As we were traveling back to Manila, lunch stop-over in between La-Union/Baguio to Pangasinan stretch, was the famous home-cooked style cuisine by Matutina's Seafoods in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan. Matutina's has also branch in Dagupan City & Baguio.
My companions had frequently visited Matutina's every time they travel in the North Luzon area. It was my first time and I was attracted with the restaurant's Filipino touch of wooden furnishings, clay pots, lamp oil and the whole interior. Although it's a little humid at around 3:30PM, diners would greatly enjoy the ambiance and al fresco setting at night. The food is considerably of reasonable price, a value for your money.
|L-R: Adobong Pusit, Pinakbet, Lechon Kawali, Inihaw na Bangus & Sinigang|
Matutina's signature Sinigang was truly satisfactory, it has its own tempting "lasa" [taste] and zest. I also almost finish the whole serving of Adobong Pusit, although its made of little slices of squid, we love the balanced element of soy sauce/vinegar/spices with spicy green chili in it. The guys can't get enough of the Lechon Kawali [deep-fried porky], I gave it a pass, my concentration was with the squid and vegetable. But did you know that in the North area, pork meats are guaranteed freshly killed :) My father-in-law being a certified Ilocano, was born & raised in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija; every time he goes home in Manila, be it him or the relatives. They always have a "pasalubong' [presents] for us - a whole bulk of Lechon Kawali! The Pinakbet is best eaten with the Inihaw na Bangus. Those dishes we prepare in our home more frequently, but what differentiate Matutina's is that you can distinguished the used of fresh vegetables and seafoods plus their deadly secret ingredients! :)
Fermented fish sauce commonly known as Bagoong Isda is an Ilocano staple sauce, the counterpart of soy sauce/vinegar dip for most Pinoys.
|"Gasera" or oil lamps above the ceiling|
Matutina's Seafoods restaurant has been distinguished by many groups and media. It is said former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo frequents the place whenever she is Pangasinan-bound.
Matutina's has also been awarded as being one of the country's best restaurant in serving Sinigang & Daing na Bangus respectively. They annually joined the Bangus Festival. Truly the versatile Bangus [milkfish] can get to anywhere, from being a Sinigang na Bangus, Bangus Sisig, Inihaw na Bangus, Daing na Bangus, Boneless Bangus, Bangus Lumpia, Paksiw na Bangus, Steak Bangus, or just plain fried bangus!
|Ilocano-style garbage bin made of clay|
|wood & clay ornaments|
|more "banga" or jar clays inside the comfort rooms|
During the meal the staff gives away Buko Pastillas [candied coconuts] as desserts. I didn't get any photos of it though, my kid ate it all! :)
The next time you're off to North Luzon [Pangasinan, Benguet or Ilocos], take a stop to Matutina's, its easy on the pocket plus they have great food for your gastronomic adventure.
Urdaneta City, Pangasinan
Dagupan City, Pangasinan