Last Sunday was Father’s Day. Since we planned to celebrate the occasion on the following Friday, I was free to traverse MarQuee Mall in the city of Pampanga with blogger friends. 🙂 Our venture kicked off with an adventuresome foray into the world of exotic dining at Apag Marangle Kapampangan Restaurant.
Serving authentic Kapampangan cuisine, Apag Marangle would be the most ideal restaurant to dine in when you’re in MarQuee Mall. Especially when you have not tried Pampanga’s local food, it’s a good time to taste great farm food and at the same time get a glimpse of the rich Filipino culture. If you think you’re brave enough to try something new, eating here must be included in your bucket list! 😉
Review of Apag Marangle Kapampangan Restaurant (MarQuee Mall, Pampanga)
Apag Marangle in Filipino means “hain sa bukid” or in English “farm dining.” And true enough to its name, with cool pieces of native furniture and handicrafts, it was like eating in a farm—but indoors! The design features a bahay-kubo-like dining area as shown on the wallpaper. Tables are merged together and arranged for groups, making the restaurant ambiance appeal more to families and big barkadas.
One side is air-conditioned, while the other side allows natural air to flow by. This, I think, is the reason why there were several flies buzzing in the restaurants and around the food—certainly not good for business. The management should really do something about the flies because they were seriously disturbing. Perhaps installing lamps or a special device to get rid of flies, mixing a natural fly repellent in a spray bottle, or setting a trap with dish soap can do the trick.
As some of the food were being grilled and cooked in the air-conditioned room, a lot of smoke was generated. The exhaust hood on top of the grilling station did not have enough power to get rid of the smoke, so the smoke tend to get in our eyes and nose. I suggest them to install a new range hood vented outside or transfer the grilling station to the non air-conditioned area.
Apag Marangle was packed with so many customers at the peak of lunch hour. We were seated outside and were handed the banana-leaf-shaped menu, and the friendly staff took charge in helping us find a table indoors. While waiting, the staff served plates of Nilagang Mani and Kamote (Boiled Peanuts and Sweet Potato), a kind gesture indeed.
Items on the menu were mostly in Kapampangan but there are Filipino translations below or beside each. Despite that, we could not easily decide which to order.
The waiter also gave us set of menu which listed their house specialties. He enumerated some of the best options first-time diners usually get, and we gladly approved his suggestions.
Expected waiting time for the food, he said, was 20-30 minutes. I thought it’s long. If you plan to eat here, do so when you’re not extremely hungry.
We were greeted by the appetizers: Camaru Pritu (PhP 185) and Betute (PhP 80, small; PhP 90, medium). These looked thrilling for the adventurous eater, no doubt, but I was not so excited to eat such exotic foods. Nevertheless, we had to sample them to know how they taste like.
With a deep inhale, I took the Mole Cricket into my mouth and chewed the crunchy bits of its tiny body parts. 😳 The Camaru was like chips for pulutan. It had a lightly fried crust that balanced the soft, briny texture. I dipped one into the sweet vinegar sauce for something sweet and pungent. I also tried eating the mole cricket without the sauce and I regretted it badly. This delicacy may be a soul-satisfying winner for some, but I’m sure that it’s not for me. 😐
Next in line for the “Fear Factor” taste test was the Betute, deep-fried frog farm/tadpole stuffed with buttery sauce and chili. The thought of the amphibians hopping and jumping makes me feel queasy. Stir-frying or deep-frying them will solve the case. I was told that frogs’ meat tastes like chicken.
Maybe the texture of the meat is quite similar, but the taste of the frog legs were stronger. These frog parts didn’t have much to chew. Because it’s unfortunately tough, it seemed like they had an extended stay in the deep fryer. Or maybe, it’s cooked just right. 😯 I’m only guessing as this was my first encounter with the dish. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that in general and at least from what I know, fried foods are very temperamental; crossing the delicate line from toothsome buoyancy to dense rubber is critical.
Our eyes were next set on the Ninghang Hito (Catfish) (PhP 50/100g). It was fresh and not muddy. Grilling was well executed, and the accompanying shrimp paste (bagoong) further improved the taste.
Neither too starchy nor sticky, the Aligue (Crab Roe) was melt-in-your-mouth good and perfect to be paired with rice. It was creamy, bittersweet and rather strong. Scoop one spoonful of it and you’d feel like in seafood heaven. 😛
We also had Suam Mais (PhP 195) or corn soup in clay pot, which was really nice once you get past the viscosity. Amplifying the flavor and aroma was the chicharon cooked with the warm soup. A couple of corn tortilla chips could have added more interesting texture to the frothy soup.
The Rice in Kaldero (PhP 95) can’t be ignored in the dining table. Equivalent to four cups of rice, the nasi (rice) came with a nice presentation. We enjoyed the moment since getting white rice using the wooden ladle from the cauldron is something we don’t experience every day.
Another specialty of Apag Marangle is their Crispy Pata (Pork Trotter). Pretty much every table had one—and with good reason. The pork was roasted and then deep fried until really crisp. The staff was proud to claim that it’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Sorry, I can’t attest to that because I didn’t try. If you like pork, crispy pata in the Philippines is hard to beat.
When it comes to saving the best for last, Apag Marangle met my expectation with a dessert that’s suave and rich: Leche Flan (PhP 60, small; PhP 160, big). It was smooth and silky, not too eggy or too sweet. Leche flan remains as one of my favorite Pinoy treats. Lots of love! ♥
The Coconut or Buko Juice (PhP 150, 1 pitcher) turned out to be a refreshing juice with strips of soft coconut meat. This is a recommended drink to order when in a Kapampangan Restaurant instead of flushing down your meal with plain water, synthetic juices or soft drinks.
Price for Value: ★★★☆☆
If you’re a Filipino, nothing might beat your mom’s home-cooking for Pinoy food, but when you’re away from home and need a quick fix for some traditional Filipino (specifically, Kapampangan) favorites, Apag Marangle in MarQuee Mall is right up your alley. Their unique food entrees will fill you up without costing an arm and a leg. Average price range of dishes is PhP 150-PhP 350. For an ultimate authentic Filipino dining experience, you can’t go wrong with this place.
Thanks, Aldous, for the invite! 😀
[…] having lunch at Apag Marangle (click here to read my food review), we discussed how we would go about the MarQuee Mall Joy Race. The objective of the joy race is to […]
Tried the camaro and it’s not for me too. Instead of deep fried frog go for the stuffed frog. Been wanting to try Apag Marangle too. But, dun sa main branch para we can go fishing and do other tourist stuffs hehe.
Yeah based on the description, the stuffed frog with minced pork should taste better than these skinny-to-the-bones ones. I’ve seen the photos of the main branch posted online and the ambiance there sure looks welcoming and the experience of eating in cottages floating in water, great. 😀
I was not prepared to play Fear Factor at all. Only the Amazing Shopping race 😉
Haha me too. I still could not believe that I’ve eaten insects by will and ON PURPOSE! 😯
Never tried some of that food, but maybe, I think, I can. Crispy pata, the most yummy of all.
Crispy pata seemed to be the most “normal” dish here – well, aside from the plain white rice. 😀
Very unique looking. I like it. The food looks delicious. Thanks for sharing.
Yup. We go to restaurants to suit our crave hunger in trying something new, and Apag Marangle made it happen. 😀
I have had sweet potatoes and peanuts together. It’s yummy. Thanks for another fun visit.
Oh I didn’t try the food combo because I was preparing my stomach to stomach the following dishes. But individually, sweet potatoes and peanuts are definitely good. Thanks, Paula!
Not sure if this is a place i would get to.. the food is not for me.. the atmosphere looks great though!
Ditto. But it’s good to try – you might just like it. As the saying goes, you never would really know unless you try. 😛
Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed the history of the post as well- farm dining. Looks like a very cool concept!
You’re welcome, Samantha and thanks for reading this post. 🙂 It feels great to be out of the comfort zone sometimes, and this was one of the moments where we took exotic eating to a new level.
Some of that food is too adventurous for me but that leche flan looks really good.
The leche flan was smooth and had no bubbles. The sweetness factor was just right.
oh boy…great write up! Unfortunately I am not that adventurous!! Ill stick to my American Burger and fries 😉
Hahaha I bet you like your American comfort food. I heard some people say that mole crickets taste like hot BBQ potato chips with a sweet and zesty flavor to them.
The name of the restaurant is definitely unique & true to its name is the interiors. I see exotic food too, very interesting! If only this is nearer Metro Manila 🙂
Exotic food is really interesting but I’m more interested in knowing how people appreciate and see them as delectable. Anyway, we fulfilled our mission here and that was to taste these food and give our readers some kind of reliable and slightly entertaining opinion of the experience. 😀
I would never eat bugs. Gross.
Haha I smiled when reading your comment. I feel your words. 😀 I felt shiver down my spine after biting into the body of the mole cricket. Yiiiii
What a wide variety of foods on one place. I like the farm look.
The main branch literally is in a farm. This branch is housed inside the mall so pretty much you can only have the farm look but not feel and see the real fun in the farm.
Good review of Apag Marangle restaurant Roch. I’m not too sure if i can eat the tadpoles lol but the other food looks very tasty!
Thanks, John. The tadpoles may taste delicious for some but I think I would not anymore eat these poor defenceless baby frogs next time. 🙁 Not me thank you. They’re poor little babies, I consider.
I would love to try to crickets lol it could be fun, the rest of the food looks great! but the crickets better!
When we were served with the mole crickets platter, I wondered what these camaru eat. They’re a common prey item for lots of other animals like birds, rodents, foxes, and digging animals like skunks and armadillos. Then I learned that these insects are omnivores feeding on a variety of larvae and earthworms as well as plant and grass roots and other vegetation. So I guess it’s safe for humans to eat them.
Suam Mais and the Aligue is so delicious, but i haven’t tried the Mole Cricket and i will never going to try eating that.
Haha what about if it’s the only last food on earth and you don’t have any other choice but to eat it? 😆 Just messing up with the idea!
It does look a little like “Fear Factor”… Not sure I could eat some of those foods. On the positive side, some of it looks delicious!!!!
Now I know how players in Fear Factor feel like when they are faced with eating challenges that require them to swallow icky stuff. The difference is that a huge prize awaits for them after surviving the challenge and so they can be more motivated to focus and finish eating it up. 😀
You really got to try a lot of different items! The flies would make me crazy! There’s a restaurant here that has a problem with them so I won’t eat there at all during the summer months.
I’m not sure if flies are more abundant in the summer or in the rainy season. Regardless, they should not be present in any restaurant. I kept on thinking then about how the flies are so similar with the mole crickets we were about to eat. Ugh.
I was about to say looks great until I saw the plate of mole crickets! UM NO! LOL. That is not my bag of chips. But I’m sure others find that great. Thanks for sharing your experience there nonetheless.
Haha. Those are also not my bag of chips. Yup, it’s a best-selling appetizer in Apag Marangle. Welcome! 😀
crickets? really? i don;t think I am that adventurous.
Hehe feel free to recommend Apag Marangle to your friends who eat adventurously. 😛
I’ve never tried any of those foods. Sounds interesting. The flies would have bothered me too.
The flies should not visit a restaurant that’s clean and one that’s visited by many customers. Flies landing on food can be a sign of sanitation threat.
i have heard crickets are good, but i don’t know if i am that daring. food looks good though
Tasting the cricket once won’t put you to any dangerous health issue hehe. I suggest that you bring many friends with you when you order a plate of camaru so you can share and laugh about the experience afterwards. 😉
Wow!! I love Kapampangan food!! Glad you guys had a great time..
Food tripping in Pampanga is nice. 🙂 MarQuee Mall alone can be your giant treasure trove for good finds.
I admire this place, it all natural, the chairs looks amazing. Love those meats.
Yeah. I could have taken more photos of the place if not for the many customer dining. I felt shy to point my camera at them as they might also feel awkward.
The decor is very pretty except for all that smoke. But NO WAY on the mole crickets! Here if there is a bug in your food you would probably get sued!
Haha true! But then this is their local delicacy 😆
I always check out reviews before going places. Thanks for all the information.
Me too. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. 🙂 Hopefully reading this post helped you in making a decision and knowing what to order in your visit.
Oh my! That food is not for the weak of heart, Thanks for sharing
Right. You’re welcome, Latonya. 😀
You’re awesome for tasting a lot of the exotic dish. My most exotic dish was eating a fried black spider in Cambodia. It tasted like squid but you can feel the hairs of the spider in your throat. I won’t do that again. =>
Whoa! If it tasted like squid, it must be delicious. I got curious about the texture and the size… how big was it? Enough to be swallowed as a whole or must be bit into smaller pieces? And how was it cooked?
I love Filipino food! Great shots. It really captured the local feel of the restaurant 🙂
Then you’ll love it here. Thanks, Sam! 🙂
Oh my good God! Brave lady!! I shuddered at the sight of the crickets.
Stopping by to leave some bloglove, from the Dish
Thanks, Alysia! 🙂
Sorry but I’m not in the mood to look at the photos. I hate looking at exotic food but will recommend this to my relatives especially my brothers.
That’s okay. To each is own. 🙂
I love Aligue and Crispy Pata looking at it makes me hungry..
Hehe smelling it once you’re there will further increase your hunger level. 😀
The restaurant looks great,would love to visit there sometimes.
Visit it with your family and get your palates ready to try dishes you don’t get to eat every day. 😀
I’ll be honest, not my choice of restaurant to eat at. But, you did a great review and made it looks really delicious!
Thanks, Lisa. 🙂 This is perfect for those who seek different food to try that’s far from the norm.
That coconut water looks so refreshing!
It is so fresh and light. I love that there was no additional sugar added so you can really taste the real taste of coconut.
Interesting. It’s like Angono’s Balao-balao. I would love to try their food.
Oh yes, I heard Balaw-Balaw Restaurant in Angono Hills serves unusual foods as well.
This would be a great experience but I don’t know if I would be able to try the Mole Cricket 0.0 lol Looks way too roach like But some of the other menu items looks good!
I also saw the mole cricket somewhat like a roach. Curious to know how it appeals to people here
I’ve never been in this restaurant. I think using kaldero on serving rice is awesome. I think it will makes people to eat like they are on their own house.
Right. It’s very Filipino-like.
The restaurant’s ambience and decor reminds me a lot of Sundanese (one of Indonesia’s ethnics) but the food served were definitely more bold than Sundanese cuisines! I mean.. Mole crickets??? (but Indonesians eats crickets too, mostly those who lives in rural areas/villages though, just never imagine to see them in restaurants haha) Frogs are normal delicacies in Indonesia (Chinese style, though) but i’ve never been a fan… And rice in Indonesian is NASI too!
Yeah yeah I know some of Filipino dishes are closely similar to Indonesian and also Malaysian especially those that are cooked with coconut. Frog Chinese-style is not seen as often as other mainstream dishes here. Yup, mole crickets are typically seen in rural areas so it’s definitely a must-try for those visiting the provinces.
Wow what a foods, lol….so many orders you had sis…naubos niyo po bang lahat ito…but anyways, kapampangan foods and delicacies are really so good and delicious….I tastes their foods when we had a trip at pampanga with my ojt boss….and it’s so delicious…wala po talaga aqng masabi sa sarap….
Oh wow hehe yeah lahat sila rich in taste and very unique! We didn’t finish everything so one of us took home the leftovers. For sure, masisiyahan yung family niya pag uwi. 😀
We visited their branch in Marquee Mall, Angeles City which is just a few kilometres away from the Clark Freeport Zone. Much to our surprise, stepping inside Apag Marangle feels like we are not inside the mall.
I’m surprised that they are not serving sisig he he. And kudos for eating the bugs! Haha
The food here looks delicious, weird and interesting at the same time. Gonna give it a try when we visit there at the Marquee mall.
Food looks delicious! Rather not try the bugs though, haha.
this looks great! Can’t wait to go mall hopping for food trips in pampanga again.
Thanks for sharing this! Another sisig joint in the province which also claims the origin of this indulgent delicacy is Mila’s Tokwa’t Baboy.
A Pampanga food trip is all you need to taste the best dishes that the province has to offer.
thank you for sharing this! looking forward to trying this kapampangan restaurant very soon.