THE cuisine is what drives many to visit and revisit Bacolod City at any time of year. Good food can always elicit smiles. On a recent R&R trip in the City of Smiles, I asked locals where they enjoyed each Bacolod specialty most. They took me to old-time restaurants still serving heritage recipes, and it brought back memories of childhood, high school life and recent times.
For three days, we scoured the city for local eats and feasted on locals’ popular and well-loved dishes. Here’s what landed on my must-eat list.
Cansi at Sharyn’s Cansi House. Now run by the 2nd generation of family members, the 38-year-old restaurant still serves the same recipe that wowed the locals and visitors. A single order can serve two hungry souls and extra rice will be in order.
Batchoy at 21 Restaurant. From the hole-in-the-wall snack house to the fancier restaurant it is today, the 1984-established eatery has been known for its batchoy. You say batchoy and they say 21. Why 21? It’s the address at the corner of 21st and Lacson Streets.
Fresh lumpia at Yummy Yummy. It’s old-school snacking for the former students of La Salle.
What made this delicacy interesting is the addition of crushed chicharon to the ingredients. It adds another layer of texture and the fatty-salty flavor of the chicharon is a wonderful contrast to the sweetened sauce.
Chicken Inasal at Chicken House. Skipping Manokan Country and having the inasal for a less crowded Chicken House. The chicken was tender and tasty with its smoky flavor. Garlic rice minus the famed sauce (for less guilt) made the perfect pairing.
Sans Rival at Felicia’s. This makes it to my kind-of-dessert list with just the right amount of sweetness. The buttery meringue cake doesn’t crumble when sliced through with a fork and it melts in the mouth. I like it.
Chocolate Mud Pie at Calea. It’s a bestseller and I found out why — it’s chocolate ice cream on a chocolate pie crust, drizzled with sweet chocolate syrup (which I can personally do without) and topped with sliced almonds for added texture and nutty flavor.
Will add to this list soon.