Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Iloilo: Must try Ilonggo dishes

La Paz Batchoy Netong's
Visiting Iloilo City can be a culinary adventure. Here are some Ilonggo dishes you might want to try out while in Iloilo City.

La Paz Batchoy Netong's
La Paz Batchoy must be on top of almost everyone's list. You can get the best batchoy at the La Paz Market. This noodle soup contains pork innards, pork cracklings (chicharon) and beek loin among other ingredients. While there are many batchoy stalls outside the market, hidden inside the market is Netong's Lapaz Batchoy which is highly-recommended by locals. And while we were there, I noticed they added a really deadly ingredient to their batchoy — bone marrow!

KBL (Kadios, Baboy and Langka) Iloilo
Kansi and KBL are two classic Illongo stews that are powerful enough to stimulate emotions and evoke good memories, the Ratatouille moment if I may say, among Ilonggos. My search for the fabled Kansi and KBL took me to Punot Flavors of Modern Iloilo by the Esplanande.

KBL (Kadios, Baboy and Langka) is a classic Ilonggo pork stew with batuan (Garcinia binucao) used as souring agent. Punot serves their own version of Kansi, a beef stew. They have Corned Beef Kansi which is corned beef shank in soured broth, jackfruit, lemongrass and atsuete oil with oven-roasted bone marrow on the side.

Then there's another Ilonggo classic — Pancit Molo. Ironically, it's difficult to find a restaurant in Molo known for Pansit Molo simply because it's usually prepared as home. Lucky for us, we got to enjoy a hot bowl of Pancit Molo plus Tsokolate Batirol at the Camiña Balay nga Bato (Avanceña Heritage House), Villa de Arevalo, Iloilo City.

Pangat Iloilo Breakthrough Restaurant
Pangat is the Iloilo version of Bicol's laing. Panay and Bicol have a noticeable cultural connection because of the abaca trade. We had Pangat at Breakthrough Restaurant.

Ramboy's Liempo Iloilo
Liempo may be a common dish. But Liempo at Ramboy's is in a class of its own. We got to try their famed Liempo at the Ramboy's branch by the Esplanade.

Finally, there's Pancit Efuven (egg noodles with pork and vegetables). I got to try Teresa's Special Efuven at Carlitos Restaurant from the owners of the Original Biscocho Haus. Their version, cooked light and delicately herbed, is an heirloom recipe of the Guadarramas of Fajardo Street.

Did I miss any more popular Ilonggo dishes?


  1. What about the well-known snacks/sweets? napoleones, puto manapla, piaya. Iloilo also has some unique cookies: lubid-lubid, kwakoy, etc.

    Other missing dishes are: crablets, a soupy diwal dish.

  2. also arroz a la valenciana :-)


  3. Love to try that!


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