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by Jon Christoffer Obice

San Juan in La Union — or Elyu for some — is a surfing hotspot that’s also known for its amazing restaurants and hotels. But where do you go after a day’s worth of dancing with the waves? Kabsat La Union is a bamboo restaurant that lets you get front-row seats to the surf scene. After hours of paddling your way against the waves, chill in this homey restaurant while watching the dramatic sunset unfold in front of you. With a name that literally means “sibling” in Ilocano, a visit to Kabsat feels like coming home to your friends and family. The idea here is pretty simple and relatable — you gather with your friends and/or family at the rattan lounge area and just while away the hours with your favorite drinks.


Modern meets native tropical style

Kabsat La Union interior
Via kabsatlaunion/Instagram

Resembling a modern “bahay na bato,” Kabsat’s architecture mixes the influences of a traditional nipa hut and a modern concrete beach house. This 1,500-square meter restaurant welcomes the West Philippine Sea breeze with open arms to make your stay more comfortable. The interior plays around Philippine-made materials like rattan wood, metal, and concrete. Overall, it creates the vibe of a sustainable tropical beach house.


Hearty servings of comfort food and Ilokano delicacies

Order a classic Ilokano delicacy pinakbet or feast over pulutan staple sisig. Pair it with their signature rum-coconut-lychee drink Headwind, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a great night. It’s no wonder that this place has become so many barkadas’ go-to place in Elyu. A place to enjoy the sunset with great pulutan? What more could you want?

Kabsat La Union food
Via kabsatlaunion/Instagram

But it’s not just the pulutan that would make you crave Kabsat. You can order their bestsellers at any time of the day — no alcohol pairings needed. The melt-in-your-mouth perfection of their Kalderetang Tagalog is irresistible. Top your rice with the rich sarsa of kaldereta and I’m sure you’d finish a couple more rice bowls. Another solid favorite here is the Southern Tuna Panga, a generous serving of grilled tuna jaw. If you crave a mixture of Korean and Filipino cuisine, the Wagyu Beef Sisig is their must-try best-seller.


Booze and coffee

If you’re not feeling particularly hungry, give Kabsat’s drinks a try. From local craft beers to your favorite lady’s drink margarita, you could order any drink of choice at their bamboo bar. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, their house-blend coffee will hit the spot.

Kabsat La Union food
Via kabsatlaunion/Instagram

Kabsat seeks to serve happiness. And it’s much more fun with your friends and relatives. You “eat as one, drink as one.” That’s what the magic of Kabsat is all about. Even if it’s just your first time here, you could get a sense of togetherness and familiarity.

For reservations and inquiries, you may visit Kabsat La Union’s Facebook page here.



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This article was republished with permission from Windowseat.ph. Minor edits have been made for Bitesized.ph.

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