Monday, July 21, 2008

Susie's Cuisine


[A bilao of mochi]

I happened to be in the City of San Fernando in Pampanga for one day due to work, and prior to my trip I had asked around for suggestions on what delicacies to sample. Four food destinations were emphatically stated as musts, one of which should have covered my lunch.

However, a colleague at our branch in Sn Fdo happened to celebrate her birthday with a luncheon party while I was there, so the lunch place was out. Which left me with three out of the four. Not bad, for a city in a day.

Foremost of the suggestions was Susie's Cuisine, purveyor of Pampanga's native delicacies, in the central plains of the island of Luzon. I had sampled the popular fare before as pasalubong from friends and officemates, so I was happy to indulge myself and the family to the treats.

There was an outlet near the branch of the agency I work for, and waiting right by the counter of the outlet were two bilao of mochi, the inspiration for a buchi experiment among me and two friends - baked buchi.

But unlike that buchi, which was baked with the gata (coconut cream), the mochi was cooked on its own, and then sold with a separate sweetened gata to pour on when it is time to eat it.


The gata was thick and silky, and sweet to compensate for the otherwise bland rice dough and bean paste filling of the mochi. At Php5 per piece, it is a cheap but heavy and satifying dessert, or merienda on a lazy afternoon.

I like to eat it hot, with the mochi steamed and the gata heated to almost boiling. I could easily finish ten pieces, and, needless to say, I bought an entire bilao. To share, of course. ;-)


But my main purpose for going to Susie's was the tibok-tibok - sweet carabao milk pudding accentuated with dayap and topped with latik, or coconut cream curds.

It is also sold by the bilao (Php400), as well as by the slice (Php20). It is considerably more expensive because carabao milk is not commercially produced.


I love tibok-tibok - I love its velvety smoothness that caresses the tongue, its creaminess that engulfs the palate upon swallowing, and the punctuations of citrusy essence that the dayap provides, which foils the creamy progression of each spoonful, letting one go from one slice to the next. And the next. The latik topping gives a crunchy dimension to the texture, as well as nutty points to consider, bite after silky bite.

Have I said I love tibok-tibok?

It is like maja (blanca and con mais) - that common local sweet delicacy made with gata and cornstarch, but not as set as it is bound to be when too much binder is used, or when not stirred enough while cooking. It can also be compared to panna cotta, but which is gelatin and so sets a little harder. Tibok-tibok is silken soft, readily turning into mush when not handled properly.

Ever since the family relocated to Cavite I have been wanting to make tibok-tibok, since fresh carabao milk is available every morning where I now live. The milk lasts only for a day, even when refrigerated or frozen, so I was thinking tibok-tibok is one way of extending its shelf life, along with kasilyo, the local white cheese. But I haven't found the time to make both yet.


Susie's pichi-pichi (steamed cassava balls), naked because the grated coconut that should have enrobed them is also sold seaprately, so it can last up to three days (the coconut-covered kind is good for only a day)

This is a bit gummy, or chewy, rather like a green kutchinta in consistency.


I had to include Susie's pancit palabok (Php40 per serving, good enough for two) in my take-home bag because it was also a recommended item, the main reason being one order is overflowing with noodles that it is such a bargain. I also remembered that this kind of pancit purportedly originated in Pampanga.

I was hesitant, though, because I don't care much for the pancit palabok at Razon's, a restaurant serving Kapampangan specialties. And just because one serving is good for more than one person doesn't automatically make it delectable - Filipinos have this tendency to rave about restaurants or food outlets that offer huge servings even though the quality and taste of the food, which are the more important factors, are not particularly worth raving about.

Anyhow, I bought four packs, two for a colleague who asked for them, and two for the family, because the husband will only eat pancit that has palabok on it. During the ride home the pancit's aroma was so enticing that I worked up such an appetite.

I had one pack for dinner. One pack was shared by my two preschoolers. One pack was grabbed by the husband. And the last pack was squabbled over between the four of us the next day. Which left how many for the colleague?

What did I know? It was the best - the best - pancit palabok I have ever eaten in my entire life. The noodles used were not the usual bihon (dried stick noodles) but a thicker kind - I haven't encountered it anywhere before - much like cappellini, or even angel hair pasta.

The palabok sauce was delicious - very, very tasty - thick yet readily absorbed by the thicker than usual noodles. It was darker, too, close to being red. The multitude of flavors that is the charateristic of palabok was sufficiently evident, satisfyingly rounded up by a squeeze of calamansi.

I gave a pack full of tibok-tibok to my colleague in lieu of the palabok. I'll remember to buy more palabok packs when I get to visit Susie's again. Hopefully soon. There is a branch at East Avenue in Quezon City, I hope they have palabok there.




Susie's Cuisine
  • McArthur Highway, Dolores
    City of San Fernando, Pampanga
    (045) 8612480/9639302
  • Rizal Ext. cor. Sandra St.
    Angeles City (045) 8872479/3235704
  • #36 Hilda St., Nepo Mart
    Angeles City (045) 3224775/8880034
  • La Maja Riza, McArthur Highway
    Ligtasan, Tarlac City (045) 6112150
  • Pineda Bldg., near Marina Arcade
    McArthur Highway, Dau, Mabalacat
    Pampanga (045) 8924919/3315622


The second shop I went to in San Fernando City is a La Creme


Related Posts
A Weekend in Chinatown
Bibingkoy in Cavite
Baked Buchi recipe
Home-Made Buchi

18 comments:

u8mypinkcookies said...

the tibok-tibok and mochi looks uberly delicious! too bad the branches are kinda far, can't they put one somewhere near the south? :P hehe

Kai said...

you have to schedule a trip to sn fdo, hehe. but they do have one in qc, keep it in mind in case you have some business there!

jerry.d.ramirez said...

Kai,

BTW, hinay hinay labat tay panag-describe mo ed samay kinan mon tibok-tibok. ta dagdaiset akya akasirit. pati amin yay laman ko untitibok-tibok (its velvety smoothness that caresses the tongue, its creaminess that engulfs the palate upon swallowing, and the punctuations of citrusy essence that the dayap provides, which foils the creamy progression of each spoonful, letting one go from one slice to the next) lasika singano antamay narrator ed aramay porno movies. LOL

Kai said...

hahahaha lol! unman ta? pankalnaen ko sirin so un-sublay. hahaha, siak met so makakasirit ed elek ko!

Anonymous said...

ok..mga kakanin masarap...kaso mga maneger plastic..noh..kuripot pati boss nila sana bumalik n s dati yung sahod..pumangit patakaran ng susies..dati my nauuwi ngayon wala..sana ibalik n s dati yung sahod nila.....thank u po.

Anonymous said...

best po mga kakanin ninyo..pero sobra naman hirap mga trabahador nyo dyan,kung alam nyo lang ginagawa lahat ng makakaya nila upang umunlad ang inyong business...sana naman ayusin nyo pagpapasahod s kanila kz kawawa naman mga family nila..mahal n kaya bilihin ngayon saka lalo nahirapan nung napalitan ang sahod..ok n sana nun kaso..pinalitan p..gus2 ko lng po sana 2lungan nyo mga trabahador nyo..gaya ng pagtulong nila s business nyo...n napaunlad kung di dahil s kanila wala yan..d uunlad yan d'ba?sana magkaroon nmn ka u ng puso o concern sa kanila ok po b?...tnx u!!!!!!!!!!!
that all....sana gawin nyo....umaasa.....

Kai said...

Sa umaasang matulungan na nag-comment, sorry po hindi po ako may-ari ng Susie's, napunta lang po ako dun isang araw nung bumisita ako sa San Fernando at bumili ng mga tinitinda nila.

Mas maganda po na yung mga trabahador doon ang makipag-usap mismo sa mga may-ari para magkaintindihang mabuti.

Anonymous said...

paki help naman pls!!!! wala na kasi yung phone nila sa quezon city., di ko po matawagan yung store san po ba malapit to kasi yung sister ko nag lilihi eto ang pinapa bili sa min.
paki email na lang tru mev_pucut0828@yahoo.com.

pls lang po .....

Anonymous said...

I also love your foods...I just wanna ask do you also have franchising...kindly contact me with my email because I'm interested to put one in dagupan city. thank you

nelshin29@yahoo.com

Kai said...

To the last commenter, I am not the owner of Susie's Cuisine. I suggest you contact any of the outlets enumerated above.

Anonymous said...

Hi good afternoon! me and my friend loves food. And when we tasted one of susie's cuisine we both liked it, but our place was so far from pampanga. What is the nearest landmark of their branch at east ave. or how can we get there if where just going to commute? thanks! and Good day!

Jen said...

Hi,

I didn't know that Susie's Cuisine originated in Pampanga & that there were even outlets in Angeles City which is also 40-minute drive away from Subic. I buy my "Susie's high" in Capas, Tarlac,,, & swear by my grandpa's grave that it has the best moist chocolate ever baked commercially & locally, and at that price! The pitsi-pitsi is actually called mochi (a la Japanese) but this one has the Pinoy original taste to it with its gata, and even better than the Jap version!

I think, I am, a Capampangan by heart though I was born & grew up in Cavite City where the quesillo is famous and the carabao milk delivery in the morning (at your doorstep!)

Jen Velarmino

Kai said...

Sorry I haven't been to the QC outlet.

Jen, I didn't know Susie's has good chocolate cake. And that it has an outlet in Capas! Thanks for the tip!

sal said...

paano po kayo nag franchise ng susies cuisine?taga arayat po ako gusto ko po sanang mag franchise ng susies cuisine dto sa arayat puede nyo po b akong matulungan salamat po

sal said...

tanong ko lang po kung paano mg franchise ng susies cuisine.taga arayat po ako puede nyo po b akkong tulungan at kung magkno po ang gagastusin maraming salamat po

Kai said...

Sorry di ko po alam pano mag franchise sa Susie's, pakitawagan na lang po dun sa mga numbers na nakalista.

Anonymous said...

taga floridablanca po ako gusto k pong mgfranchise d2,pk email nlang po kng paano mgfranchise eto ang email ad k...castro.marife@ymail.com at kng mgkano.thanks

Anonymous said...

...i have been here at Susie's.. i love tibok-tibok and mochi... yum! yum! nakaka-miss... :)