Dubbed as one of the best restaurants up North of Luzon is Matutina's Seafood Haus & Restaurant in Pangasinan.
I have read very good reviews about this place and the curious cat in me just had to give in and taste first hand what this restaurant has to offer.
We were on our way back to Manila from our San Fabian beach frolicking and decided to drop by the well reviewed Matutina's Seafood Haus.
The Matutina's branch we visited is the one located at Barangay Tulong, Urdaneta, which they call Annex I.
We passed by a much bigger branch in Urdaneta City a few kilometers from their Annex I.
Annex I is a bit cramped. Not sure if the summer heat was just too hot for their air-condition to handle. We were just 2-3 groups at the waiting table and we were already feeling uncomfortable.
I am glad we reached the restaurant a little early for lunch, since as soon as we finished ordering flocks of hungry guests arrived.
We were offered complimentary "pastillas" as we waited for our order. Which was a good thing, since it took a while for our orders to arrive.
For our group of 5 adults and 2 kids, we ordered:
- two pieces grilled bangus
- tortang talaba
- ensaladang talong, okra, kamatis
- their two kare-kare versions (beef and seafoods)
- rice and
For the price of a little over P1500, I find the servings generous (good for 3-4 pax).
We ended bringing some of our orders "to go".
Food is reasonably cheap (additional hoorah for the free sweets), but was just okay for me. There was nothing very special to rave about.
I liked their seafood kare-kare, but find the grilled bangus ordinary. The tortang talaba was good too, but every time I take a bite, I was worried for my dear heart (hahaha).
I already mentioned that the place is small (at least for the Annex I) and was not very attractive (I felt like eating in a canteen).
A scenic garden or play ground for kids to stretch fatigued muscles from the long travel (not to mention, take time off waiting for orders to come) would be a welcomed bonus.
Service was on the slow side, but that was okay, we were not in a hurry. However, it would have been a more enjoyable experience if the attendants smile more and act as if they are enjoying what they were doing.