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?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Iloilo: Santa Barbara Church and Iloilo Golf and Country Club

Santa Barbara Church Iloilo
Santa Barbara, Iloilo has a special place in our country's history. I was honored to celebrate our 115th Independence Day with the citizens of Santa Barbara. One of the town's heritage sites is the Santa Barbara Church, a National Historical Landmark. It was here that the Revolutionary Government of the Visayas led by Gen. Martin T. Delgado convened the junta that raised the first cry outside Luzon.

Santa Barbara Church Iloilo
Iloilo Golf and Country Club Santa Barbara
Another heritage site is the Iloilo Golf and Country Club, the first golf course in the Philippines, which was established by Scottish engineers in 1907. Unfortunately, the original club house was burned down by the Japanese during the Second World War. Except for the historical marker, there's no other structure that highlights that it is the country's oldest golf course. Maybe they could reconstruct the old club house to house the golf course's museum, an added attraction for Santa Barbara. There are many qualified restoration architects who can do that.

Arthur Defensor Iloilo Governor
With Sta. Barbara Mayor Dennis Superficial, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor & Cabatuan Mayor Ramon Yee during the 115th Independence Day ceremonies

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Quezon City: Ma Mon Luk's Original Mami

Ma Mon Luk Mami
For the longest time, I've always seen Ma Mon Luk Restaurant every time I drive along Quezon Avenue. I've always known it as an old restaurant founded in Manila in 1920, definitely part of our culinary heritage. Parking is usually full so I just drive along. 

Ma Mon Luk Mami
A few days ago, I was craving for mami as we neared Ma Mon Luk. So I told myself, if parking was available, I'd stop. And it was!

Ma Mon Luk Siopao
Ma Mon Luk Siopao
Of course I had the Original Mami (Large) for Php105 which was quite heavy. There was just a Php10 difference between the small and large order, so might as well get the large one. I also tried the Siopao Special (Asado, Chicken and Salted Eggs) for Php60. Next time, I should try the Taw Sa Pao (Mongo) which they recommend.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Quezon City: Steak at Snackaroo Kamuning & Matalino

Snackaroo Porterhouse Steak Kamuning
Snackaroo has been around for ages! I can't believe I only discovered this recently after all those years studying in U.P. For just Php140, you can have a T-bone Steak or Porterhouse Steak served with their signature gravy. The meat is tender (best cooked medium or medium rare) and the fat melts in your mouth! It was so good, I ate there for five consecutive days!

Snackaroo T-bone Steak Kamuning
They have other dishes too but it's the steaks that really standout. I frequent the branch along Judge Jimenez cor. K-2nd Streets in Kamuning, QC. There's another branch at Maginoo cor. Matalino Streets in UP Village. Service can be improved though but what the heck, it's a hole in the wall. The steaks are definitely heaven!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Parañaque: Crispy Chili Garlic Bacon at The Burgery, BF Homes

Crispy Chili Garlic Bacon at The Burgery, BF Parañaque
BF Homes Parañaque is definitely a foodie haven. I was looking for something to eat late last night and went for a drive along Aguirre Avenue. That's one long stretch of restaurants, many of which you'll only find in BF.

We saw this new restaurant called The Burgery. Of course, the main attraction of their menu are the burgers and burger rice meals. But they have other dishes. A large poster actually caught my attention: Crispy Chili Garlic Bacon that was topped on herbed rice. I'll let the photo do the talking. I should explore more of BF during weekends!
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