Saturday, April 2, 2011

Guilty Pleasures: Bacolod's Delightful Food

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The City of Smiles, Bacolod, is also a city of delightful and decadent  food.  My friends and I enjoyed some of the best food that this beautiful city has to offer during our weekend visit.

My food buddies and I asked our wonderful Negrense friends about the best foods in Bacolod and the best places to savor these gastronomic treats . It was quite a long list of recommendations! Here are some of the guilty pleasures we have tried during our food trip:

1. NAPOLEONES: Bacolod's version of  the French pastry, Millle-feuille (Napoleon), is a layered puff pastry filled with custard cream and glazed with white sugar on top. Most stores in Bacolod offer square-shaped Napoleones while a few serve it in rectangular shape. Napoleones can be bought per piece or by the dozen.   

Our friends recommended Pendy's, Virgie's, Roli's, and Quan Delicacies to enjoy this local treat. We were told to make sure to buy our Napoleones in the morning since stores usually run out of stock in the afternoon. Apparently, a lot of people buy Napoleones as pasalubong  or present from a trip. 

We first tried the Napoleones at Roli's Snack Bar since we were told it was one of the most popular. It had a crisp puff and a just-right-amount of sweetness.
A piece of Napoleones from Roli's 

The next Napoleones we tried was from Quan Delicacies. We went to their branch inside Robinson's Mall. Their Napoleones was a joy to eat since it was twice bigger than Roli's. The  custard seemed to have a bit of syrup  (couldn't figure out what it was though) thus making the pastry more filling and delectable.

We also savored the Napoleones at Pendy's, an upscale family restaurant. The Napoleones from their pasalubong center was truly divine. The puff was crispy and light while the custard was sumptuous.  It was smaller than Roli's and Quan's Napoleones though so we opted to buy Quan's as pasalubong instead.  We skipped Virgie's since we learned it also has a branch in Manila.

2.  HALF MOON  Aside from taking our lunch at Pendy's, we made sure to try their popular half moon. We were glad we ordered it together with our lunch since by the time one of our friends joined us, Pendy's already ran out of this sinful and creamy custard cake.

Yummy half moon at Pendy's 
We assumed it was called a half moon because of its yellow color and shape. With its sweet taste and super moist chiffon, it isn't surprising that it's one of the favorite treats of locals and visitors alike. To rephrase what a colleague said, "You haven't really been to Bacolod unless you've tried Pendy's Half Moon."

3.   CALEA'S CAKES.   We went to the Calea's cake shop at Lacson St., beside L' Fisher Hotel. Like Pendy's, Calea's is a household name in Bacolod because of their enticing and extensive selection of cakes and pastries at reasonable prices.

The lady at the counter said that among their best-sellers was the Chocolate Cake. We thus decided to try their Chocolate Moist Cake which had  dark chocolate icing  and a surprise custard filling. The taste reminded us of Ms. Polly's Chocolate Cake which  had a rich, moist and melt-in-the mouth goodness.
One of Calea's best-seller: Chocolate Moist Cake

My personal favorite, however, was Calea's Chocolate Mousse Cake which had thick chocolate frosting and layers of mocha and peanut butter filling.   It was definitely one satisfying treat!

Chocolate overload with Calea's Chocolate Mousse Cake

4.  MOLO.  We were told to head to 21 Restaurant  for the best molo and batchoy  in Bacolod.  Initially, it did not make sense to us since 21 seemed like a fine dining restaurant with exorbitant prices. We were in for a surprise when we saw their menu, their dishes were very affordable. Their  food was likewise superb.

21's  Molo was amazing: the clear broth was savory and wasn't too oily. The wontons were meaty and bursting with flavor. They definitely didn't scrimp on the ingredients!

5. BATCHOY.  Of course, we made sure to try 21's Original Batchoy. It had firm noodles and a  rich, flavorful broth. It had generous toppings of crushed pork cracklings and spring onions which were truly exciting to the senses.  The strips of pork and meat were tender; and the liver, bone marrow, and egg in the mix made the Batchoy tastier.

21's comfort foods: Molo and Batchoy

It's no wonder that the Bacolod is the City of Smiles: there's a lot  of good, hearty food to smile about.



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