Being a fan of sisig since college I wanted to get a taste from the origin of sisig at the culinary heart of Central Luzon.  Our first stop in the mini food tour was NathanielS Restaurant at the San Fernando intersection.

Ingredients for a tasty halo-halo at NathanielS

We ordered palabok, siomai, siopao, lumpia, halo-halo, and buko pandan juice.  Goldilocks would be put to shame at how tasty and refreshing these were!

First off was the palabok.  A favorite afternoon snack among Filipinos, the palabok is composed of softenedbihon noodles with a generous amount of bright orange sauce topped with strips of pork, tinapa, shrimps, and eggs.  My favorite is the crunchy bits of chicharon sprinkled on top.

Fresh Palabok at NathanielS San Fernando, Pampanga

Palabok (Php 55.00) – My first reaction = WOW.  The blending and freshness of the ingredients made this the best tasting palabok I’ve had so far.  The crunchy chicharon, the eggs, the sauce.  Nothing tasted spoiled, it was all fresh and filling.

Next we tried one of the much-raved items on the NathanielS menu, the siomai.  According to Neil, families would order large platters of siomai (or by the bulk).  I’m not really a fanatic for siomai but trying this one changed everything.

Fresh Siomai at NathanielS San Fernando, Pampanga

Siomai (Php 65.00 for 5 pieces) – Just coming from the best-tasting palabok, this was the best-tastingsiomai I’ve ever had. What struck me was how tender and fresh it was.  NathanielS has its own calamansi-soy sauce blend available and it was just perfect!  My mouth waters just thinking about that siomai again.

I ordered lumpia thinking it would be of the fried kind.  You know, the one you would enjoy at a birthday party.  I was looking for a particular crunch.  To my surprise though when they served the lumpia it wasn’t the one I expected.

Fresh Lumpia at NathanielS San Fernando, Pampanga

Lumpia (Php 95.00) – Better known as lumpiang sariwa (Tagalog for fresh), it had a well-grinded filling which I appreciated.  I dislike lumpiang sariwa with fillings that aren’t chopped to bits.  The lumpia here had a nutty taste to it.  I’m not a fan of nuts in my lumpia so this really couldn’t catch up with the palabok andsiomai that I loved on the spot.

I’ve always had this thinking that siomai and siopao are cousins. LOL WTH.  So with the great tasting siomaiout of the way I already had positive expectations of the siopao.  I was already expecting the siopao to taste good.

Fresh Siopao Asado at NathanielS San Fernando, Pampanga

Siopao Asado (Php 20.00 each) - “Fresh”.  That’s the best way I could describe it.  It didn’t feel like I was eating siopao left in the Mini-stop steam box for hours.  This was siopao that felt like it was freshly baked and prepared in the kitchen just minutes ago.  The asado inside was also a delight.  The sauce was sweet but most importantly did not overdo the taste of the rest of the siopao.

Now time for the refreshments!

Fresh Halo-halo at NathanielS San Fernando, Pampanga

Halo-halo (Php 55.00) – We ordered the regular and the taste did not fail.  I don’t like sounding like I have a positive review for everything but this NathanielS really has it going.  I mean, the palabok and the siomai… now the halo-halo [and the buko pandan juice later].  WOW.  Crispy ice, fresh milk, the red gulaaaaaman, and the works.  Perfect merienda!

Now try to wipe that smile off my face.

Delicious halo-halo at NathanielS

Finally the other refreshment we tried was the Buko Pandan Juice.  Lemme insert that I would only read about it on the internet later on that the must-try at NathanielS is the buko pandan salad.  (Oh, reason enough for us to return there in the future.)  Back to the juice…

Buko pandan juice (Php 35.00) – They are served in these generic looking mineral water bottles.  For a cautious first timer the reaction would be “Is this legit?”.  I mean, come on, no labels of NathanielS or anything.  I gave it a try and drank.  I felt the bits and pieces of buko as I downed the ice cold juice.  The third time in this entry: WOW.

The ultimate refresher.  My two-hour biyahe to Pampanga was erased at the refreshing taste of buko pandanjuice at NathanielS Pampanga.

NathanielS is at the San Fernando Intersection in Pampanga

(Now you understand why there’s a capital S. LOL)

So if you’re interested in trying NathanielS, please learn that the place closes early.  Yes.  According to Neil they close before 8:00 PM?  I find that hard to understand given that the restaurant appears to be a success in that part of Pampanga.  Everyone seems to love to dine there including the elite perhaps. Hehe.

Make that intersection more than just a pitstop.  Discover NathanielS.  If you’ve just exited the NLEX and turned left in the direction of Subic, the restaurant would be on the left side before the Dolores Intersection overpass in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Bon appetit!