Iloilo: A Non-Food Adventurer’s Food Adventure Guide in Iloilo City
Iloilo rubs shoulders with other top-notch culinary hot spots in the Philippines. In Iloilo, food is an art, it is a culture, a celebration, and definitely, a destination. I’m neither a food expert nor a food adventurer but I might as well share a few gastronomic destinations I’ve visited to have taste of the local Ilonggo flavor.
La Paz Batchoy
Finding a bowl of La Paz Batchoy is never a problem when in Iloilo, especially in its place of origin, none other than, La Paz District. Almost everywhere in and out of the city serves this noodle soup dish in tasty broth topped with pork organs, meat, beef loin, then sprinkled garlic, crushed chicharon, and some scallions. La Paz Batchoy-flavored cup noodles probably don’t sell much in Iloilo.
Ramboy’s Lechonan & Restaurant
Ramboy’s takes grilled pork belly to a whole new level. The savory smell coming from the grill section floating in the air makes your tummy crumble. Hot and fresh from the grill, Ramboy’s Grilled Liempo is served to your plate and reaching out to your mouth where you could taste the succulent meat, and hear the crunch of finely roasted skin. This was one of the best liempo‘s I’ve tried.
Tatoy’s Manokan & Seafood Restaurant
The name said Manokan and Seafood, and it’s probably a mortal sin not to try the freshest seafood in town conveniently located on the seaside joint called Tatoy’s Manokan & Seafood Restaurant. And I have sinned for indulging only half of the restaurant’s pride. But I never regretted munching on Tatoy’s grilled native chicken marinated with different herbs, achuete oil, vinegar, then roasted in open fire until the meat sips the juices. Next time, I’ll try those yummy-looking baked oysters just begging to be induced.
Ilonggo cuisine has evolved from traditional cooking to exploring the possibilities with international dishes just like Afrique’s, a local gourmet restaurant serving pizza’s, pasta’s, and steaks that would surely tickle the taste buds of foodies (and non-foodies, as well). A very good friend recommended Afrique’s Four Cheese Pizza, I trust her taste, therefore, this must be worth a try. I’m a sucker for cheese, multiply it by 4, smudge it on a thin crust, sprinkle some pepper, and a huge dosage of hot sauce, delisiozo!
Don’t be mislead by the title, “A Non-Food Adventurer’s Food Adventure Guide in Iloilo City“. Trust me, I’m a food lover and I made a long list of food destinations to visit when I’m in Iloilo City. However, fitting it all in in one day is a bit too hectic, and a bit too hefty for my stomach. This will serve as an appetizer to a wider variety of options in the gastronomic world of Iloilo. If you find the title a bit weird, just wait until I reach Roxas City, and my experience with the seafood capital of the country.
Some fast facts that may help you on the trip:
1. No food was wasted on this trip. Most of the restaurants I’ve been have no single order (except for Ted’s, they have budget meals) so I was left no choice but to finish each. I did for everything, except Ramboy’s Liempo, but I gave it to some people.
2. Ted’s La Paz Batchoy has different branches all over the city. There’s one in La Paz, of course, in Gaisano, Jaro, Molo, Robinson’s Place, Atrium.
3. Tatoy’s Manokan & Seafood Restaurant is located at Villa Arevalo, Iloilo City. It’s a restaurant across the beach.
4. Ramboy’s Lechonan & Restaurant is located at Brgy. San Pedro Molo, Iloilo City. Just beside Molo Church.
5. Afrique’s has 5 branches in Iloiilo City. Check out their website for the exact locations. I went to the one in Jaro, 107 Castilla Street. Jaro District. They also deliver just call Jaro +63 33-3200554; Hotel Del Rio +63 33-3381270, Smallville +63 33-5094900, and Valeria +63 33-5096092.
6. This is the sixth post on my two-week long backpacking journey in Panay Island and Guimaras. Next stop would still be Iloilo in an island called Gigantes. Find out where to stay.
7. More Iloilo destinations.
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11. Happy travels and be safe.