This Eclectic Restaurant in Pampanga Also Doubles as a Furniture Shop
Indulge in delicious Kapampangan food amid beautifully designed furniture.
The Souq, which means “marketplace” in Arabic, is indeed a melting pot not just of gastronomic delights but also of ideas and inspiration. Glenda Quiambao, who co-owns The Souq with Allan Bituin and Shy Bala of Pampanga-based furniture shop More Than A Chair, explains that the restaurant was inspired by the Souk Madinat in Dubai. “'Yung mga owners, laging nagtra-travel,” says Quiambao. And because of that, The Souq was born.
Entering the restaurant is like being transported to a traditional souk—you’ll see a high ceiling and a hallway that, in Souk Madinat, is filled with rows of shopping stalls.
At The Souq, the hallway divides The Souq Dining (the main dining area) and Duck & Co. (The Souq’s sister restaurant). If this isn’t enough for you to get intrigued, then the aroma of flavors emanating from the kitchen will surely lure you in. “At the start, yung food namin, may pagka-Arabic nang konti, mga international food. Okay naman, marami kaming customers. Kaya lang minsan, hinahanap-hanap pa rin nila yung Filipino food, lalo na dito sa Pampanga… so ngayon, nag-try kami ng parang deconstructed Filipino food. May nirerevise nang konti. Mas dumami yung mga customers namin,” narrates Quiambao.
The Souq also serves as More Than A Chair’s showroom, as the restaurant is furnished with the shop’s pieces, which are also for sale. “Ang palaging comment ay yung ambience, yung mga furniture,” says Quiambao. “And then, nakakapagbenta rin kami dito pag nagustuhan nila.” When you buy a furniture piece at The Souq, it will be taken back to the factory for repairs and refinishing, so you’ll have a new piece for your home.
Constructing the restaurant took only three months, albeit only partially. It was officially opened to the public upon the completion of The Souq Dining. In the latter part of 2013, another area at the back was added. If the main dining area has a somewhat glamorous feel, the area at the back is more casual and rustic. A small garden occupies the rear, with cozy seating spaces for more intimate events. In fact, this space is a hit among couples and has even borne witness to countless wedding proposals, what with a table for two framed by a beautiful trellis. At night, small lanterns illuminate the space, making the garden look even more romantic.
A trip to The Souq will always warrant a mini photo session, as each charming corner deserves a snapshot. And when you leave the restaurant, you’ll surely be taking home happy memories, happy tummies, and maybe a chair or two.
The Souq is located at Lazatin Boulevard, San Fernando, Pampanga. It is open daily, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. For updates, log on to The Souq's Facebook page.
This article originally appeared as “The Souq: Eclectic Glam” in the October 2016 issue of Real Living Magazine. This story originally appeared on Realliving.com.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Spot.ph editors.