[dropcap]G[/dropcap]eneral Santos City with a population of 538,086 inhabitants based on the 2010 census, is now considered as the 15th most populous city in the Philippines.
Roman Catholics make up about 80% of the population while 8% have identified themselves as members of various Protestant churces (the Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Aglipayan Church, Evangelical, INC, etc). The remaining 12% comprised non-Christian religions, most particularly Islam.
During the day, the population balloons even more with residents from surrounding provinces of SoCCSkSarGen, converging in the city to either work, transact business, shop or dine. A sizeable portion of these are Muslims who have adopted Gensan as their place of rest and recreation due to its proximity, along with other groups.
Shopping-wise, Gensan has lots to offer to them and to the local Muslims. But take a look around, and you will realize that the city has not yet fully devoted its resources to establishing more HALAL-ACCREDITED DINING AND FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS meant for them, our Muslim brothers and sisters.
Halal – when referred to food and non-food products is anything that is allowed for consumption or use by Muslims as permitted by the Shari’ah or Islamic law.
The good news is, aside from a bakery, Aunt Ludi Bakeshoppe that we featured years ago, there is one restaurant existing in General Santos City, with a just newly-opened branch in nearby Polomolok, South Cotabato that does not only serve, delicious and affordable food but has been duly accredited by the Mindanao Halal Authority (MINHA) under the auspices of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF). Its name, TAMBILAWAN KAMAYAN HALAL RESTAURANT.
TAMBILAWAN KAMAY RESTAURANT’S TWO BRANCHES
Check out the photos of their two branches. (CLICK ON EACH FOR LARGER VIEWS.) The first one is the major branch along Laurel East Street, General Santos City that was established three years ago.
The second one, which just opened a few months back in April 2015, sits along the National Highway, Polomolok, South Cotabato.
As Halal restaurant owners, the couple behind Tambilawan Kamayan Halal Restaurant, the husband-and-wife team of Jojo and Kristine, have been religiously following strict processes in accordance with the Shariah or Islamic law that guarantees that the food that they serve is clean and beneficial to the health of their predominantly Muslim customers. In deference also to Jojo’s paternal grandfather, Sultan Tambilawan, to whom the restaurant is named after, everything that they offer, including the raw materials, the utensils, the ingredients, the condiments, among others, have all undergone a stringent process of testing and accreditation by representatives of the Mindanao Halal Authority (MINHA), based in General Santos City. MINHA is an accredited Halal Certifier of the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).
This is the reason, why TAMBILAWAN KAMAYAN HALAL RESTAURANT is allowed to carry and use the official logo of the Philippine Halal Authority in their advertisements.
The next questions you might be asking are, “Is the food good?” and “Are they affordable?” As a food connosieur, my answer to both, would be two “YES’s!”
First, let us talk about their very popular Chicken Inasal which costs only P99 and comes with an unlimited serving of rice, atsara pickles plus a glass of cold drinks. The chicken is delightfully large and tastes soo fingerlickingly good and tender with just the right amount of sweetness to it. Unlike other chicken barbecues, this one has lesser fat. Why? According to the owners, the chicken is first boiled in water to squeeze out the fat in it. Thus one can say that Tambilawan’s Chicken Inasal is a healthy version of a favorite PInoy fare.
A visitor should also not miss TAMBILAWAN’S SIZZLING CHICKEN SISIG. This one also has lesser fat than the ordinary sisig and tastes even better and a lot healthier. Topping it with farm-fresh egg makes it more appetizing. I could hardly have enough of it when they were mixed together, promise.
Other Halal-certified dishes I found so gastronomically pleasurable are Tambilawan’s Sinampalukang Manok which is noted for its fresh sampalok ingredients instead of commercial powdered mixes; the distinctive wake-upper Sinigang na Hipon; its super tender and delightful Classic Beef Steak; the savoury Chicken Chopsuey, among many others.
Another bestseller that I am giving a thumbs-up to is Tambilawan’s now very famous BUKO HALO, that is filled to the brim with various fruits, jelly, cornflakes, and sweet, tender coco meat. This one is a steal at P69. Unfortunately, the Gensan branch serves it on a tall glass instead and costs lower at P49. And yes, both branches served fresh BUKO JUICE, too.
By the way, what makes it a cut above the rest is my discovery that Tambilawan uses its own version of powdery shaved ice that is softer than the usual and thus, easier to consume in one’s mouth.
BAMBOO DINING HUTS.
Another feature that sets the two Tambilawan branches apart from other restos is its use of native Muslim-inspired decor and custom-made bamboo tables and chairs and dining huts.
This makes the two branches aerier and cooler and gives a little more prviacy to the dining guests who would occupy their own dining hut.
For bigger groups or for people who are on the lookout for a larger and private venue for their meetings or conferences, Tambilawan Gensan has two function rooms available. The bigger one can accomodate at least 75 people while the the other one, for more intimate gatherings of 15. Tambilawan Polomolok, however has, for the moment a small room for 10 people only.
All these are just some of the reasons why a visit to any of these only two Halal Restaurants in General Santos City and Polomolok, South Cotabato will turn out into a great dining experience. That goes not only for our Muslim brothers and sisters who are in search for the most delicious and affordable Halal food, certified by the NCFM, but for the rest of us foodies as well. In short, Tambilawan Kamayan Restaurant is for everyone who craves for a remarkable foodie adventure in South Central Mindanao.
Here’s Tambilawan Kamayan Halal Restaurant – Gensan Branch on Google Maps.
For reservations at any of the two branches, please contact Tambilawan Kamayan Halal Restaurant at: (083) 552-3932, 0943-4890744 and firstname.lastname@example.org. LIKE their Facebook Pages by CLICKING HERE for Tambilawan Gensan and CLICKING HERE for Tambilawan Polomolok.