Thursday, June 29, 2017

Pamana: A Legacy of Filipino Cuisine

Tradition, heritage, legacy. It's the foundation of Pamana Restaurant's signature dishes, preserved by the third generation in a continuing story of an iconic and illustrious clan's culinary journey... 

Pamana Restaurant is yet another chapter in the family tradition of good food, going as far back as Barrio Fiesta and their signature Crispy Pata in the early sixties, to the Bakahan at Manukan chain of the seventies and eighties, the Singing Cooks and Waiters of the nineties to the popular Isdaan Floating Restaurants. Happy Ongpauco ventures on her own with Happy Concepts Group offering a balanced mix of innovative dining concepts and traditional cuisine. At Pamana Restaurant, the comforting dishes of Barrio Fiesta along with other family recipes are recreated for a new generation of diners while preserving the family's culinary legacy.

Located along Mother Ignacia Avenue, the comforting interiors of Pamana are adorned with family portraits for a touch of nostalgia. The structure shares space with the Happy Concepts Group's other dining concept, The Original Hawaiian BBQ (see my post, Luau in the Metro: A Hawaiian Feast at The Original Hawaiian BBQ).  

My dining experience at Pamana began with their signature starters, like the popular Okoy Bites (P 215), crispy deep-fried fritters made with seafood and vegetables and served with a chili vinegar dip, a Pamana recipe from Bahay Malabon. The fresh and clean notes of the fritters and the crunchy texture combine for comforting bites, followed by another and one more. The mildly spicy vinegar dip tempers the richness of the deep-fried fritters for balanced notes.

Infusing squid ink to crispy calamares adds a double dose of rich flavors, and the Crispy Adobong Pusit Calamares (P 305) is another tasty starter at Pamana. The nutty notes of the squid ink adds depth to the dish, with the briny sweetness of the tender squid coming through with each bite, capped by a crisp outer layer of batter. Served with a variety of dips, it just gets better with every dish at Pamana...

Add a celebratory vibe to your get-together with a traditional noodle dish, like the the classic Pancit Malabon with its distinctive yellow-orange hue from the annatto seeds, shrimp broth and crab fat topped with seafood, boiled eggs, and crunchy pork. The Pancit Malabon is part of Pamana's sumptuous Set Menu (read on for more details on the Set Menu below).

If there's one dish the Ongpauco family is known for, it's the Crispy Pata. Pamana's Crispy Pata ni Rod (P 630 The Original Way/P 650 Boneless/P 645 Maanghang and Mabawang) is an homage to Rod Ongpauco, credited with creating the classic deep-fried pork knuckles back in the sixties and first served at Barrio Fiesta. The son of the family matriarch, Mama Chit, and father of Happy Ongpauco, Rod Ongpauco was a visionary ahead of his time. At the young age of 15, Rod Ongpauco concocted what was to become one of the country's iconic dishes that would make Barrio Fiesta a household name for generations. One crispy bite, and you just know this is a real classic. At Pamana, the original dish of Rod Ongpauco is recreated, and you can have it the original way, or go boneless or extra spicy and garlicky. It's the original pork love, and we have Rod Ongpauco to thank for. 

Pamana brings together the very best of local and regional flavors with its Chicken Binakol (P 300), tender chicken cooked in young coconut, ginger, and lemongrass for a taste of Aklan. The light yet flavorful broth delights the palate with each sip, with the sharp hints of ginger and lemongrass tempered by the creamy coconut for balanced flavors.

It's the inventive style of local cuisine that makes dining at any of their restaurants special, and beef ribs take on a uniquely flavorful spin with the Sizzling Tadyang ng Baka with Bone Marrow Gravy (P 415). Fork-tender beef ribs draped in a rich gravy and served on a sizzling hot metal plate, just doesn't get better than that. Extra rice? Yes, please...

For large groups, you can also order Pamana's Set Menus, all good for ten persons with four options to choose from ranging from P 5,000 to P 7,000. That day, we sampled Pamana's Set Menu D (P 7,000) which included the Crispy Adobong Pusit, Tinanglarang Manok, Pakbet Original, Crispy Pata, Sizzling Baka Maanghang, Mama Chit Special, Pancit Malabon, and Plain Rice plus free Iced Tea. With something for everyone, set menus are the way to go for large groups. 

Another Barrio Fiesta favorite, the Pinakbet with Shrimp and Lechon Kawali (P 295) completes the feast. The hearty vegetable stew from the north simmered in shrimp paste is always a favorite, with the natural sweetness of the vegetables blending with the salty notes of the shrimp paste for comforting flavors.

No celebration at Pamana is complete without the Mama Chit Special, a selection of signature fried dishes based on the family matriarch's favorites. From fried seafood, vegetables, spring rolls, and a slab of pork belly all in one platter, it's a party of festive flavors served on a banana leaf. From starters to mains, Pamana brings back all your favorites with each signature dish from the family's heirloom recipes.

End your feast with Pamana's Guinumis, an indulgent shaved ice dessert with pinipig and tapioca topped with coconut milk, evaporated milk, and homemade panutsa ice cream. Just perfect. Craving for local flavors recreated by one of the country's illustrious culinary icons? It's all here at Pamana Restaurant. Savor tasty bites of local flavors and take a nostalgic step back in Pamana Restaurant. 

Pamana is located at Mother Ignacia Avenue near Tomas Morato, South Triangle, Quezon City or call 02 374-3798 for inquiries.

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