It seems fate has allowed that I’d be seeing Bob’s Makati again for another important occasion. Ms. Christine Sicangco – Gonzaga, from the family who brought us Bob’s in Bacólod, has arranged for us a dinner sampler for the Skyscrapercity Bacólod forum members and Negros Bloggers. I was also able to invite Jillian Bantang of The Food Scout and Bernie Arelláno of HabagatCentral.com to grace the occasion. Skycrapercity Bacólod’s Jamie Baloyo and I were greeted by Negros Blogger Lloyd Tronco by the door with a table set for ten people.
This is my second time to eat at Bob’s Makati but this restaurant never fails to amaze me for retaining the authentic Bacóleño feel to the restaurant. Nature meets contemporary is what it looks like, typical of restaurants in Bacólod. The staff are very much courteous and remembered me still from my last visit while not to mention, they’re Negrénse too. After a little bit of conversation over career, Negros and blogging while waiting for others, we decided to sit down. Soon enough, people in the guestlist began to stream in. We decided to have our order served and first came Pancit Molo.
Pancit Molo has been one of the Ilonggo treats I always look forward to eat whenever I am in Bacólod or Iloilo. As the name suggest, this soup was developed in Molo in what was then known as the Chinese District of Iloilo. I asked Bernie on the matter since he is from Iloilo and where in Molo could I eat Pancit Molo, he said that the best Pancit Molo is served in Ilonggo homes and not much on restaurants. Unlike batchoy that is served fast in stalls in La Paz, the recipe for Pancit Molo is more of a family heirloom that is a closely guarded secret. One thing’s just common with all the variants though, the soft wanton, soft flat noodles. Bob’s Pancit Molo meanwhile is just right in taste with the pork wanton firm but characteristically soft too. I did taste a bit of shrimp in the soup and I guess this follows one recipe where shrimp heads are cooked with the broth.
While we were enjoying the Pancit Molo, our sampler of Family Wagon selections like calamares, barbecue chicken, mashed potato and baby back ribs was served. Oh well, so much for our soup course. While the other side of the table got their sampler, we also got our sampler of the Fiesta Tray.
Jillian was very happy when she saw Chicken Inasal among the roasted treats in the Fiesta Tray. What not better experience it would be dining in a Bacoleño heritage restaurant than eat authentic chicken inasal, right? Aside from Chicken Inasal, the Fiesta Tray was actually a platter with grilled milkfish, grilled pork and garlic rice to top it all with a Negrénse variant of pinakbet as a side-dish. I couldn’t care less about everything in the platter but I was just so eager to eat Chicken Inasal again.
We also got our chance to savor the Family Wagon too. Seriously, who would imagine food placed in a bagon placed on the table. I love the baby back ribs so much. The meat is so tender though a bit chewy to might delight which means, it is cooked just right. I was not much interested with the chicken barbecue since I was more interested with the chicken inasal which I miss the most. The mashed potato placed inside a potato was a delight and the vegetable sidings break the monotone of meat. The baked beans are Jamie’s favorite while talking about his career plans much to the delight of Bea and the rest of the group.
Don’t forget to flush down all the tasty food with fruit punch. Remember the juicy description in my last blog? Yes, still the same goodness with the same fruity delights like watermelon, pineapple, coconut meat and ubod for the crunch. I will never get bored drinking and feasting on their fruit punch.
Every dinner, especially Negrénse ones, ought to have a dessert and that’s where we do best. This equally sinful to the calories chocolate fudge cake sure excites me being a chocolate lover. The mocha filling in the middle breaks the “too sweet” taste and provides a simple respite from the rest of chocolate taste. Of course, we also had the classic chocolate cake that’s equally tasty.
This reminds me of how I used to love eating chocolate cakes from Pastry Shop of Bob’s. I still love their chocolate cakes and sure want not just a slice but a whole cake! My stomach only warrants me some space for all these food! If you think those were the only dessert for the night, you’re wrong. Get ready for the Mango Pavlova!
Mango Pavlova looks very sweet but when you taste it, there are actually different flavors at play. There is the distinctive taste of mango but the fluffy cake is not too sweet at all! What gives the sweetness is the soft meringue which makes the pastry not your average, boring sweets. I noticed something on top which I thought was thinly sliced walnuts but to my surprise, they aren’t. They seem to be squash seeds with the seed separated from the shell. How ingenious could one get with pastry?
What better way to eat pastries than match it with an all time Negrénse favorite… coffee. Coffee is not exactly a tatak Negros as you can call it but coffee has been a part of Negrénse’s social life, may it be for your dessert or just spending time talking about everything under the sun. What is best with drinking coffee in a Bacoleño coffee shop is that there’s always a choice of muscovado sugar.
The choice of muscovado sugar is not simply on the taste but the health benefits it gives. I am glad that Bob’s gave my request of a second cup of coffee. This can be the best way to end your three course dinner while chatting with friends. Did anything change in how I see Bob’s after another week og going there? Yes, because I highly recommend it all the more. Unfortunately, they close shop on weekends maybe since they cater mainly to the regular employees of the area. I just hope though that they venture into opening a branch in a mall for people to have a taste of Bacolod with family on a weekend. Maybe they could also explore a possibility of having a Negrénse night on a Saturday evening for Negrénses who wish to talk and know one another. There are endless possibilities for this restaurant of many potentials but there is only one Hiligaynon I could describe it: Namit!