BACOLOD: COMFORT FOOD

Has the rainy season started? I doesn’t matter… whether it’s the changing of seasons or just summer rain, the respite from the heat of the past months is more than welcomed.  And there’s nothing like a steaming bowl of batchoy to comfort one’s soul during the rain filled afternoons.  What’s in this Ilonggo noodle dish anyway?Photo0328

A delicious Batchoy starts with a large pot of broth made from beef shanks (bone in and the MARROW) and pork bones as well as the pork meat, liver and intestines… though only the bones are left to be boiled for hours or even the entire day… and the secret ingredient —  guinamos (bagoong or shrimp paste) added to the broth.  Sadly, for those who are health conscious, a tiny bit of MSG is added as well.  Any Ilonggo will tell you that without MSG, the broth will taste like the real thing.  To assemble the Batchoy, a bowl cooked miki (egg noodles) is topped with chopped pork, liver and intestines.  Then a generous amount of crushed chicharon, chopped scallions and fried garlic.  The broth is then poured piping hot before it is served.  If you order the super special batchoy, bone marrow is added.  You can also have raw egg on it, which will eventually cook in the hot soup.Photo0326Photo0329

My mom and I are getting our batchoy fix from Super Batchoy House located along Locsin Street in Bacolod City, beside the Central Market.  We got there some time late in the morning… though it was too early for lunch either.  There were just enough people seated to fill the place.  The air conditioning wasn’t much help but the place wasn’t too hot either since it rained early that morning.  This was like the Batchoy place of my childhood.  The Batchoy “chef” assembled his masterpieces behind semi-glass counter and everyone could hear him snipping away the noodles, meat and innards with his very sharp scissors.  They have a very  straight forward menu posted on the wall consisting of Ordinary, Special and Super Special Batchoy.  Yes! there’s nothing else on the menu except for bread or puto that goes along with your Batchoy.  I wanted to order the Super Special but they’ve ran out of marrow… so we ended ordering two Special Batchoy, a bottle of Coke and fresh baked bread, which cost us around Php180.00.  Not bad!

Super Batchoy Hoouse have made hundreds and thousands of bowls of Batchoy that fed hungry folks and curious foodies alike.  After thirty years, they’re still doing what they do best… serving one of the best Batchoy in Bacolod.

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