Friday, 30 October 2015

Restaurant Review: Surf Shack (San Juan, La Union)

Surf Shack

Surf Shack, located behind Moonleaf Tea Shop and directly across the National Highway from San Juan Surf Resort, is a low-key yet awesome bar and restaurant with a very laid-back setup. 

It’s a perfect open-air hangout spot for sun, sea and surf worshipers as well as casual diners, with a cool setting of outdoor tables with candles; hip and colorful seats; trees; good acoustic music for relaxation; photos of surfers and surf boards on display along walls lined with horizontal wood planks.  

The diners are protected from the elements by a clear plastic roof above their heads. The band area is located on the far side of the room.

Surf Shack is known in the surf community for its sumptuous but very affordable (most of their meals are priced below PhP300) comfort food served in generous portions. 

Their quite varied, extensive, tasty and thoughtful, day-to-day menu includes different kinds of pasta; pizza; rice meals; sandwiches; quesadillas; salads (PHp188-268); burgers (PhP218) and Mexican burritos (with their own side servings of potato chips and nachos); Indian chapatti (PhP108), chicken curry (PhP128) and papadum (PhP98); soup (clam chowder, PhP208, and pumpkin soup, PhP168); chicken wings and more plus, occasionally, fresh-off-the-boat seafood such as freshly shucked oysters (PhP168), mussels (PhP188) and clams (PhP198).
Golden Tinapa Pesto Pasta

Buffalo Wings Bucket of 8
During our visit, we tried out some of their bestsellers.  The Buffalo Wings Bucket (PhP258), consisting of 8 pieces of New York-style, deep-fried chicken wings dunked in their original and very tasty BBQ sauce, was super. 

Then there’s the local chef’s rendition of Italian brick oven pizza and pasta dishes, putting a unique twist by using local ingredients such as bagnet, tuyo, longanisa and the like.  

The Golden Tinapa Pesto Pasta (PhP278), with fresh basil pesto, olives and capers had, as its piece de resistance, golden tinapa flakes trickled with Parmesan cheese and chopped cashew nuts. The Vongole Blanco Pasta (PhP298), a favorite of mine, had spaghettini swimming in locally sourced Pacific clams sautéed in white wine and cilantro.  
Vongole Blanco Pasta

Baclus (Half Bacnotan and Half Mommy  Lu's Pizza)
The Bacnotan Longanisa Pizza (PhP258), with tomato concasse, a small slice of very savory Bacnotan longanisa and a fresh egg in the center balanced on a thin and crispy crust “board," was surprisingly cheesy and good. 

The highly recommended Mommy Lu’s Gourmet Tuyo Pizza (PhP298) was also something else as salty meets sweet with fresh tomato concasse, mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions, black olives, chopped long pepper and slivers of tuyo flakes. We also tried out the Baclus - half Bacnotan and half Mommy  Lu's Pizza (PhP298).
Mommy Lu's Gourmet Tuyo Pizza

Blonde and Amber Wheat Beer
Surf Shack also had e a great cocktail and drinks list, with original cocktails and even imported beers such as Blue Moon (with a slice of orange) on hand. 

The Bang Da Base (PhP158) we drank, a Surf Shack specialty served in mason jars, is a cocktail drink made with basi (sugar cane wine).  

Their signature beers (Amber wheat and Blonde) were smooth and great.  Water was served, with a slice of lime, on cute recycled mayonnaise jars.

Bang Da Bass

Surf Shack: 293 National Highway, Brgy. Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. Tel: (072) 607 4914. Open daily, 10 AM to 10 PM.

1 comment:

  1. I love the gourmet tuyo pizza! So yummy :)