Mitzi Ilagan | Foodfindsasia.com
We’re sure you’ve heard of Cabalen. Aside from the fact that it’s a term for a fellow Kapampangan, it means food. Well, not literally, but you’ve probably passed by this resto in one of the SM malls in your city.
Cabalen is one of our local buffet restos offering Filipino (most especially Kapampangan) delicacies for a price more reasonable than those of in hotels. If you have a relative who’s a balikbayan or a friend from another country who’s visiting the Philippines for the first time, you’ll probably choose Cabalen as one of your go-to restos. If you don’t have enough time to prepare all of the Pinoy food which you want them to taste, everything you need is right there.
This viand made of oxtail, pork hocks, vegetables, and thick peanut or peanut butter sauce is something you won’t get to eat every day because it’s a bit complex to prepare. Cabalen’s kare-kare is good, especially when paired with their cooked alamang.
When asked, a foreigner who has visited the Philippines say that Adobo by far has become their favorite among the Filipino food which they have tasted. It is a famous viand wherein pork, chicken, or both are marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, and black pepper, and the simmered until cooked. Different parts of the country cook their own versions of adobo, but those the mentioned ingredients are for the basic Adobo.
Who says no to lechon? Pork lechon is one of the main “attractions” in most Pinoy-themed buffets, just like Cabalen. The crispy (but cholesterol-loaded) skin, its juicy meat, and lechon sauce would surely fill up your appetite and stomach even before you get to taste all of the food on the buffet table.
Who says sisig is just made for the “pulutan” table? Famous for being a well-loved appetizer for a night out, sisig is also available in Cabalen. They’ve got different variants such as pork, chicken, bangus, and tofu sisig. The pork sisig, which originated in Pampanga, is the most handy to prepare. It is made of chopped pig’s face and liver.
- Lumpiang Hubad
If some people like the wrapper the most, some like it naked. Lumpiang Hubad, or Naked Spring Rolls, is also available in Cabalen. It is usually a mix of carrots, singkamas (turnip), cabbage, chicken or shrimp, kamote (sweet potatoes) and ubod. It is then topped with a thick lumpia sauce made with brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and peanuts.
This probably is something you’ve been eyeing on as soon as you enter the resto. The ingredients are provided at the dessert station so, you’ll be able to hoard all the gulaman that you like to put in. Aside from the syrup and evaporated milk, you could also try putting in coconut milk into your halo-halo for a thicker texture.
All these and more you could find at Cabalen for PHP398 per head. You could also find sushi, California maki, and tempura in some Cabalen branches such as the newly opened at the 2nd level of the Bayview Area in SM Mall of Asia. There, they offer both Filipino and International dishes. When you wanna catch the homey feels away from home, head to Cabalen and experience their authentic traditional home-cooked food for a reasonable price.