Pampanga Food Crawl: Apag Marangle

Food & Places Restaurants

Pampanga is known to be the culinary capital of the Philippines. Even international chefs and journalists, like Anna Olson and Jaime Dempsey visited the province to taste what Pampanga has to offer.

During our #ShinePampanga tour, we are privileged to have lunch at the 11 year old authentic kapangpangan restaurant Apag Marangle in Bacolor, Pampanga.

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Ms. Cherry Tan and yours truly

Owner, Cherry Tan demonstrated true Filipino hospitality when she prepared a Kapangpangan feast for us.

What sets Apag Marangle apart?

Apag Marangle means Dining in Farm (Hain sa Bukid). Apag means “dine “and Marangle means “farm”.

What I like about Apag Marangle is that they didn’t put any twist to all the dishes we know. From Sisig, Bulanglang, Swam na Mais, Inihaw na Hito, Buro, and steamed vegetables. Name it and it is authentic. It is cooked the way their ancestors cooked it.

The recipes are older than the restaurant itself.

Living the Dream

I’ve asked Ms. Cherry how did she come up with the restaurant. She told me the story of Palaisdaan – a floating restaurant where she used to work. She wanted to have her own similar place and poof she made it happen.

Since Pampanga is more on rice fields versus body of water. She decided to create a man made fish pond to make her dream come true.

Eleven years later, Apag Marangle managed to have branches across the province and even had one in Metro Manila.

Apag Marangle ambience

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Apag Marangle Ducks

It feels like home – your backyard. The difference is you have a cook and waiters to serve you.

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The place is serene. Everything is fresh and everyone is friendly.

I walked around the place to see these animals plus the plants they have. I got interested with the aqua phonic setup they have – sustainability! Although it’s hot they have function room used as dining area too if you prefer to stay indoors.

Apag Marangle Flavors

As mentioned above, Apag Marangle flavors is the same as how our grandma will cook these dishes. Time to feed your eyes with the snaps I managed to take.

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Sisig

Who can go wrong with this sisig? I mean it’s sinfully delicious made pig’s face sautéed with onions and chilis.

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Sizzling Balut

One of the fear factor delicacy we have in the Philippines. We often offer this to our foreigner friends because as scary as it looks, my friend, it is indeed delicious.

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Bulanglang (Sinigang) na Bangus sa Bayabas (Guava)

In Manila, we are used to cook sinigang using tamarind paste, powder, or the actual fruit. But in some provinces, there are other fruits to use to create invigorating sourness for this dish.

Guava is one, tomatoes, green mango, pineapple, and even watermelon.

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Essaladang Paco

Salads come from different forms and sizes. One favorite of mine is this Ensaladang Paco or Fern Salad. Make sure you serve this cold with salted egg and tomatoes.

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Ensaladang Mangga

Another favorite is this green mango with onion, tomatoes, and shrimp paste. It is the perfect partner for anything fried or grilled. Some will combine this to grilled eggplant for a combination of tangy and earthy flavors.

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Pepalukluk Manuk

Also known as Pinaupong Manok in Tagalog, it is cooked with the chicken sitting on tin can wrapped in banana leaves.

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Chicken BBQ
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Ningnang Bangus or Grilled Milk Fish
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Tinapa Rice
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Nasing Marangle

This is their version of bagoong rice with pinakbet and lechon kawali. You can eat this alone since it has vegetables and meat already.

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Asado ng Ima Ku

At first I thought this is Caldereta but it is the traditional chicken and pork pot roast cooked to perfection – so tender!

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Humba

One of my favorite! I am used to eating Humba using pork leg with plantain. Their version used lacatan banana and pork cubes. This is dish is on the sweeter side.

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Ningnang Hitu or Grilled Catfish

I live in a Kapangpangan household, my in laws (mother side) are from Pampanga. Whenever there is an occasion they will always have grilled catfish with fermented rice or Buro.

I must say, I skipped this dish because I personally do not like catfish. lol

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Litsun Pata or Crispy Pata (Hind)
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Saving the best for last because I am a die hard fan of Kare Kare. My standards for Kare Kare are the following:

  • Real peanut and rice sauce
  • Not overcooked veggies
  • Tender meat
  • Delicious shrimp paste

I am not a fan of tripe but I tasted Apag Marangle’s version and it is surprisingly clean. I actually skip Ox Tripes because I am not sure how they cleaned it. But what is Kare Kare if it is not Ox tail and tripe right?

Another favorite that I lost the photo is the Tidtad or Dinuguan in Tagalog. Unlike the tagalog version which the meat is simmered in pig’s blood their version is not as scary as the Tagalog one because they cooked the blood separately.

Dessert time

And of course, there is always room for dessert. Since it is summer, the best way to end a sumptuous meal is an ice dessert known in the Philippines.

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Halo-Halo
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Fruit Salad

Final Words

I salute restaurants around the globe that caters to their heritage. It shows deep respect to their ancestors while giving experience to generations who never tasted such cuisine.

I hope I could taste other provinces cuisine so my palate could take me back to the rich and flavorful history of the Philippines

Have you tried dining in at Apag Marangle?

Disclaimer: Apag Marangle sponsored our lunch during our #ShinePampanga tour organized by Pampanga Bloggers Society.

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