Isdaan Floating Restaurant and Fun Park in Calauan, Laguna is not your typical restaurant. As its name suggests, it’s not only a restaurant that serves meals, but also a park where family and friends can enjoy themselves. Isdaan Restaurant is also a tourist attraction in Laguna due to its festive ambiance and impressive structures that will make you think you are in another Southeast Asian country, specifically Thailand.
Due to its “fun” concept, there is really no single theme inside the resto-park; cartoon characters mingle freely with small and large Buddha images, and mermaids and gorillas are scattered around the place. Famous persons like Barack Obama, Cory Aquino and Erap will also welcome you here. You should really go to Isdaan to have this one-of-a-kind dining experience.
Musicians/singers serenaded us while dining. At least PhP 20 was the tip for them. Various performers, such as the giant man, marching band, and acrobats kept us entertained. That was a good thing because the meals took a long time to arrive, about 40 minutes. I suggest that you arrive in Isdaan early (11AM at the most) because lots of people come here especially during the weekends and holidays. If you arrive at 12 noon, you will have to queue for a table and the waiting time is a bit long.
While waiting for your food to arrive, you can have a boat ride in the vicinity of the resto-park. The ride is free but a fee of PhP 20 is required for the boatman. Life vest should be worn during the boat ride. The life vest is available at the resto-park entrance. I’m just not sure if there is a rental fee for the vest. If you want to vent out your frustration and anger, there is a “Tacsiyapo Wall” where you can throw plates, mugs, or even a TV set onto the wall. This comes at a fee of course! If you want to throw a plate to the wall, it will cost you PhP 30.
Food expectations were a bit high because Isdaan is owned and operated by the Barrio Fiesta Group of Companies, which is known for great-tasting Filipino foods. Since there were kids with us, we just had to order the fried chicken (PhP 258 per half order).
The chicken lechon tinupig (PhP 498) was very delicious. It was marinated first in coconut cream before it was roasted so its taste was really unique.
We also had the sizzling bangkang sisig (PhP 633). It consisted of both milkfish and pork sisig. The pork sisig was very tasty. The milkfish sisig was also yummy but it had a lot of big fish bones. We had to be careful in eating it because the bones might get stuck to our throats! So beware…
The liempong tinupig (PhP 345 per half kilo) was very yummy – the meat was very tender and infused with a sweet-smoky flavour.
The last of our pork dishes was lechon de leche (PhP 1225 for ¼ order). We were supposed to order the crispy pata but the waitress persuaded us to try the lechon instead. Well, the lechon de leche was actually a must-try dish. Its meat was very soft while the skin was crispy. But in hindsight, we should have ordered and sampled their crispy pata because Barrio Fiesta/Isdaan claims that it invented the original crispy pata. Maybe next time when we come back.
For seafood dishes, we had sinigang na hipon (PhP 498) and spicy crab (PhP 157 per 100 grams).The taste was just OK, not really remarkable.
For vegetable dishes, we had lumpiang bukid (PhP 175) and kare-kareng gulay (PhP 285). I did not like the lumpia at all. It was like having mixed vegetables with a super sweet sauce.
The kare-kareng gulay was also not so good. The sauce was too sweet and lumpy.
We had watermelon juice (PhP 349 per pitcher) and mango juice (PhP 349 per pitcher) for our drinks. They were both very refreshing, but I liked the watermelon juice more.
Overall, the price per dish was more expensive compared to dishes in other regular restaurants. But I guess we had to pay for our stay in the “fun park” somehow so the dishes were priced accordingly. Nevertheless, it was nice dining in Isdaan Floating Resto-Park, an experience that shouldn’t be missed.