Whenever relatives, friends and associates come over to Iloilo, their visit will never be complete without batchoy. After all, Iloilo is synonymous with batchoy.
The late Philippine food and culture guru, Doreen Fernandez, wrote a very thorough essay on batchoy. I’ll post it here sometime.
Batchoy is basically a sweet meat broth with fresh noodles (miki) topped with slices of pork meat and innards, fried chopped garlic, spring onions (sibuyas dahon) and crushed pork cracklings (chicharon).
Ted’s batchoy is the most popular, having had a headstart in marketing it upstream. (They have branches in Manila already..but haven’t tried them there).
Lately though, Deco’s is challenging Ted’s supremacy. What used to be a typical batchoyan at La Paz Market, Deco’s has been given a sleek image by the owners of Mang Inasal.
Ted’s and Deco’s are not the only batchoy places in Iloilo. Batchoy is everywhere. I should say batchoy is the soup of the Ilonggo public. Before Ted’s and Deco’s became cozy and airconditioned, these two were rugged batchoyans inside the La Paz Public Market catering to marketgoers and market vendors alike. That’s why, the marketplace or tienda is the place to go for a batchoy adventure.
So far (I haven’t tried that many yet) the batchoyan that I keep coming back to is found at the dry goods market in the town of Pototan. It’s called TAK’s, short cut for Takya…Eustaquia, its owner. The meat broth is not watered-down but heavy with real carabeef flavor.
Another batchoy, the one Inday Hami likes is found along Mandurriao Plaza. It’s called Ric Rugged’s Batchoy (that’s pix above) Fancy name, huh? It sure is rugged. No plush seats and tables. Inday Hami even likes climbing the 40 degree ladder/stairs? to eat her twenty peso tasty batchoy at Ric Rugged’s “balcony.”
Now, I’m really hungry. It’s 1:15 p.m. already. I think you know what I just craved for. Till the next post.
P.S. If you know of a great batchoyan, tell us about it at iloveiloilo, ok?