Saramsam Cafe - facade
Restaurant Review

Saramsam Cafe | Laoag, Ilocos Norte

By on July 23, 2010

The ‘saramsam’ in Saramsam Cafe is actually an Ilocano word that means ‘informal and constant dining or suggesting a fun atmosphere of friends getting together to eat.’ This restaurant is known for its traditional and fusion Ilocano recipes at prices that would give other local fastfood chains a run for their money.

It was a beautiful coincidence that we stayed at Balay da Blas for Day 2 of Project Windmills. Mr. Sammy Blas actually owns both this restaurant and the said pension house. The menu was available at the front desk so we just called in our orders before we rode a trike for Saramsam.

Saramsam Cafe - lauya a baka

We got the Lauya a Baka (Php165.00) for our soup. It is primarily composed of meaty beef bones tossed with potatoes and cabbage and then delicately soured with tomatoes.


Saramsam Cafe - chicken pork adobo

Since Insarabsab was not available that evening, we chose Pork Chop Adobo (Php 155.00) instead. It tasted like a good adobo to me but the meat lacked the tenderness that I expected.


Saramsam Cafe - nalengta nga ikan

We got the Nalengta nga Ikan (Php155.00) as a mandatory diversion since we have been eating meat the entire day. I actually liked this among the bunch. It just had the right mix of spice, salt and sour flavors. These only complemented (and did not overwhelm) the fresh fish.


Saramsam Cafe - kalti

Dessert was Kalti (Php150.00), a popular Ilocono fondue made of latik (curdled coconut cream). We then dipped the plantains and camote (sweet potatoes) slices into the sweet and warm fondue.

Saramsam Cafe has indeed gone beyond just a cozy restaurant for a spontaneous rendezvous among friends. It now has a small pub where diners can sing or party to their heart’s content. Dining in the restaurant is indeed a unique Ilocano culinary experience that must not be missed when you happen to be in Laoag City.

This entry completes my Ilocos Norte restaurant series: Herencia Café, Saramsam Cafe and La Preciosa. Here’s my fearless verdict: if there’s one thing that Ilocanos know by heart, is that they love to cook. The food was really great. That’s why I abandoned all my dietary inhibitions in Project Windmills and that decision was worth every pound I gained afterwards.


Saramsam Ylocano Restaurant and Bar
N.Corpuz Building, Rizal St. corner Hizon St.
Barangay 7-A, Laoag City
+63 77 771 5825

  1. Reply


    July 25, 2010

    They sure know good food! Thanks for the posts and you should do more these kind of post since I reckon, you love good food too. Your description of each dish makes me want to plan for an Ilocos trip soon. 🙂

  2. Reply


    July 25, 2010

    Thank you Jenn for the kind words. Yes, you got it right. I really love good food and this passion is especially visible around my waistline.

    Oh well. 🙂

  3. Reply


    August 11, 2010

    sosyal ang kalti dear. murag native version jud sa chocolate fondue ba? yum!! tambok!

  4. Reply


    August 12, 2010

    It is just latik te. But it tasted really good.


Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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