Isdaan, Gerona, Tarlac (Food Trip Road Trip) – February 6, 2011

Isdaan, Gerona, Tarlac (Food Trip Road Trip) – February 6, 2011

En route to Baguio, you have got to stop and eat at Isdaan Floating Restaurant, if not for the food, then for the interesting nature of the place.

The first time I wrote about Isdaan, I did a daytrip (balikan) road trip with Jasper to Baguio last year where we went to Baguio and back to Manila in one day. Back then, we passed the place on the way back. This trip was a little shorter.

On this day, I invited a friend of mine to lunch… in Tarlac. Yes… in Tarlac! I wanted to show him this fascinating restaurant, not so much for the food but for the place itself. We got there in just two hours. We left Manila at around 9:30am and got to Isdaan at around 11:24am. We went via NLEX then SCTEX. Isdaan in Gerona is just a few minutes from the SCTEX exit (at the end of the road) by the time you get on McArthur Highway heading for Baguio.


View Gerona, Tarlac in a larger map

Just note that Gerona is somewhere between Tarlac City and Paniqui. You will see Isdaan on the left.

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You almost can’t miss it. Aside from the huge sign, you will see some enormous statues.

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There is ample parking space, but the place does fill up.

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What strikes me as fascinating are the huge statues all over the place. There is no restaurant (or theme park) in the Philippines like this. Food aside, the place is a visual sensation. Definitely a perfect place for photographers to get their fill.

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As you walk in, you get to wonder what the inspiration of the place is. To a certain degree it kid of reminds me of Thailand. Not in an authentic sense, but the huge statues of monkeys and Buddhas give you that sense.

As we walked in, a hostess guided us to our table. And as we walked along the kawayan corridors, we could tempted by some stuff cooking away…

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The name “Isdaan Floating Restaurant” is quite deceptive. It really isn’t floating. You have the appearance of floating huts (It’s actually a cement structure with pools and fountains). But I may say, it is quite a quality piece of work.

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We placed our order, but I will put the discussion on food and what we ate later on in this blog. For now, let us concentrate on the place first.

These gigantic monkey statues take a humorous twist on “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.”

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As I said. The "kinda-Thai” theme was everywhere…

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Thai Budhas everywhere.

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But every now and then, there are some décor which seem out of place…

Iron Man? Really?

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The place had some “activities.” Kids could rent bikes.

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Tacsiyapo Wall

Most blog posts on Isaan mention the Tacsiyapo Wall. Personally, this isn’t a big thing. But it is interesting to note. What it is is a wall where you can vent your frustrations by throwing your choice of plates (or even TVs) at the wall.

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In Kapampangan (by the way, I am of pure Kapampangan decent)  “Tacsiyapo” is an all purpose term which could be used to express anger and even amusement. Though in this context, I guess it is the former which is used. It’s meaning is similar to the variuos usage of “Putang Ina”… in the proper intonation could be used for anger, frustration, surprise, amusement, humor, and a few other emotions.

Food

Ok, I might as well discuss the food. Some blogs that discuss Isdaan had some negative comments on the food. Let me start by saying that Isdaan is part of the Barrio Fiesta Restaurant Group. You could tell by the signages of various Barrio Fiesta establishments all over the place. That said, the menu is made of food you can get at these establishments.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But at the same time, don’t expect some particularly unique food. Taste is relative. For the food we ordered we were very happy.

Here is what we ordered:

Tinupig Lechon Manok. It’s a very tasty version of roasted chicken. It’s one of their specialties and I highly recommend this.

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Tacsiyapong Tilapaia. Our waiter recommended a number of “Tacsiyapo” dishes. We chose the Tilapia. It’s kind of a steamed version. Very spicy. Very good!

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And finally… Bicol Express. Cooked perfectly. With that great spicy kick.

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And our steamed rice cooked and serve in a little rice pot.

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And of course our drinks. Mango Shake (mine) and an Iced Tea (Chris’)

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The food was great. And considering we were just two. Was quite a lot. I took home the left over chicken and Bicol express.

And so after lunch… it was time to make our way back to Manila.

… but we decided to make a stop in Angeles City… but that is another post.

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If you ever pass this way en route to Baguio or perhaps La Union or Ilocos Sur, you MUST stop here.

21 Comments

  1. one of my favorite places to eat and relax ‘coz it’s near my hometown. glad you had great time there.

    Reply
  2. Wow, this place is a visual delight. :)

    Reply
  3. Cool! Matagal ko na gusto puntahan ito. Napapansin ko lagi ito pagpapunta ako ng Baguio. Salamat sa pagpost. :)

    Reply
  4. I was always intrigued by this place because of those huge statues but never found the time to stop by… I usually took buses when I head out to Baguio. Anyway, I’ll be sure to visit this the next time we drop by the grand-in-laws. Parang gusto ko subukan yung Tacsiyapo Wall :)

    Reply
  5. I ‘luv thsi place… para cyang theme park na restaurant… I was here last year at nag-enjoy naman ako… =D

    Reply
  6. it’s like you’re in thailand. nice place!
    how about the prices? mahal ba? :)

    Reply
  7. nice how about food mahal ba??

    Reply
    • I guess that depends on what one considers “mahal” or “mura.” The prices are typical of a a Barrio Fiesta restaurant.

      Reply
  8. i like this places so beautyfull and clean.i like to work her , is so paradise to me.

    Reply
  9. inggit na talaga ako , gusto ko na magfood trip din

    Reply
    • in addition to the food, the place itself is a sight to see. la lang. nakaka-aliw.

      Reply
  10. I’ve been to this place once with friends and wanted to have the chance to get my family to go here and I loved it, especially the Tacsyapo area. Something different ba? Ang problema ko lang dito sa lugar nato, walang identity. Is it Thai? Filipino? I don’t mind the big fish monkeys statues and such kasi marami pa rin namang unggoy sa Pilipinas (literally speaking). Pardon for being nationalistic pero unang una di naman tayo naniniwala sa Buddha statues. Though it is decoration per se, sana palitan nila ng something Filipino tutal ang pangalan ng Restuarant e Tagalog na tagalog.

    Reply
  11. This is a great restaurant, last year as we were on our way to Baguio, we stopped by here to have lunch. Great food indeed! What sucks is to see our vehicle with a smashed up window on the passenger side with our belongings stolen. Great resteaurant with no security, but hey, they have a manong parking attendant always ready to tell you that he didn’t see or heard anything. For those of you planning to drop by here, I suggest you have an extra companion to watch over your vehicle while you eat. Don’t ruin your vacation by trusting their lame security & their ill response how unfortunate it is that it happened to you. A friend of mine made the same mistake stopping by at this restaurant just last week suffering the same fate I did. Just for the record, a local carinderia can offer the same foods as this restaurant can provide, at less the price but with more security for your belongings than this restaurant could give you. Give this restaurant a try, just please have someone unfortunate enough to guard your vehicle while you enjoy your food & let that person eat while you take the turn of guarding your vehicle.

    Reply
  12. my family was totally disappointed of the food especially the service from ISDAAN last may 1, 2012. they are not giving enough importance / care to their customers. my family left the place with so much disappointment. i will not recommend the food and the service, though place is awesome..

    Reply
  13. how much po ung cost ng food.. abot ba ng 500/pax?? im planning to visit tarlac on august kasi.. thanks..!!

    Reply
    • Depende naman yan sa oorderin mo. Basta presyong Bario Fiesta sila (literally).

      Reply
  14. That place is nice and they had a good food, I went there once with my friend right after graveyard shift from work and we really had fun and busog tummy plus the “takshapo”, you can check some of my photos from my lakwatsa in that place. libertyapril0204090@gmail.com :)

    Reply
  15. ask ko lang po if open po to everday? and wat tym po yung opening and closing nito? balak kasi namin pumasyal, salamat..

    Reply
    • I believe they are open everyday. I think they open early because I remember seeing that they serve breakfast.

      Reply
      • we are planning to go at this place as well..ask ko lang po may entrance fee po ba sila?

        Reply
        • Nope. Its not really an attraction or a theme park… its just a restaurant.

          Reply

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