Inasal, desserts, seafood: What to eat on your Bacolod food trip
A foodie’s haven – that’s how I would describe Bacolod City. I know the place is most famous for its inasal na manok (barbecue chicken), but I only realized how rich its food culture is when I visited the destination.
A friend who’s based there told me that Bacolodnons are very critical of their food and have high standards regarding the matter. He took us around the area and let us sample the local flavors by visiting the top dining destinations. Here’s a guide to food tripping in the City of Smiles.
Top spots for chicken inasal
When in Bacolod, it’s a must to try the city’s signature dish, chicken inasal, which is practically as ubiquitous as the sugar plantations around the province.
There are inasal places in the malls and along the main thoroughfares, but you can find the most authentic ones in Manokan Country, which features modest eateries.
You don’t go there for the ambiance, just for the good food. The popular places are Aida’s Chicken and Nena Beth/Nena Rose.
Make sure to order the chicken with garlic or fried rice cooked in chicken oil, and eat it with sinamak vinegar that is mixed with calamansi and chili. Other food finds there are the talaba (oysters) and exotic parts like atay (liver), isol (chicken butt), and chicken skin.
If roughing it is not your style, you can get a taste of inasal in a more established restaurant like Chicken House, which also serves this specialty at a reasonable price.
Top spots for pala-pala
Appreciate Negrense cuisine more when you dine in a pala-pala, similar to the dampa places in Metro Manila.
In either Aboy’s Restaurant or Ading’s Pala-Pala, diners can choose from the fresh seafood on display and have it cooked to your liking.
Both also offer a la carte dishes but I highly suggest that you go for the seafood paluto. In Aboy’s Restaurant, we tried the pan-fried blue marlin, baked scallops, and puto bumbong for dessert.
In Ading’s Pala-Pala, we ordered the steamed shrimps, grilled squid, and chili crabs. Everything was so good that I ate more than the usual and felt stuffed after every meal.
Both establishments have large dining areas that are perfect for big groups. Aboy’s Restaurant actually started as a small eatery in the public market and just catered to nearby offices. It eventually grew via word-of-mouth and had to move to a more spacious location.
Top spots for sweet treats
I noticed that the locals there love their desserts. Maybe it’s because of the abundance of sugar canes or maybe because they simply have a sweet tooth, but no matter the reason, my taste buds thank them for creating delicacies that are delicious to indulge in.
Don’t miss a visit to Calea for its pastries and coffee. It’s probably the most well-known dessert shop there (I’m not surprised) because of its mouth-watering cakes, which the shop can pack for travelers who want to bring home these special treats.
My travel buddies even hand-carried whole chocolate cakes and cheesecakes on the airplane.
As an alternative, Felicia’s Pastry Café also offers divine desserts like macarons and cakes. For pasalubong goodies, go for the napoleones at Pendy’s, caramel tarts at Virgie’s Homemade Products, and piaya or barquillos at Bongbong’s.
I was never hungry during my 3-day stay in Bacolod, but I don’t regret overindulging in such tasty treats that made my trip more sweet and memorable. Going on a food trip in Bacolod is definitely worth every calorie. – Rappler.com
As a freelance writer and editor, Nikka Sarthou-Lainez enjoys being her own boss and having the flexibility to indulge in her other passions like food and travel. Every year, she vows to visit places she has never been to and tick them off her bucket list. She hopes to be like chef/host Anthony Bourdain someday who journeys around the world to sample different cuisines, one plate at a time. Find out more about her travel and culinary adventures and follow her on Twitter @nikkasarthou