It’s that time of year when culinary competitions are held.
Arriving in Manila on Sunday from Myanmar, I was off to Cagayan de Oro on Tuesday.
This is an annual event that foodies wouldn’t miss for the world. It’s work, but doesn’t feel like it while enjoying the fare served by the hosts.
Our group had a few days’ break before flying to Bacolod for the “Sabor Visayas” competition.
One morning I was tasting 54 dishes. Now how does one avoid gaining weight with a job like this? I love it, though. It’s dinner makes the tiredness disappear.
Lots of ‘tutong’ in paella
There was Chicken House Bacolod inasal (the best, for me), and a recently discovered dish, spareribs. Delicious!
I loved the authentic Spanish food at Azucarera, specially the paella, the Valenciana and the Black Paella varieties. I made sure to get lots of socarrat or tutong. A squeeze of lemon gave a heavenly taste!
Berbeza is Don Colmenares’ new restaurant. He, too, has a delicious laksa and an outstanding crispy blue crab with crispy coating.
Of course, Aboy’s remains a favorite with his squid ink, blue marlin, puso ng saging sa gata and durian.
Pala-Pala Restaurant has the freshest seafood, whatever way you want it cooked.
A new discovery was Luisa’s. This is a restaurant run by a kung fu sensei-looking man. He serves really good fried chicken. His spareribs, too, are a must-try. I tried to stay away from rice, but couldn’t do so because of the fried chicken and ribs. Worth coming back to.
From there, we crossed over to Shary’s for some crispy kansi and a sour broth. Fantastic!
Something New, East Bite
The one that floored me—and I want to tell Bacolodians that it’s right under your nose—are two restaurants owned and run by Bacolod chef BJ Tanpinco: Something New, and East Bite.
Tanpinco has won many culinary competitions. I tried to order everything on his menu but my tummy could take only so much.
I had the phad Thai, corned beef hash, French toast with ice cream, chili wanton, samosas with tamarind sauce, hokkien mee, beef rendang, laksa and beef massaman.
Save for a few that might need slight adjustments, everything tasted authentic and delicious. His prices are also reasonable.
I had to rush to the airport to catch my flight. But the next time I’m in Bacolod, I’ll pig out.