Matam-Ih Restaurant Review: Authentic Kapampangan Cuisine

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Let me begin this post by mentioning the elephant in the room. See, I took photos of Matam-Ih back in December and haven’t reviewed yet one of my favorite Filipino restaurants in the Philippines. So pardon the delay and let’s begin!

restaurant review

If you haven’t heard of Matam-Ih yet, it’s a restaurant serving authentic Kapampangan cuisine, located at Clark Freeport Zone. “Matam-Ih” in the Aeta dialect means delicious, and I can guarantee their claim is accurate. But what makes this unique from other Filipino restaurants we already have?

ventilated restaurant with christmas tree and holiday decors

Probably the first and and most striking feature is that Matam-Ih employs staff and servers from the Aeta and Abelling tribe. Clad in their African safari uniforms, they welcome guests and assist them on an available table. For those who have been to Matam-Ih, if you haven’t noticed it the first time, the servers have their names sewn on their uniforms. Who are they? They are Aga Muhlach and Gretchen Barretto of Pampanga to name a few. So witty!

aetas in safari outfit
Our performers of the day (belting out Rihanna's "Stay") and our server.
Second, the restaurant’s ambiance is inviting. It’s a blend of indigenous Philippine decor mixed with African art and patterns. Imagining the combination looks weird, but the mash-up, in reality, works. At the entrance, you’ll find their grilling station with pork, chicken, and seafood selection. In addition, a dirty ice cream cart (minus the mamang sorbetero) welcomes you before you step into the main hall.

gazebos, plants and trees
main hall restaurant and private rooms
indigenous decor

Matam-Ih restaurant’s main hall lacks air conditioning, but it is a well-ventilated space. I haven’t dined in the main hall yet because we were always stationed at the gazebo-like air-conditioned room. I read in other reviews that you have to spend at least Php 4,000 (consumable) in order to get situated in one of the private, air-conditioned rooms with karaoke machine.

ventilated main hall
Matam-Ih's Main Hall
Third, the menu offering and prices are reasonable. If you compare their prices with other Filipino restaurants commonly seen in malls, you’ll realize that Matam-Ih’s food is slightly more affordable (in terms of the amount of food served). The menu is written in Kapampangan, English, and Tagalog, covering main dishes, appetizers, exotic selections, dessert, and merienda choices.

menu
menu
menu
menu

Fourth, can I just say how delicious their food are? I mean it’s so tasty that I can’t let go of the dishes I’ve already ordered before. For the three or four times I’ve been there (the latest one just a week ago), pork sinigang and misua patola have always been a regular on our table. If you’re like me who looooooves the sour taste and creamy soup version of sinigang (as my mother-in-law pointed out that sinigang’s my comfort food), Matam-Ih is the perfect place to have that combination. I don’t think they use a sinigang mix for it, but if they do, they kept it unnoticeable.

pork sinigang
Sigang Babi Atin Gandus (Sinigang na Baboy), Php 290
misua patola
Misua Patola, Php 150
Misua Patola is my father-in-law’s favorite and once you taste their misua, you’ll find it puzzling how they’re able to make that sumptuous concoction with just a few, simple ingredients.

Next on our list of orders is Kare-Kare, which is similar to sinigang in terms of having the right amount of meat, making it a good value for money. Another one is Pork Sisig, which is known to be an original Kapampangan dish. Their sizzling sisig is creamy, crunchy, and chewy all at the same time.

kare-kare
Kare-Kareng Iking Baka (Kare-Kareng Buntot ng Baka), Php 320
sisig
Sisig Babi (Sisig Baboy), Php 255
white rice in banana leaf
Pepasingong Nasi Keng Bulung Sagin (Kanin na Nasa Dahon ng Saging), Php 45
Not included in this photo are Lechon Kawali and Buro served with mustasa leaves, the latter’s serving size only as an appetizer and not as a main dish. I haven’t tried any of their dessert selections yet, so that’s something to look forward to on my next visit.

restaurant
gazebo, lamp posts
toilet

Lastly, the staff and servers of this Kapampangan restaurant are well-trained. They attend to customers with professionalism and swift service. I also noticed that they won’t be asking your group from time-to-time (like “How’s your food?” or “Can I get you any dessert?”) in the middle of your meal, which I appreciate. I know some restaurants do this as part of their customer service or upselling approach, but I’m glad Matam-Ih doesn’t do this as it kind of disrupts the mood and the conversation on the table.

For sure I’ll be back at Matam-Ih and I’ll definitely try out more dishes. I recommend that you drop by here if you’re food tripping in Pampanga or if you’re bringing in friends and families from overseas who might be craving for Filipino food. This is something you should look forward to when you travel to the countryside.

kapampangan-filipino restaurant


M. A. Roxas Highway, Clark Freeport Zone, Angeles, Pampanga
Business Hours 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM


Overall Rating: 4.5/5


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The contents of this entry are purely my opinion and 100% honest based on my dining experience.

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