(Oct. 19-23, 2011)
I am a regular visitor in Iloilo because of my work assignment. Sometimes i'd merely let the time pass while i do my business and leave. Sometimes I would do something special like that one time i went church-hopping. This time though i went restaurant hopping, dear, food in Iloilo is always good especially if you check out the best places.
Home as always is at Century 21 Hotel along Quezon St. It's a short walk from SM Delgado and St. Paul's Hospital and public jeepneys ply the nearby streets and taxis are always around making it reall accessible. Best of all, they had a promo that time offering a much affordable price of 750 per night!
But going back to the main agenda, foodies, our first stop was at Bauhinia in Smallville.
I've heard about Bauhinia from this blog. I've seen this restaurant in Smallville but I have never tried it before till i read about its rather tasty reviews. They serve Filipino/Spanish food but in stylish platings and presentations. For starters, we ordered the fish kinilaw (ceviche) with side salad and a few slices of what looked like salted smoked salmon. The salmon was pretty salty complimenting the sour-sweetish taste of the kinilaw, yum! It was artistically served in shot glasses.
For soup, we had the pink salmon in sour broth (sinigang). The salmon was pan fried and the broth was served to us just right before eating leaving the fish still a bit crispy and not all too soaked by the soup. Very interesting indeed.
We also tried the pork roulade, it was deep fried making it really crispy like lechon kawali. And i like it that there's the right combo of crunchy skin, a bit of succulent fat and well marbled meat.
The star of the table though was the shrimp slathered with what seemed like crab fat with coconut milk, sinfully creamy and delectable!
Everything was a winner and i so love their fancy presentations without sacrificing the taste a bit. It was quite a memorable experience I would definitely love to go back there once I am in the area.
The following day we were brought to Breakthrough for lunch. Breakthrough has to be the fastest growing seafood restaurant in the area. The first time i was there they only have a few tables, when I got back however they have already extended their property up to several more long tables accommodating more groups and families who are the usual diners.
We feasted on their native lechon manok, sizzling crabmeat, crispy crablets among other seafood fares. Namit guid! Breakthrough is located in Villa Beach and is accessible via taxi or jeeps to Villa.
I met up with a college friend who is now based in Iloilo and she brought us to this place which is known for serving what they proclaim as the "best baked talaba in town!"
Allan's Talabahan is in Oton, the place looks simple and very unassuming but indeed, the baked talaba with powdered cheese is amazing!
I was going to post about Esca, a garden restaurant located is some subdivision there but I was underwhelmed with the place. Or maybe i expected going to a nicely landscaped and decorated place but instead a saw a quite shabby place with stacked up monobloc chairs. I learned that they just wrapped up an event thus the disarray. And there's supposedly buffet lunches and dinners during weekends and we went there on a wrong timing, oh well, next time perhaps.
And it is always nice to cap a great meal with a variety of desserts like the one offered in Nothing But Desserts in Smallville. This could be any sweet tooth's heaven on earth, pastries, cakes and gelatos of different varieties, and they have flavored coffees for your caffeine fix too. ;)
Anyway, I'm leaving you here with a photo of this bunch of kids i chanced upon outside Molo Church, i asked one of them to take my photo and they gladly posed for me in return. I'm tagging this to one of them via facebook.
Viva, Iloilo! I shall be back!