Yes you read it right, I am talking about an amusement floating restaurant.
Somewhere in the North, you can find a very amusing restaurant surrounded by rice fields. You will never miss this as this establishment is huge. Huge in terms of decors and all. Can you just imagine huge monkey monuments? Huge Buddha? A feel that you were somewhere else? It is not in Thailand, it is just somewhere in the North. If you are heading to Baguio or in La Union or in Ilocos, surely you won’t miss this resto. It is located in Gerona Tarlac, and the name of the resto is (do I really have to say, I tell you, you won’t miss it) Isdaan.
Isdaan in Gerona Tarlac comes from the creative minds of the people behind Barrio Fiesta (opo Tito ni Heart Evangelista ang may ari). What makes this place different from other Barrio Fiesta branch is its theme. Although you can still feel the nativity in their nipa huts and dancers, there’s a lot icons on the place that would make you think you’re in Thailand (forgive me if I am wrong but that’s our first impression). There’s the lucky hand, the wishing Buddha and even huge spitting monkeys. And picture taking is not prohibited, just bring extra batteries for your cam.
I said floating right? yes it is kinda floating beacuase you are surrounded by man made pool( about 8 to 10 feet deep) with so many many many fish in it. The kids (and kids at heart) will enjoy this. As you wait to be seated, they give away free food fish. Try to put some on the water and you will be amazed as the fish fights for the pellet, makes you think this poor fish were not fed.LOL
Recently they added some nice and naughty features in the place. Scattered all over are the political figures in our country. There was a bench where Tita Cory and Cardinal Sin chats (we just assume LOL). There was also guards who were sleeping on duty (ops!)
Then there was this big Trex ready to devour Tita Cory (bad Trex! bad Trex!)
If you are still not amazed with the above mentioned. I am sure the next attraction will take you off your feet to the nearest bus terminal (to the north of course). The restaurant main attraction is not actually the food or the lavish monuments. The main reason why this has been famous (and continue to be) was their Tacsyapo Wall. This wall was made for the sole purpose of hatred and anger. Hold your temper guys, they have no intention to make you hate them. Actually they made this to release some of your ill feelings. Yo can purchase glasses, plates and even TV from them and throw it in the Tacsyapo Wall. COOLNESS? nah wait till you see the writings on the wall and hit your jackpot!
Now let’s talk about the food. Well, there’s a wide selection of food, huge resto, lots of choices. Their menu was overwhelming actually. You can find a lot of food from different restos. Some coming from the kitchen of Barrio Fiesta, some from Bakahan at manukan. If you are familiar with all the food establishments Ongpauco family owns, basically all the foods are served in Isdaan. The quality of the food in relation to its price and the place is good. It is not cheap, it it is not expensive. If it’s worth the stop, I guess that question has been answered by how amuse you can be on the place. Anyway, a must in the menu is the Mama Chit’s selection or plate. This is actually a big plate with lot of dishes (ugh I have been using a lot a lot.. ugh!), mostly grilled foods. Another must try is the chicken marinated in coconut milk. Their beef soup is a must try too but you have to take chance because they serve it warm, not steaming HOT.
The service? super bad! they are not oriented on the phrase: “The costumer is always right”. We have been there thrice and we experienced bad service more than thrice. To entertain you while your food is serve (by the “willing” waiters), singers or dancers will approach and gives a good show. But it is not free, you have to give them a tip, 20 PhP is not bad, so if you will head on to Isdaan, prepare a lot of twenty peso bills. Or you can avoid them by eating on the far side of the place. LOL
MY rating for this restaurant is 8 out of 10. The points missing is for the bad service of its crew. And oh they even have the luxury to chat while costumers are pouring in. I do reccomend this guys, specially for the balikbayans, it is a must see this summer (poor service might be good if you look like you have alot of money, or that you are a balikbayan). LOL