Sunday, February 13, 2011

Iloilo Flavors: BATCHOY!

When it comes to food, the city has its own several trademarks. One of these is the most famous of all: batchoy. Who doesn't link the city to the famous Lapaz Batchoy? 

Lapaz Batchoy

This rich concoction of  meat stock added with a generous amount of noodles, pork and beef meat, liver, vegetables, and garnished with onion leaves, chicharon, and hard-boiled egg would certainly leave your stomach full and yet craving for some more. The savory soup of the batchoy is what makes it stands out, so the tastier the soup is the more customers you will get...serving sizes ranges from super, extra, special, and in-betweens...and when you go around the city and its neighboring towns, you will see a number of little shops that sells batchoy...but two names have made it big and is now common to every household...

The most popular is Ted's Oldtimer LaPaz Batchoy. The founder of this great name that carries the pride of every Ilonggos is Ted Lepura. Although not the original inventor of batchoy, he reinvented the dish which would later put Iloilo City on the map. 

 photo from tedslapazbatchoy website

From humble beginnings of nipa and bamboo stall in La Paz Public Market in 1945, today the name and legacy still lives on, with branches all over the city and the country. Tourists and balikbayans certainly wants a taste of this great Ilonggo food, and their visit in the city would not be complete without batchoy inside the establishment's green-and-white motiff.

Ted's bihon batchoy

Robinson's Place Iloilo branch

The product has been featured in National TV programs like Korina Sanchez's Rated K. and i think what captured the tastebuds of the many to patronize Ted's Batchoy was the taste of its soup (the innovation of Ted) is much tastier and with garnishings that are generous in servings would certainly attract customers and make them come back for more. For a glimpse of their products and history, click here.

Gaisano City branch

Another common name when it comes to batchoy is Deco's Original LaPaz Batchoy. Founded in 1938 also in LaPaz Public Market, the young culinary entrepreneur Federico "Deco" Guillergan Sr. pioneered in concocting a noodle soup from meat  stock garnished with local herbs and spices which became an instant hit.

Deco's bihon batchoy

With its modern and classy brownish  interiors, Deco's has attracted a number of patrons. Their menu consists of the varied sizes and types of batchoy, and they also offer specialties like pre-war pandesal and pandesal ni Paa (from a local famous bakery in Jaro), and Manapla puto (which is from Manapla, Negros Occidental, one of the most noted towns for their style of puto). Free wi-fi access is available to those techie customers.

click here for the menu

So wherever you choose to eat batchoy, it doesn't matter. A lot of local batchoyan offers a great tasting experience of this soup. What's important is that you get to taste Ilonggo culture and heritage with a full stomach after. So enjoy your bowl and get a good taste of the city's history!

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