Isdaan in Gerona Tarlac

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I've been getting disappointed on planning to go some places but not going anywhere. Months and months of staying at home made my feet itch. Good thing my office mate Mark reminded me of this place in Tarlac. Vanjee and I passed this place from our trip to Vigan. I remember seeing those gorgeous Buddha structures along the high way. It's like you're in Thailand. Mark knows the place very well and I didn't think twice of going there even just for a day. Tarlac is a good choice for a day trip since its just a few hours away from Manila.

On the night of our trip it was raining hard. But the deal is rain or shine we are going. The next day it's still raining. I texted Mark and he said the sun was shining brightly in Tarlac. Okay, that's good news. But the bad news is the heavy traffic not to mention very few public utility vehicles passing by that morning. Tapioca and I was suppose to meet in Cubao at 7am but at that time I was still waiting for buses. After waiting for some time I was able to get into a bus. The usual 15-minute travel time to get to the nearest MRT station took me almost an hour. Finally I made it in Cubao at 9pm.

We headed straight to Five Star bus terminal and boarded the bus going to Dagupan City. The trip going to Gerona, Tarlac took approximately 3hrs. We arrive at 12:45pm just in time for lunch.

When you see this sign, you know you're in Gerona where Isdaan is located. Outside you would think Isdaan is a resort and not a restaurant because the place is huge. Some parts are still under construction.

First thing that greeted us were the koi fishes. Lots and lots of koi and tilapia all over the place . As we go further, I almost forgot I was hungry. I mean the place has so many photo ops here and there and I can't help but click my camera away. Oh yeah, I'm using my phone camera for the first time so you know how excited I was. And then we finally see this...

...happy, happy, joy, joy ^____^

Coolness. There's a lot more of that around Isdaan but that Buddha in the picture is the grandest of them all.

another one here...

...chased by the dinosaur

wooden pathway...

We took some more pictures until we get tired and settled at one of the huts. Did I mention that Isdaan is a floating restaurant? The water around the floating huts is around 6-9 feet deep (Yikes, mas mataas pa sa akin).

Isdaan is a Barrio Fiesta sister company so expect Filipino dishes. They also serve Japanese dishes like sashimi and tempura. Prices are reasonable, good for sharing. Here's what we ordered...

...sinigang na hipon

inihaw na liempo...

...pinakbet ilocano style

grilled tuna with butter sauce...

...fresh watermelon juice

mango juice for Kit...

The sinigang has the right amount of sourness on it and the shrimps are cooked perfectly. We loved the liempo because it was soft and very tender. I'm not sure what's the difference with the ilocano style pinakbet and the regular pinakbet I know of but what I'm sure of is I enjoyed the pinakbet because the veggies were not over cooked and its not malansa. The grilled tuna on the other hand was just okay. I liked the grilled tuna we had in Boracay better than this one. Probably the tuna wasn't fresh. Since the weather was hot I wanted to drink something refreshing like melon juice but not available that time so we had watermelon juice instead.

While eating, these guys serenaded us. Minimum tip is 20 pesos.

After eating, we went to the infamous Tacsiyapo wall and tried to smash some plates and cups.

...tacsiyapo wall

the san kilo bridge...

We tried coaxing Tapioca to cross the san kilo bridge so we can get 1 kilo of tilapia for free but he just wouldn't do it. I know I am very bad with balancing but maybe next time I might try it. And that means I'm definitely going back here.

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