Friday, May 11, 2012

Quick Bites: Chinky's Batchoy

My notes on my Bacolod food trip have been long delayed. But now that my cravings for delicious Negrense dishes keep pawing at me like a restless puppy, I suddenly have the sense of urgency to write about it. It’s like therapy I suppose. Whether it will help me get over these yearnings or actually worsen them, we’ll find out soon enough.

 The object of my desire as of late is Batchoy (originally from La Paz, Ilo-ilo)- that steaming bowl of noodles in chicken broth, topped with pork organs, cracklings, scallions and- for the “special” version- a raw egg. The aroma and dense richness of the broth is a full-on attack on the senses, making this one of my favorite soup dishes of all time. Therefore, when I went on my first trip to Bacolod a month ago with Matt and our host Marky V., I knew I just had to try their batchoy, thinking that its proximity to La Paz definitely gives their versions an edge over the Manila variety.

 Yes, I did try 21’s batchoy. Unfortunately, no, I did not particularly like it. It could have been an off day for them, wherein their kitchen churned out a product that was both lacking in taste and presentation. But, instead of wallowing in disappointment, I just shrugged my shoulders and trudged on to the next exciting meal.

 Fast forward to the day of our departure, wherein we found ourselves in a fast food joint called Chinky’s. My husband- the little pervert that he sometimes is- thought it would be a clever play on words to say that he has “eaten at Chinky’s”. Since we had time to spare before lunch, Marky and I decided to indulge his juvenile request and stopped at the fast food joint at the ground floor of a low-rise building. The menu board offered little variety, so we zeroed in on my favorite bowl of noodles.

 When our food came, we were pleasantly surprised by the presentation- firm noodles soaked in glistening hot soup, topped with big chunks of chicharon and a fresh-looking egg with a beautiful, bright-orange yolk. The flavors were spot-on, just how I imagine good batchoy would be. We polish off our bowls in no time, happy, yet stunned by our discovery.

 Don’t be fooled by the fast food set-up and odd menu- Chinky’s has really good batchoy.

Po Hang Bldg. 
Gonzaga cor. Gatuslao Sts. 
Bacolod City 
Tel. no. (034) 7080620

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