Back in 2010, the good people of Thunderbird Resorts invited a few bloggers out on a trip to Poro Point in La Union (check out my posts about it here and here). Aside from taking us around their property, they also took us around La Union. What a treat, right? That was when I first got to try Halo-halo de Iloko.
It felt right at home in that place. It is quirky, comfortable and romantic all at the same time. Kind of like a mellow Café Juanita. It is especially pretty for me at night when it is raining. I enjoyed eating with the sound of the rain and the cool breeze of the wind.
It was pouring outside
The name of the establishment gave away this place’s specialty but don’t be fooled. It is a place you can go to for meals. Often crowded during lunch, Halo-halo de Iloko can make mean Ilocano / Filipino dishes at affordable prices. The ones I have tried came from their set of some sort of “for 1” menu. There were probably around 10 choices of viand + rice + iced tea for only Php 100. Can you beat that?
My favourite dish to order among in this set is their chicken tinola. The great thing about the dish was that it was served really hot and the serving was generous. I often do not eat rice but when I buy a food set, I usually eat a little because the viand usually comes so little, I hardly feel it satisfying my hunger. Halo-halo de Iloko’s chicken tinola left me really full. I ran out of rice (yeah, I ate a bit more than usual because this is good with rice) but there was still chicken to be found in my soup.
As for the taste? It is how people should cook tinola. I even ate the malunggay leaves and I usually don’t. It was slightly thicker in texture than your average clear soup, also a tad more salty but it was the flavours of the chicken and the absence of the bitterness of malunggay that tasted really well. Perfect to have in one of the rainy nights when in La Union.
And because I love arrozcaldo, I decided to try Halo-halo de Iloko’s version after several visits of eating tinola. Hehe. Because it was still a cool night when I visited, it was just fitting to order a comfort food. The texture of their arrozcaldo is the thickest I have ever eaten. I am not sure what type of rice they use in general but this one might be the kind that is used in the usual sticky Filipino delicacies (like biko).
The flavours were strong too, saltiness balanced out by the thick rice with chicken and egg. The serving did not look like it would be enough for one meal but I was only halfway done and I felt so full. It was really heavy, I felt like I gained 5 pounds in one sitting. Haha. I forgot how much this was, somewhere between Php 70 – Php 100.
As for the dessert, of course we ordered the Fiesta Halo-Halo (Php 85). This dessert contains everything that works together in terms of taste and texture. It has ube ice cream on top (and I do not particularly like ube (purple yam), but it works in this halo-halo), leche flan, corn, gulaman (native gelatin), sago (tapioca), nata de coco, corn flakes for some texture, cheese, saba (cardava banana), pinipig, and if I am not mistaken, the magic ingredient that makes this halo-halo the bomb, polvoron. I might be missing an ingredient or two. Everything works. It was flavourful and really creamy. You have to try it.
Some snack dishes are also available such as okoy and cheese sticks. An order shouldn’t be more than Php 100.
Halo-halo de Iloko Balay
Zandueta St., 2500 San Fernando, La Union
(072) 700 2030