TEXT & PHOTO: Kaycie Gayle
If you are looking for an authentic experience for your food adventure then Apag Marangle might be the perfect place for you to visit. Apag Marangle which means ‘Food set in the farm’ or ‘dining in the farm’ will definitely provide you provincial feel with its Farm concept. Hence preferring to experience this kind of dining would need someone to manage their expectation appropriately as well. Say goodbye for a while to the formality of fine dining restaurants and say hello to casual and laid back dining experience. Expect to have alfresco set up, although they also have an air-conditioned area.
Upon turning away from the highway and entering the sloped drive to the restaurant, you’ll instantly be welcomed to a sudden switch of lush greens. Alighting from the car, you will see a small herb farm where the restaurant’s ingredients for flavorings and spices are freshly harvested hence sticking to its farm concept.
The Herb farm at night
Meanwhile, as you walk further, you’ll see the bamboo entrance with the way down to the stairs leading you to the set of stilt huts. As soon as you arrive this spot, see the native architecture and breath in the fresh, the provincial ‘feel’ gets into you. As you walk on the central alley, you would spot interesting native displays such as woven basket, empty wine bottles and clay pots used as a vase for plants. It’s also fun to hear the sound of the squeaking of the bamboo as you step on it.
Clay pots and wine bottles as vases for plants
Walking on the bamboo aisle allows you to choose your preferred hut to dine. These huts are perched above the fishpond that seemed like floating and with a view of lush foliage. Each hut has a set of tied white curtain and furnished with a long table with a glass on top, and long benches and chairs made of bamboo. Designed for big groups, each hut is spacious thus allowing diners having that bonding moment with family and friends comfortable enough. Should the group wanted to do other activities, like fishing after seeing the fish pond, then you may ask the staff if it’s allowed during your visit.
Hut perched above the waters
The Kapampangan and some exotic dishes that this restaurant offers complement the provincial ambiance of this restaurant. During my visit, the dishes that interest me the most are ‘Humba’ which is a sweet pork dish that has star anise, brown sugar, and banana blossoms which was served with sliced bananas on top of it that makes the dish even more appetizing. Another viand that I ordered was the ‘Sinigang na Hipon’ which has shrimp, vegetables and other spices, and you would be asked to choose tamarind or kamias or cucumber tree for its sour broth. This is also served beautifully in a clay pot, giving the food presentation look more native. I partnered it with ‘Aligue Rice’, which is mouth-watering fried rice mixed with crab fat and served in a wooden plate with wooden spoon. For refreshments, I ordered Buko Pandan Juice wherein pandan boiled water was frozen and made it into ice and was dipped in the coconut juice, serving as its ice to serve it cold.
Sinigang na Hipon
Buko Pandan Juice
For a dining experience that would allow you to experience that provincial feel, you may visit the main branch of Apag Marangle located at Olongapo-Gapan Rd., Sta. Barbara, Bacolor, Pampanga.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. All expenses were shouldered by the author. All photos are from Kaycie Gayle