Gastronomic Pleasures in Pamana (

(This is an excerpt from my article “Gastronomic Pleasures in Pamana,” which was published in last November 26, 2010)

The landscape of Tagaytay City is slowly changing as this scenic place continues to welcome new establishments—one of which is Pamana, a restaurant that specializes in traditional Filipino cuisine. Pamana is part of the Happy Concept Group, which includes The Boutique Bed and Breakfast, Hawaiian Bar-B-Que, and World Topps, among others. If those names do not sound familiar at all, maybe Barrio Fiesta will, and it happens to be its sister company.

I heard about Pamana through my relatives who have been gushing about its good food and who told me that this is their new favorite restaurant in Tagaytay. But they warned me that the place could be packed during weekends and holidays so it would be best to go there on other days. Luckily, my mom and my sister decided to have lunch there during my downtime and I was able to take part in this latest food trip. We traveled for about an hour to reach this highly recommended restaurant.

A new discovery

Pamana’s façade seems like a modern-looking building but its interiors are just the opposite. There’s a homey feel to this place even if the first thing one notices is the mini-grocery store upon entering. A round table welcomed us near the entrance and it was full of knick-knacks and Chef Happy’s homemade specialties on sale.

I saw some bottled products such as taba ng talangka (crab fat), waykurat (sweet and spicy vinegar made from natural coconut sap), and tawilis (small freshwater fish) from Taal in corn oil. As my eyes roamed around the room, I noticed the elegant hanging chandelier, gilted mirrors adorning the walls, and ivory-colored shelves with items on display. I thought that it would be nice to look around after we order our meal first.

As we all headed upstairs, we took our time going up each step to check out the collection of framed photos on the wall. The whole wall was filled with pictures of sepia and black and white tones. Some of the faces were recognizable, as I have seen them on local TV several times. I could get lost trying to place each face with a name but the food was calling us, so we continued to look for a table and finally settled on the one along the terrace to get a better view of the Taal Lake. We went there on a weekday and practically had the whole place to ourselves.

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