Last October was just the second time I’d set foot in Bacolod. For the longest time ever and the first time I was there, I only knew it for Chicken House and Calea. This trip though, I got to explore a whole lot of what to eat in the city. I’d like to start with one of the best meals I had there at the Old Pala-Pala Market which is similar to what we know here in Manila as dampa.
Therese’s older brother, Peter, works and lives in Bacolod and he was nice enough to take us. It’s good to head here with someone who can actually speak Ilonggo so they don’t raise their prices. Like the dampa, you head out to the market area where all the fresh seafood is. The pricing here is exceptionally cheap. We ordered a ton of fresh scallops, blue marlin and squid all for less than Php 400.
We went over to Toto Tulahan and chose how we wanted our seafood cooked. Since there really was a lot of squid, we had half grilled and the other half fried into Calamares. The squid was really soft and tasted so clean. I can’t compare anything to fresh seafood, it’s just really great.
They left the scallops in their shells and baked them with butter and garlic. I really, really do enjoy scallops. These were particularly sweet, perfect actually. I rarely get the chance to eat this in Manila so I particularly enjoyed these tasty fat ones.
Sizzling Blue Marlin Steak with Garlic. This was an absolute winner, I wish we bought more. There was something about the sauce they used that I just had to keep getting. I mixed the lot of it with my rice actually, it was just bursting with flavor. I don’t know what it was exactly but it probably had soy sauce, sugar and butter.
Toto Tulahan charged us about Php 370 for having all of that cooked so at the end of the day, we spent a bit less than Php 800 for this amazing seafood meal. Having a meal at the pala-pala isn’t about the ambience, it strips the experience down to the basics, fresh seafood. I’d say budget ranges from Php 150-300 per person, depending on how much you guys eat.
The Original Pala Pala
San Juan Street
corner North Capitol Road,
Bacolod City, Bacolod,
How to get to the Bacolod Pala Pala:
Take the Banago-Libertad jeep for Php 8.
Or get down 6th Street or at the Capitol Lagoon and take a trisikad/tricycle for Php 20.
Say you want to go to the Old Pala-Pala.
(Don’t be fooled and dine in the more upscale pala-pala on 18th St. This here is the real deal.)