Thursday, October 31, 2013

Iloilo Food Escape: The Original La Paz Batchoy and Old School Coffee

Iloilo holds a special place in my travel heart. My very first festival experience in Iloilo was fun and I always look forward in visiting the city everytime I get the chance. Ilonggos are one of the nicest people I’ve met. Just this last time at the airport; I asked an Ilongga on the Antique-bound vans in the city and instead of just pointing it to me, she came with me to the terminal and instructed the drivers to where I was going and made sure that I will be safely brought there. Just amazing.

And apparently this is a food post. Well apart from its people, food is also one of the highlights when you’re in Iloilo. It’s a different yummy experience everytime. 

Right after our fun Antique Heritage Tour adventures, the group went ahead to Iloilo City for a gastronomic treat before we part ways. First stop was the Al Dente Restaurant located at Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center. It’s one of the pioneer Italian restaurants in Iloilo City and is owned by celebrity chef Pauline Gorriceta Banusing.

The group feasted on a nice dinner especially prepared for our hungry souls. There’s salad, Margherita Pizza, Lengua, Callos, Backribs, Marinara Pasta, Mahi-Mahi fillet, Salpicao and some dessert. Whew!

very fresh and tasty salad
super yummy thin crust pizza
I finished 3 slices :)
Marinara pasta - just ok
scrumptious Callos
Lengua - I liked the sauce
Salpicao - very garlicky (me love it)
Backribs - the mashed potato was the bomb!
nice dessert
The next day we went to La Paz Public Market for some happy food trip. Madge Café, an unassuming coffee shop in the middle of the market, was our first stop. They serve good old brewed coffee done in a very old school way. 

chitchat, chill or do nothing

At 25 pesos, you’d get a very nice cup of hot coffee concocted in front of you. What’s nice about this café is that they have a wall (and some dividers) which holds some of the personalized mugs of their loyal customers. I could just imagine how a local would go there early in the morning, get his own mug (with his name imprinted on it) on the cupboard, order some nice coffee and read the newspapers or just do nothing; a very slow paced yet sleek way to start the morning.

where's my mug?

The brewed coffee is accompanied with muscovado sugar to add a unique bittersweet taste to it. They also serve iced coffees (25 pesos) and some snacks. But I must say that the coffee here is the star of the café. Plus the old school feel of the place. Such a nice find.

concocted right in front of you

muscovado love

We also tried the Ube Brazo de Mercedes (27 pesos/slice) from the La Paz Bakery and they all loved it. They said that the right amount of sweetness complimented the bittersweet taste of the coffee. I tried a bite and that’s it. I was ok with it. That’s me and my not-so-sweet-tooth.

ube madness
A few blocks from the café is the Netong’s Original La Paz Batchoy. Netong’s version of Iloilo’s batchoy is said to be the original one so me and my buddies tried it.

I ordered the smallest one (Special Batchoy – 55 pesos) and I got a bowl of steaming hot batchoy. It was the perfect size for me for I was planning to have some pandesal with it (but that didn’t happen for I finished the whole thing before realizing I wanted some bread with it). Ingredients like pork, liver, pork innards and marrow and crunchy chicharon were perfectly incorporated in the very tasty soup and noodles. A free refill of the soup is also a plus for this eatery. Divine!

kebs sa highblood!
So there, another Iloilo food escape from my latest trip to the place where the people go out of their way just to help. There's more foodie stuff for me to try next time and I will never get tired to indulge and pig out in Iloilo. Ano nga ulit 'yung diet?

Check Iloilo accommodations here


  1. natakama ako sa batchoy na yan ang galing ni ate parang bar tender lang hehehe nice....

    1. ang galing di ba manong? for 25 bucks lang yan! :)

  2. Kailangan na talaga namin magbook pa-Iloilo!!! Kagutom!! Ano nga ba ang diet? :D

  3. I wasn't able to try both when I went to Iloilo. :( Must go back!

    1. kami nga din michy eh. parang bitin pa sa foodtrip :)

  4. hay namiss ko ang iloilo, sarap ng lapaz batchoy.

  5. I saw the word "linaga" on the menu list and wondered if it refers to the same thing we called "nilaga" in Tagalog.

    1. hmm... good observation bert. baka nga yun na yun! :)

  6. the best yung netong's batchoy compared sa deco at ted:) thank you for this post:) dito namin binased yung itenerary namin sa ilo ilo at guimaras:)

    1. yep. iba nga ang netong's. akala ko dati solb na ko sa deco's. hehe