This BGC Restaurant Makes It Easier to Have Classic Ilonggo Food

They'll make you say "Namit gid!"

Ilonggo Food Company
G/F Commercenter Building
4th Avenue corner 31st Street
Bonifacio Global City
Open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Monday to Saturday) and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Sunday)

PHOTO BY Patrick Martires

(SPOT.ph) While Bacolod City is known for lots of things (sugarcane plantations and Masskara Festival come to mind), the City of Smiles is also associated with good food. Home to chicken inasal and napoleones, Bacolod boasts a diverse cuisine that’s known as one of the tastiest you can find in the Philippines. But if a trip to Visayas isn't in your calendar, you can get a taste of what Bacolod has to offer right in Bonifacio Global City at Ilonggo Food Company.

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PHOTO BY Patrick Martires
PHOTO BY Patrick Martires
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Owned by Bacolod-born chef Rommel Hinlo, Ilonggo Food Company offers dishes he and his co-owners grew up with. “At Ilonggo Food Company, we want to stay classic,” says Chef Rommel. “One of our goals is to preserve the original recipes passed down to us by our grandmothers, mothers, and family members.”

PHOTO BY Patrick Martires
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PHOTO BY Patrick Martires
PHOTO BY Patrick Martires
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With a menu full of heirloom recipes, it makes sense that Ilonggo Food Company has the vibe of a modern Filipino home. Designed by architects Buji Libarnes and Nikki Dela Paz-Libarnes (who also own and designed Vessel in La Union) the space is filled with fixtures in light wood and plants that give it a welcoming atmosphere. Illustrations of Filipino food with cheeky puns and slogans decorate the bar—recycled from Chef Rommel’s old concept Canteen—adding a dash of color and a youthful feel.

The Kansi will satisfy your cravings for something sour, warm, and hearty.
PHOTO BY Patrick Martires
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Spicy coconut milk makes the kangkong extra exciting in the Porbidang Kangkong (P195).
PHOTO BY Patrick Martires

The menu is pretty extensive, full of Filipino dishes not just from Iloilo and Bacolod City but also from the rest of the Philippines. It’s best to start with Ilonggo classics that are hard to find well-executed in Manila: The Kansi (P385) has the strong, sour tang of batwan (straight from Chef Rommel’s farm in Victorias City, Negros Occidental) you look for in the hearty Ilonggo soup. The chunks of braised beef shank are larger than average, and they’re generous with the bone marrow, too. You’ll be reaching for rice—we recommend having the Chicharon Rice (P210) or garlic rice with liberal sprinklings of chicharon bits.

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Before that trip to Bacolod, the Chicken Inasal will satisfy your hankerings.
PHOTO BY Patrick Martires

Another Ilonggo dish that’s top-of-mind is Chicken Inasal (P295). Ilonggo Food Company’s version stays true to the traditional with a grilled chicken that has a wonderful smoky char and also bursts with an explosive mix of spicy-savory-sour. Don’t forget to have this with a mix of soy sauce and sinamak.

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Crispy pork knuckles make the Crispy Kare Kare extra indulgent.
PHOTO BY Patrick Martires
Evelyn's Sinigang is a family recipe that uses huge slices of watermelon for a sweet-sour broth.
PHOTO BY Patrick Martires
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Ilonggo Food Company also has other Filipino classics. Their Crispy Kare Kare (P495) is an extra sinful version of the dish with crispy, succulent pork knuckles in the traditional rich and nutty sauce. The Evelyn's Pork Sinigang (P390) is flavored with batwan and watermelon slices for a sweeter take on the sour soup.

Pro tip: While the pastries are not on the menu, every order of coffee gets you napoleones on the side.
PHOTO BY Patrick Martires
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Bacolod City is known as one of the Philippines’ top sugar producers, which is our fancy way of saying you shouldn’t leave Ilonggo Food Company without dessert. Their Leche Flan (P90) is especially sumptuous: Not too sweet, with the perfect, tender consistency, and a toasted-sugar flavor to round out the whole dessert.

A trip to Bacolod is worth adding to your bucket list—anyone who’s been to the city can attest to that. And a trip to Ilonggo Food Company would make you want to visit even more.

Photos by Patrick Martires

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