Downtown 1956 Cafe by Bale Dutung

The Quad at Nepo Center, Plaridel St. cor. Francis St., Angeles, Pampanga

Downtown 1956 Cafe by Bale Dutung
4.5 Stars

11 Reviewers

  • 5 stars 6
  • 4 stars 4
  • 3 stars 1
  • 2 stars 0
  • 1 star 0
  • 14 Reviews
  • 15 Recommend
  • 11 Reviewers

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Most Recent Reviews

Marie H.
4.0 Stars

A Kapampangan friend brought us here for a “light” meal. We’d been eating non-stop at her parents’ home (her mom and aunts are excellent cooks, as most Kapampangans seem to be) and we decided to explore the city a bit.

It’s a nod to the 50’s with vintage posters of local celebrities like Gloria Romero, Pilita Corrales, and Barbara Ann Perez. For those who grew up watching their films (back when tv was still just in black and white and even much earlier), this diner will conjure fond memories of your childhood.

So, my local friend ordered the following:

1. Trianggulos. Fried samosas filled with tinapa, spinach and pili nuts. Good appetizer with its flaky crust and tasty filling.

2. Pindang damulag. Cured carabao meat served with carabao milk or eggs. Another friend was craving for this. First time to taste carabao meat and it’s somewhat similar to corned beef but tougher.

3. Talangka rice with crablets. Good rice dish which can be eaten on its own.

4. Gata at Taba. Fresh river prawns cooked in coconut milk and crab fat. I loved the prawns which were cooked perfectly. When the prawns had run out, I was equally content with just mixing the sauce with the rice. Sinful.

5. Bagnetta. Oven-roasted pork belly roulade then deep fried. When this dish arrived, we all just stopped pretending it was going to be a light meal. I’m still haunted by the memory of this tender pork belly with its crackling skin.

I had high hopes for this place and it did not disappoint. I only wish I had been prepared to eat more as we didn’t even reach dessert.

  • No. of Comments: 0
Anrey C.
4.0 Stars

Had our dinner with my relatives after going to marquee mall ... we had that pork sisig,binagoongang something, pinakbet and plain rice..yung pinakbet may kanin kasama na cooked fried, yung water nila may lemon grass sa loob ng pitcher at lasa naman yung lemon grass kahit onti...I love the sisig kahit maanghang kasi ang lalaki ng slice ng sili na labuyo ... we also have yung biringi rice pizza for appetizer and it was good... medyo masikip yung area nila pero malinis at comfort room so you have to go out sa center comfort room ng buong quad...

  • No. of Comments: 13
Mhigz A.
4.0 Stars

Familiar with Chef Claude Tayag? He is a well renowned chef not only here in the Philippines but around the world. Chef Claude is also an artist and a food and travel columnist for the Philippine Star. He does furniture making too. He joined and won different exhibitions and his latest win was the 8th Annual Embassy Chef's Challenge in Washington as the PH representative. And of course, he is a proud Kapampangan. :)

Now that you have an idea who Chef Claude is..
Well, he owns this place.
Downtown 1956 Cafe by Bale Dutung

It's our first time to eat here though we heard and read good reviews about the place. We ordered two of the specialties, the Crispy Aromatic Duck and Trianggulos. We added Tenga ng Baboy Binagoongan for extra viand. They also have another specialty, The Bagneta, but we didn't try it because our family is not really a fan of Pork meat. Though we eat pork... rarely. 9996

The food is freshly cooked that's why you really have to have that patience in waiting. lol

While waiting, i had the time to take pictures of the place. I think my mom enjoyed the place because it makes her reminisce the time when she was still a kid and they had a small tindahan at home. Tinuro turo niya yung mga containers na meron daw silang ganon dati at kung ano ano pa. The containers are old and it was fun to see that they were preserved. There was a juke box too. Juke box nga ba tawag dito? Haha Pero it's not working na.

And now after i think 20mins? The Trianggulos were served. This is my favorite now. Trianggulos are samosas with spinach, tinapa, nuts and kesong puti inside. Must try! 128076

Then we wait again...

After about 15mins..
The duck and the binagoongan was served.

How to eat Crispy Aromatic Duck 101
1. Get one of those crepe like thingy (which i find yummy khit walang palaman)
2. Slice a small piece of the crispy duck and put it in the crepe thing. lol
3. Put veggies and sauce too.
4. Roll it baby! :)))
5. EAT!
Sounds and tastes yum mm my! 128077

The binagoongan taste good too. It comes with salted egg, eggplant, diced raw mangoes tomatoes and onions. Nom!

All in all, it's Kapampangan food with a twist! 128076

Try visiting Pampanga and you'll get surprised how much good food we have here! :)

  • No. of Comments: 0
Mhigz A.
5.0 Stars

These are called TRIANGGULOS. Fried samosas with tinapa, kesong puti, pili nuts and spinach. Though I didn't taste the kesongputi and pili because the taste of the spinach and tinapa is overpowering them, it still deserves a five star. If we didn't order anything else, i can eat this the whole time. Lol. The tomato dip was great too! 10084

  • No. of Comments: 2
Chieo O.
5.0 Stars

So go Downtown 127926127926
Things will be great when you're downtown127926
No finer place for sure, downtown127926
Everything's waiting for you127926

Reminded me of this song and humming it when I saw the signage that seemed to call us 128522 and luckily, we even had a chance to have a souvenir pic with the great Chef Claude himself!

We had some of the Downtown classics which made another memorable mark in our tummies 128522

For starters we had this kind of tasty Molo Soup with spring onion and garlic bits, followed by a plate of vegee triangle-like Samosas 12852210084️ Squid-Ink Rice with crispy Fried Squid toppings....Crispy Pork Belly Rice and the Crispy Aromatic Duck to feed our curiosities from the menu 12852210084️ Again, can't go wrong with Chef Claude's innovative cuisine....our food choices were all delish!

And look at the menu! There's a history that tells about the Cafe which was taken from the song, cool! 128522128522128522128077🏻128077🏻128077🏻127881127881127881127926127926127926

Guys, it's really worth the drive rather than getting stuck in Manila traffic 12852210084128077🏻 hehehe

  • No. of Comments: 6
Butch G.
3.0 Stars

After reading everyone"s posts here, i decided to drive to Pampanga to try this restaurant out and see
Taste for myself.
We had, the diablo which was ok,bagnet sandwich (the best of everything we had), 9 spice duck ( the most expensive dish at 639.00, which I found to be lacking in flavor and worst of all, dry), catfish at buro ( buro was cold and bland) , pakbet ( this was very good), pata humba .. And tibok tibok. The best would be the
bagnet sandwich and the Pakbet.
I don"t like posting negative reviews, but I"d like to share
My honest opinion. It was an easy sunday drive, about 1.5-2hrs from Quezon City on
A Sunday. It was nice to have tried it, but my favorite Filipino restaurants
Stay the same....

  • No. of Comments: 3
Cj Y.
5.0 Stars

Better catch this restaurant along Angeles Pampanga! Nag waze lang kami, the prices are cheaper and the food is really good! Try their famous paco salad and their belly / liempo adobo. :( really nice! Enjoy

  • No. of Comments: 0
Basti S.
5.0 Stars

Crispy Aromatic Duckling (Php420) - half a spring duck marinated in homemade 9 spice dry rub. Steamed then fried to a crisp finish. Best eaten wrapped in chinese pancakes with oriental sauce and mango salsa. The best of all the dishes we had. #bastiliciouseats 128055128055128055128055128055

  • No. of Comments: 0
Basti S.
4.0 Stars

Calamares with Squid Ink Rice (Php238) - the name says it all. Seafood lovers will definitely love this. I like this one better than the surf and turf. #bastiliciouseats 128055128055128055128055

  • No. of Comments: 0
Tommy T.
5.0 Stars

The ensaladang paco taste really good, light and fresh.

  • No. of Comments: 0
Tommy T.
5.0 Stars

Cafe by well known chef Claude Tayag, we ordered ensaladang pako , crispy aromatic duck and bulalo. Taste soooo gooood

  • No. of Comments: 4
Aix M.
5.0 Stars

The visit to this restaurant was the highlight of our day! We ordered Sisig, Triangulo, and the best of all, their Crispy Aromatic Duck! We also met Chef Claude himself and his wife Mary!

Hoping we can visit again!

  • No. of Comments: 3
Mark P.
4.0 Stars

Cozy place. Feels like you're in the 50's. Bulalo and karekare 128077

  • No. of Comments: 1
Edwin I.
5.0 Stars

Foodie road trip to Claude Tayag's new restau-- Downtown Cafe. The renowned chef/artist/historian/author/ food missionary's new food venture brings his unique rendition of Kapampangan cuisine/specialties to foodies at a more affordable price. Awesome duck dishes and unique takes to common Kapampangan and other regional dishes that truly delighted our palates and tummies.

Claude Tayag, a prominent personality in the Philippine culinary circle ,despite of his being low-key, became more popular when he hosted/toured two international celebrity chefs (Anthony Bordain and Bobby Chin) to his acclaimed Bale Dutung establishment which likewise was featured in both celebrity chefs' international tv food shows.

I have been a fan of Chef Claude Tayag, not only for his culinary skills, but moreso, for his ability of putting on different thinking hats in preserving Philippine culture through regional culinary expertise, history, and art. I have had the chance to dine at his popular Bale Dutung (which was both a culinary and cultural enriching experience). His Bale Dutung, renowned for the different full set meals to choose from, is on the expensive side and by-reservation-only. It was both a gastronomical and cultural (art and food history) experience. His passion and cause further increased my admiration for this personality. When I learned about his newly opened Downtown Cafe, I knew I had to visit.

The cafe is located in a new food strip mall which easily looks like a foodies' heaven with different restaurants offering different cuisines (including a branch of popular Boracay-based Spanish restau and a branch of a popular Baguio-based cafe amidst the throngs of "only-in-Pampanga establishments"). It is located near the "old strip" where the traditional and popular Kapampangan eateries and pasalubong stores are located.

Downtown Cafe evokes a 1950's Pinoy diner complete with vintage posters (including a vintage Philippine Coke ad), an old salvaged diner mirror with faded menu painted in it, vinyl heavy couches, a jukebox, a black and white checkered linoleum floor, and other vintage what-nots. One wall has framed photos of his dishes to help give customers an idea of each of dish that they offered.

This visit was with a group of foodie friends who likewise were excited in trying Tayag's new venture. The menu consisted of dishes unique to this establishment and a few that were served at Bale Dutung.

Trianggulos - we loved Tayag's rendition of somosas. Delicious, crunchy, savory triangle pockets filled with tinapa flakes, spinach, pili nut and kesong puti. Served with a savory tomato sofrito dip.

Ensaladang Pako - we liked the salad made of young fiddlehead fern sprouts , eggs, tomato slices, and onions. Served with a tangy-sweet mango-dalandan vinaigrette.

Balisungsong - we loved Tayag's unique rendition of the popular Ilocos Empanada. Crispy, fried cone shaped pastries filled with a savory mix of green papaya, mung bean sprouts, minced garlicky vigan longganisa, and chicken egg. Served with their own aged homemade vinegar (aslam atbu).

Beef Kare Kare- we liked the tender, melt-in-your-mouth ox tail that has been slowly stewed in a yummy thick peanut sauce.

Pata Patita Humba- we loved the tender, buttery, pork trotters braised in a delicious caramelized stew with peanuts.

Bringhe na may Tutong (Bringhe Rice Pizza)- we loved Tayag's unique and delicious take on a local rice dish. Sticky rice, cooked in coconut cream and saffron. Pan grilled for the "tutong" crust. Topped with a yummy mix of chorizo bilbao, chicken , and quail eggs.

Crispy Aromatic Duck- we loved the spring young duck, marinated in Tayag's 9-spice mix, boiled, then fried to a nice crisp. The duckling had a nice crispy skin, flavorful, and a tender inside. Delicious with the Mango Salsa.

Duck Batchoy Miswa- We loved Tayag's take on the popular Ilonggo noodle-soup dish. Flavorful, creamy broth, with stripped tender duck meat, crispy chicharon, and duck liver. Thin miswa noodles were used that worked very well with the dish.

For our dessert, we tried some of Downtown Cafe's offerings.

Buco Pandan- cubed pandan flavored gelatine, fresh buko strips, topped with a creamy sweet cream.

Halo-halo with Crema de Pastillas - we loved the halo-halo with the rich leche flan, ube ice cream, sweetened beans. Instead of milk, a pastillas flavored cream was used to sweeten the dessert.

Pecan Tartlets with Salted Caramel Ice Cream- we loved the mini pecan tarts topped with salted caramel ice cream.

I paired my meal with their Kamias Shake. I liked the tarty-sweet beverage of blended ice, honey, and fresh kamias.

Price ranged from 70-600 per dish. Each dish could serve 2-3 people. The more expensive dishes --- the different duck specialties (ranged between 375-600). I personally found the pricing scheme very reasonable considering these were unique renditions, using fresh indigenous ingredients cooked by an acclaimed chef.

If you plan to visit for some culinary adventure, I recommend that you come as a group. That way, you may get to try the various specialties and get to split the bill thus spending less per head. At an average , our bill damage was about Php 450 per head for a group of six.

It was a drive-easy long road trip (some 1 hour drive from the Metro). I would highly recommend the place to serious foodies who want to sample some awesome unique takes on Kapampangan cuisine (at more affordable price compared to Bale Dutung) from a true culinary Pinoy master. And while you're at it, do leave some stomach space to sample the other neighboring restaus at the strip mall to make your Pampanga foodie road trip even more sulit!

Ang pamangan keni manyaman!!

  • No. of Comments: 2