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Isdaan Offers an Enjoyable Dining Experience

Sometime last month, my family and I found ourselves spending a Saturday morning somewhere up North. We were done with business come lunchtime but our grumbling stomachs told us to find a pitstop before heading back to Manila. This was when I forced convinced them to find that restaurant I’ve been hearing good things about- the one with the Tacsiyapo Wall.

Being pseudo-Kapampangan (my grandparents hail from the lovely city of San Fernando), I’ve always known ‘tacsiyapo’ to be a kapampangan term. In fact, I distinctly remember a video recording of my 1st birthday with my lola yelling “Mga tacsiyapo kayo!” to my young uncles when she found out they were filming her, eagerly cheering her granddaughter on with her hair disheveled and wearing one of her famous dasters. (To me, the video is gold.) 
Isdaan, Tarlac
Going back to the topic, I was telling my family to look out for a restaurant sign bearing the name Tacsiyapo, because that was what I thought it was called. Apparently, I was mistaken and the restaurant we were looking for is actually called Isdaan Floating Restaurant, thanks to one of my titos who had already been there. It’s hard to miss as it’s located right along the National Road of Gerona, Tarlac.

The sights-

It was noon when we got there and it was mighty hot. The heat was too intense that we rushed to our floating kubo to get under the shade. The walkways between the floating kubos were made of bamboo poles strewn together with some portions covered in rubber and some not. If you have small feet, the combination of the uneven bamboo poles and the swaying floor (it’s floating on water) makes it a bit of a challenge to walk around.

Part of the decor at isdaan are these statues

One of the first things you’d notice as you enter the premises is the colorful displays- including statues of security guards reading the paper or sleeping on the job (there was even one depicted peeing, with a hint of a penis peeking out- not kidding). Walking further inside, you’ll see more colorful displays of past presidents, Marvel characters, more security guards, giant stone fish, twelve foot monkeys and even bigger dinosaurs. 

Fifteen feet tall Iron Man, lifesized Ninoy Aquino and Erap statues
Activities at Isdaan
Isdaan also has many activities all over the restaurant, the most famous one being the Tacsiyapo Wall where you get to release all of your pent up anger by yelling “TACSIYAPO!” and hurling various breakable objects to the wall. Watch my tita get mad at a plate-

They also have contests- San Kilo Bridge, Unggoy Unggoyan and Isdaan Idol Challenge where you can win a kilo of fish cooked any which way you want. The kids can also get fish pellets to feed the many exuberant fish around the area or ride a mini-kalesa with a ram pulling on the wagon, instead of horses.
Isdaan is a huge place
And finally,
The nomz-

An interesting thing to note about Isdaan is that their cooking areas are in plain sight, with the stoves and grillers smoking along the walkways, enticing you with smells of their freshly cooked food. The ingredients are prepared in their main kitchen, but the actual cooking is done outside, with the poor cooks having to fry and grill under extreme heat. The cooking area had no shade, and the smoke coming from the cooking food can’t be all that pleasant.

Extreme cooking
One of their specialties is the Lechon Tinupig. All the while, I thought tinupig was rice cake and was very surprised to see it being chicken on a stick. The cook told us that they first simmer the chicken in gata to let the meat absorb the flavor and then they grill it over hot coals until cooked. The chicken  ended up having a light gata flavor and was juicy and very tasty. I liked it very much.
Lechon Tinupig (p385 – 1 whole chicken)
Here’s the rest of what we ordered:
Inihaw na Liempo (p523 – 1 kilo)
Barrio Fiesta Pinakbet (p263)
Tacsiyapong Malaga (p225)
Special Pancit Isdaan (p187)
The nomz at Isdaan was, for the most part, your typical fare but what you go all the way to Tarlac for is the entire experience- the many displays, the unique activities, and the sights make the long trip worth your while.

Isdaan Floating Restaurant
Address: National Road, Gerona Tarlac
Contact Number: (045) 931-2196

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