Thursday, November 1, 2012

Iloilo's Gastronomic Delights

26-28 October 2012. Iloilo.

Ted’s Oldtimer Lapaz Batchoy

(Ninoy Aquino Avenue, Mandurriao, Iloilo)

According to my limited readings, batchoy is a noodle soup made with pork organs, crushed pork cracklings, chicken stock, beef loin and round noodles. Originally from the district of La Paz, Iloilo City, this explains why the batchoy is oftentimes referred to as La Paz Batchoy.

Jas and I hit the streets of Iloilo as soon as we arrived, searching for the best place to have a batchoy. The cab driver recommended Ted’s Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy. We ordered their extra super special batchoy (for Jas) and special batchoy (for me). The server suggested we try the batchoy with puto, and so we did. I had no idea the two were a pair. I honestly thought the dish tasted heavenly, and this is a lot coming from a non-fan of batchoy. Jas said it could use some more garnish though. Anyway, I’d recommend the same establishment for your batchoy cravings should you drop by Iloilo.

Php193 (for two, with 2 bottles of mineral water)

Tatoy’s Manokan & Seafoods

(Santo Niño Sur, Arevalo, Iloilo)

We were searching for a place to have authentic Ilonggo dishes when the cab driver suggested Tatoy's. He was all agog about the restaurant, we were practically salivating on our way there. Located 8 kilometers from the city center, the restaurant is located near the beach, which we didn't notice because it was nighttime, and which I should have deduced given the rustic set-up of nipa huts.

According to my readings, Tatoy's was built in the 1970's by Honorato Tiburan Espinosa, a fisherman. The restaurant had a humble beginning - a nipa shack with only three tables. It boasts however of dishes that are unique. The restaurant became what it is now through word of mouth.

Honestly, Tatoy's isn't what I expected it to be. There were a few dishes to choose from, or maybe because we came at night. I ended up ordering their lapu-lapu, while Jas ordered dinuguan. The taste was just alright, which made me wonder what the fuss is about Tatoy's.

Php570 (for two, with 2 huge buko juice)
(Red Square Building, Smallville Business Complex, Iloilo City)
Smallville is where people converge for their nightlife. It was where we went for our pizza / pasta cravings, and upon the recommendation of Maan, our guide in Guimaras, we tried Afrique's. According to its website, what started as one restaurant in 2002 became an amazing journey of providing the people of Iloilo a uniquely tasting and definitely delicious pizza, pasta, and steak.
Jas and I are suckers for carbonara so even if the dish was cliche, we ordered it, together with Afrique's special pizza. I loved their carbonara, which had a distinct sweet taste that I did not find in the carbonara dishes I've had in my lifetime. Their servings were hefty, so each dish was good to share. I forgot how much we spent for dinner but it was definitely less than a thousand pesos with my order of Mango Orange Juice.
Nang Palang's
(Oton, Iloilo)
While we were church-hopping in Iloilo, our cab driver suggested we try the buko pie at Nang Palang's, located at Barangay Trapiche in Oton. Because of its simple structure along the highway, it can easily be ignored. It's a huge mistake not to try Nang Palang's. Its buko pie is to-die-for, I kid you not. It has that cheesy, milky, softy taste that is miles away from the buko pie in Laguna. A box costs P120.00.
(JM Basa St., Iloilo City)
We were enjoying our walk along downtown Iloilo City when I spotted Roberto's. I practically dragged Jas across the street to have a taste of its siopao. The restaurant was packed so we decided to take-out two orders of their Queen Siopao. The Queen Siopao is the largest siopao I ever had, and it is filled with eggs, bacon, ground pork, and chicken. It was the tastiest siopao ever, even without a siopao sauce. The Queen Siopao costs Php65.00.
Perri Todd's

(Jaro, Iloilo)

Maan suggested we also try Perri Todd's because they serve this burger that's as big as her head. Out of curiosity, we asked our cab driver to drop us off at the restaurant so we could see for ourself this humongous burger that Maan was raving about. We ordered their cheesy mushroom premium burger, and laughed our hearts out at its size. It was huge, it could have been good for four. What's nice about the restaurant, it doesn't sacrifice the taste. Our burger cost Php270.00. We had it for dinner at the airport, and it was more than enough to satisfy our hunger.


Lampiro (street food)
(along the highway, during our church visit)
Our driver wanted us to try this street food called lampiro. It belongs to the family of shellfish. The meat is tasty in itself but you can try dipping it in vinegar. The shell reminds me of those capiz shells. Had I not been afraid of my cholesterol level, I would have finished the whole plastic which consists of about ten shells, and just costs Php20.00.