For Holy Week Trip 2013, we went to San Juan, La Union! Days before departing Manila, Dad has always mentioned that we should all eat at this certain Halo-Halo place at San Fernando, La Union. I have always imagined it to be like a ‘snacks/dessert’ restaurant. Kind of like Icebergs. They have meals on the side, but more on desserts. Dad also said that a lot of people have been recommending this place in the internet. He kept on pressing, “We should definitely go there to eat halo-halo!” … Erm… okay…. o_o
Turned out… it wasn’t just any typical snack/dessert restaurant. It definitely was a great restaurant to go to when in San Fernando. (San Fernando is just a few kilometres away from San Juan) 🙂
I fell in love with the interior, the moment I had stepped into the place. At first glance, the structure was obviously once a residential. The ambiance felt like we were guests eating at someone’s place, rather than a restaurant. The place is a bit cluttered, but I thought that it only added to the homey setting. They have interesting pieces for decors, like the old capiz windows as light fixtures; old headboards for wall accent pieces; a few ornamental light fixture lizards hanging on the ceiling; etc.
For our annual Holy Week Trips, we usually consist of 4-5 families. It’s hard to walk in to a restaurant and ask for 20-30 seats right away. Especially, in fairly medium sized restaurants such as this. Good thing, they have a second floor, which is also their function room. We were 22 at that time, and it fitted us perfectly. To rent the second floor, we automatically have to shell out 4,000php worth of food. So, even if the bill is only 3,000php, you still have to pay 4,000php. We exceeded that amount by a bit.
We only ordered 3 viands, one order of garlic rice (good for 4 people), a cup of plain rice, and 2 halo-halo. The following dishes are what we had ordered for our table. Mom was the one who ordered the food.
The weather was hot and humid, but we ordered soup anyway: Sinampalukang Buknok. I thought this dish was like Sinigang, but with fresh buko juice. I was initially wary with this dish, because, I don’t prefer of anything Sinigang, I was very intrigued with the infusion of buko though. (I’m not a fan of sour dishes) But, this dish has made it to one of my favourite soup list. The sourness is still there; however, the buko juice somehow made it kind of sweet. =)
Adobong Pusit: I did not expect anything interesting with this dish. We only wanted to eat something squid, and just settled with this. This dish doesn’t look anything out of the ordinary, but it is one of the best Adobong Pusit out there!
From the 3 viands, I was most excited for Seafood Kare-Kare. I like kare-kare, and it’s rare to see seafood in Kare-Kare. Moreover, Mom doesn’t eat beef. Therefore, we ordered it. No regrets here. This Kare-Kare is another should order! I love the peanut sauce they used. It doesn’t taste ‘malansa’ (fishy?) that comes with seafood, too.
And the finale: the Halo-Halo. It comes with just in with a tall glass, or in the buko. We ordered one of each. For the buko, the juice is separated, and served in a glass. You can enjoy the Halo-Halo proper in the buko, along with carving the soft meat inside. It has all the standard halo-halo ingredients, tapioca, nata de coco, redbeans, ube, bits of cheese, etc. But, I have no idea what special something they have put in there, because it honestly really is one of the best halo-halo I have ever tasted. Seriously.
The service was somewhat slow, but maybe it could be beca
use it’s the Holy Week. I forgot the name of the waitress who entertained us, but she was super nice and attentive. I definitely will be coming back here. =) BTW, for those who might not know, Halo halo de iloko Balay is now along Zandueta Street.
Halo halo de iloko Balay
Owner/Manager: Xavier B. Mercado.
Address : #12 Zandueta St., City of San Fernando,
La Union, Philippines
Numbers: (072) 700 2030 | 09193883145 | 09178527919
Owner/Manager: Xavier B. Mercado