us down considerably.

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Me so happy! ;)

 

Should you wish to go for the whole Bale Dutung (“House of Wood” in Kapampangan) experience, do call ahead to make an appointment as Chef Claude only accepts one booking per month, and you need to be in a group of 10 or more for the 4-hour weekend lunch. Enjoy any of these 3 available menus:

Menu #1: Kapangpangan Menu (P1,800/head)
Ensaladang Pakô (Fiddle head fern salad)
– Piniritong Lumpiang Ubod sa Claude’9 Oriental Sauce (Fried all vegetable spring roll with lemon coriander Thai basil sauce)
– Inasal na Manok at Claude’9 Talangka Rice (BBQ chicken wings w/lemon grass marinade & crab fat rice)
– Adobong Pugo (Quail – adobo style)
– Talangka Sushi
– Hito at Balo-Balo Sushi (Sushi of crab fat and cat fish)
– Tortillang Lechon (Crispy roast pork flakes on a tortilla)
– Bulanglang Kapampangan na may Tian ng Bangus, Ulang at Tadyang ng Baboy (Milkfish belly, spareribs, crayfish or prawn soup, flavored with native guava)
– Begucan Sisig Babi at Ensaladang Talong (Pork cooked in shrimp paste with grilled eggplant)
– Kare-kareng Laman Dagat (Sea food cooked in peanut sauce)
– PARADISO (Dessert of yam, and coconut, eggyolk in water buffalo milk)
– Sinaunang Kape, Tsaang Pandan (Coffee and tea)

 

Menu #2: Lechon Menu (P1,800/head – highly recommended)
– Ensaladang Pakô (Fiddle head fern salad)
– Piniritong Lumpiang Ubod sa Claude’9 Oriental Sauce (Fried all vegetable spring roll with lemon coriander Thai basil sauce)
– Inasal na Manok at Claude’9 Talangka Rice (BBQ chicken wings w/lemon grass marinade & crab fat rice)
– Talangka Sushi, Hito at balo-balo Sushi (Sushi of crab fat and cat fish)
– Balat ng Lechon at Liver Sauce (Crispy roast pork skin)
– Lechon Tortilla (Crispy roast pork flakes on a tortilla)
– Inihaw na Tadyang na Lechon at Ensaladang Talong (Grilled pork ribs with eggplant salad)
– Sinigang na Lechon (Pork meat in sour soup)
– Lechon Sisig (Pig’s cheeks with onion and liver sauce)
– PARADISO (Dessert of yam, coconut, egg yolk in water buffalo milk)
– Kapeng Sinaunang Panahon (coffee/ tea)

 

Menu #3: Anthony Bourdain Menu (P1,800/head) 
Ensaladang Pakô (Fiddle head fern salad)
– BBQ Paldeut at Claude’9 Talangka Rice (BBQ chicken tails w/lemon grass marinade & crab fat rice)
– Adobong Pugo (Quail – adobo style)
– Hito at Balo-Balo Sushi (Sushi of crab fat and cat fish)
– Lechon Tortilla (Crispy roast pork flakes on a tortilla)
– Bulanglang Kapampangan na may Tian ng Bangus, Ulang at Tadyang ng Baboy (Milkfish belly, spareribs, crayfish or prawn soup, flavored with native guava)
– Sisig Babi (Sizzling pork in onion and liver sauce)
– Papaitan Soup (Goat meat sour soup) or Bone Collector (Bone marrow in XO Adobo sauce)
– Kare kareng Buntot (Oxtail stew in peanut sauce)
– Tibok Tibok (dessert – pure carabao’s milk maja blanca)
– Sinaunang Kape (Coffee and tea)

 

Thank you so much Tito Claude & Tita Maryann for hosting our lunch and welcoming us with such warm kapampangan pride! <3 We enjoyed every morsel of the food you so lovingly prepared, and most of all the company that came with it. We will certainly go back the next time around that we find ourselves in Pampanga! :-*

 

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And thank you too for our take-home, tita Maryann’s very own homemade chili vinegar which I’ve been using as dipping sauce on just about anything edible in our house! ;))

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