Because I only invited myself to this road trip down southern Ilocos, I jumped for joy when I heard our Pangasinan insider suggest Dagupeña to the famished men. The hubby and I share a mutual love for Dagupeña’s Fisherman’s Soup. We used to frequent the old locale in bustling downtown Dagupan.
The menu’s preface reads that the restaurant was established by Ignacia Caliolio Bernal in 1928. A widow and a very meticulous cook, she set up a little eatery that soon gained the patronage of Dapupan’s prominent citizens. Her masterpieces are a legacy to her children, who continue the Dagupeña tradition, and Pangasinan’s culture at large.
The new location (Calasiao) is a breath of fresh air, homey but spacious with ample parking space.
In the vernacular, Pangasinan’s name translates to pag asinan (where salt is made). The province is famous for its aquaculture which remains to enrich the lives of many.
A major product of Pangasinan is boneless bangus (milkfish). Dagupeña prides itself with a plethora of innovative bangus dishes, from the modern herbed bangus to the traditional tapa, etc..
For our recent gastronomic adventure, I had the pleasure to order for the men. Everything turned out so well. The crispy catfish with Panganinense buro (fermented rice) that’s quite different from Kapangpangan buro in the sense that it is oily (in a good way) with a less salty, milder taste and scent. As usual, the Fisherman’s soup was terrific. Imagine rich malunggay, clam, shrimp and crab flavors put together in a piping hot semi-thick broth. I don’t know what else they put… oh gawd! food for the soul! The men got another big serving… see, the frenemy can be useful:)
The menu says the binagoongang pata (pork leg salted with shrimp paste) is a bestseller. We devoured it like playful canines. They looked impatient to dissect crabs. In the end, everything was wiped out:)
We cleansed our palates with their signature desserts. Their frozen banana mousse, mango crepe, leche flan and buko pandan flan are lovable, but I got charmed by the sans rival ice cream with nut crunch.
Uniquely, Pangasinan has its own distinct cuisine with influences from its neighboring provinces. Our feast was worth the long road trip!
Dagupeña Restaurant San Miguel Highway, Calasiao, Pangasinan, Philippines Tel. No. (+6375) 5222752
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