Bacolod Food Trip 2013

Posted by Ysabs on 7:11 PM in , , , , , , , , ,

By Ysabel P. Villaflor

Specialty Restaurants
1.       21
From the outside, 21 looked like a fine dining restaurant– with tall glass windows, drawn curtains, the wait staff in bowties and the Menu off its website lists American-French fare: wine and steaks.  

Imagine our surprise when we got there.  Not only is the place nice and the food awesome, the price was not as pricey as anticipated. In fact, it was reasonable! Our steaks for dinner didn’t cost more than Php350 each: Tenderloin for me, Pepper Steak for Che and Roast Beef for Ida. We spent the rest of the night having mature conversation with our Plantation Iced Tea and admiring the place.

21 is the place to bring someone on a date.  Good food, great ambiance and wonderful wait staff.

Plantation Iced Tea - 21's version of Iced Tea with Pineapple Juice.

Our friend Cookie recommended we try the Gambas! 

Yummy Pumpkin Soup 

My friend Ida ordered the Roast Beef with Mashed Potatoes and Caramelized Fried Onions 

My friend Che ordered the Chef's recommendation: Pepper Steak.

I ordered the Tenderloin Steak. Medium Rare, please! YUMMMY
2.       Pendy’s
A lot of the foodie blogs listed Pendy’s as one of the best restaurants to try in Bacolod. (One even mentioned Pendy’s as one of his 8 Best Restaurants in the Philippines)

Only a restaurant having longevity and following can have the cajunes (balls) to come up with a mishmash of Filipino, American, Japanese, Thai, Singaporean, Spanish for a menu.  For me, as long a restaurant can deliver on its promise to provide awesome food, that little indiscretion can be ignored.   

As you enter this establishment, you get that confident feeling of a restaurant who knows its own greatness. A pasalubong center welcomes you to the fore, and tables and chairs fashioned after garden chairs.  It was very charming.

To top it off, our waiter, knew what to order for us. We followed his lead and we were not disappointed. Everything we ordered was delicious.  From the Batchon (Batchoy with Lechon – Beef Noodles in Beef broth with Pork Crackling and Roasted Pig bits) to the Encrusted Snapper in some sort of Tao Si sauce, to the Korean Beef Stew and the famous Half Moon Cake. It was an unforgettable brunch.  We finished EVERYTHING.. and our waiter got a very nice tip.

The best time to go to Pendy's: after lunch! To avoid the crowd.


Someone's excited to try the Batchon! :) Yes, and the portions are good to share too!

My Batchon share. Sooooo goood!

Korean Beef Stew. One of Pendy's most popular dishes.

This Peanut Parmesan Encrusted Snapper in Special Brown Sauce with Cilantro and Bok Choy is amazing!

Half Moon Dessert - Pendy's Original  and most famous dessert.
Sponge Cake with Yema  (Butter, Sugar and Milk) Frosting. This little piece costs Php40 a pop!

This is sooo good. Brazo De Mercedes (Meringue Roll with Egg Custard filling)

And the final bill....

3.       Ruins Café
The Ruins is a well-known Bacolod landmark. However, little is known about the Café just across its lawn.

If you want a mellow, laid-back experience or in our case, a spot to wait until the sun sets to get that “glow” picture from the Ruins (or get a few drinks), the café is a unique choice. 

The Ruins is not just the draw to this place.  Thin crust pizzas and the locally brewed beer (which we bought from a vendor inside the Ruins) are just 2 of the things that can make the Ruins experience better.

View from the Cafe
Chorizo and Mozzarella Thin Crust Pizza - Php 280

The locally brewed Beer - Bogsbrew.
The tables and chairs laid out in the Ruins where any one could hang out and have their drinks or snacks.

4.       Aida’s Manukan Country
A trip to Bacolod wouldn’t be complete without trying out what it is known for.  Bacolod’s Chicken Inasal (Grilled Chicken) is salty with a bit of a sour note (courtesy of the sinamak marinade).  The mixture of Sinamak (Bacolod’s spiced vinegar), Calamansi (Philippine Lime) and Soy Sauce is the preferred dipping sauce which, in my opinion gives this Chicken its unique taste.

There are numerous hole-in-the-wall Inasal places in Bacolod but Aida’s In Manukan Country remains a favorite among locals and visitors alike. It is one of Esquire Magazine’s Best Restaurants in the Philippines in 2012. And we totally understand why. Aida’s is no fuss, affordable and delicious food in unpretentious surroundings.

Welcome to Aida's!

The Menu. Unpretentious, good food.

Ida's excited to eat! :)

Our order: Paa (Leg) Pakpak (wings) Inasal, Chorizo, Isol (Chicken Ass), Chicken Liver, and Pork Barbeque

the best match to inasal- Garlic Rice

5.       Bacolod Palapala on 18th Street
Palapala is Paluto-Style seafood restaurant:  the customer selects his raw seafood and then sends it to the cook with instructions on how he wants it cooked. 

I was curious when all the blogs which covered this place seem to feature the Scallops in Garlic and Butter.  And after trying it out, it deserves ANOTHER feature in this article. It was fresh, sweet, and absolutely yummy! It was sooo GOOD. ‘Nuff said.

Airy and wide.
These guys take your order.
Scallops and Talaba (Oysters)

Scallops in Garlic Butter Sauce! The BEST!!!

This Garlic and Butter Shrimp seem to be missing something...

Me and Che. See that soup? It's sinigang with Tanglad (Lemon grass) It's sooo good.

For the Sweet Tooth
6.       Calea
Almost everyone I asked who have been to Bacolod told me to go to Calea. So having high expectations couldn’t be helped.  Just what is it with this little bakeshop?

My question was then answered. And the result? We went to Calea every day. Every after dinner. If I could stop by every after meal, I would. It was the perfect ending to any day.  And yes, it ran away with my heart (in this case, my tummy).

This was my happy place in Bacolod. It had so much sweet goodness that it just can’t be contained in just one type of cake but in everything they had to offer. We had a different cake each time we were there.  I would run away with the chocolate syrup if I could but I had to contend with hand-carrying the Chocolate Cake with Yema Custard to Manila. If they had a way of shipping that Ice Cream Mud Pie, I’d gladly pay for the freight. Sigh.

Bacolod's Sweetest Pride: CALEA.
Everything looks and tastes good here!

The decors are quirky, feminine, shabby and chic.

The best part about Calea cakes? It's big enough to share. :)
DWith Cedelf and CheThanks Cedelf! :) And Congrats! (Yihee)
Day 1: After Dinner Delight: Top: Chocolate Pudding, Left: Chocolate Cake with Yema Custard, Right: Triple Berry Cheesecake
Triple Berry Cheesecake with Pineapple.
Chocolate Chocolate Cake with Yema Custard
Chocolate Pudding with Raisins and Chocolate Chips Ala Mode
Day 2 After dinner delight: Top Left: Chocolate Covered Muffins with Strawberry Jam, Top Right: Tiramisu Cheesecake, Bottom: Chocolate Mud Pie with Chocolate Frosting and Powedered Oreos and Shaved Almonds. 

We got so curious with this one that we ordered it.
It was Chocolate Muffin covered in Chocolate. With Strawberry Jam inside. Talk about. Chocolate overload..

This Tiramisu Cheesecake looks unassuming... that was our first mistake.  It is yummy!

My favorite Cake from Calea. The Chocolate Mudpie. Chocolate Ice Cream with Crushed Oreos and Shaved Almonds.  The best part? That Chocolate Frosting. I'd fly back to Bacolod just to try this one again.
Calea Hot Chocolate -- not too sweet. Surprisingly goes well with the cakes.
The best pasalubong? Calea cake.  They have ready-made brown boxes for those who want to bring a piece of Calea home.
7.       Felicia’s
A couple of my friends recommended this. Unlike Calea, which already has its own following, Felicia’s can be another option. 

My friend, Timothy De Belen, suggested we try the Banofee Pie: which sort of perplexed us for a moment since it didn’t look as we expected. It was a fluffy Caramel Crepe with stuffed with Cream and Bananas, sprinkled with Toffee on the sides. It was so yummy, it was the first one to go.

We ordered a plateful of Macarons.. And I would order the Chocolate ones in a heartbeat. It went down perfectly with my Lemon Tea.

I bought their Almond Thins as pasalubong – and they ran out as soon as I gave them to my siblings.

Quaint, intimate and sweet.

The Banoffee Pie - perplexed but good.

I love this hot Lemon Tea.
I'd order the Chocolate Macaron with my Lemon Tea please.

Sizing up Felicia's for our merienda (afternoon snack) then off to dinner!
This part of the shop becomes a steak place at night.


I don’t mind going back to Bacolod. I don’t mind just eating when I’m there. For sure, there are more places to discover :) Bacolod found it's way to my heart... and definitely my tummy.

Special Thanks to my foodie friends: 
Che Billones, 
Ida Torres, 
Cedelf Tupas, 
Cookie Caliao, Tim De Belen and Dianne Somera  
love, Ysabs


I'm so glad to see Pendy's on the list. I've loved that place since I was a kid. Lately though their prices have skyrocketed and we can't afford to go there like we used to.

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