Friday, July 21, 2017

When in Bacolod: Aboy's

It was an endless eating spree for me last week when I tagged along R's business trip to Bacolod. I had zero expectations for this trip as I've never been to the City of Smiles. I was even worried that I might get bored as my research on things to do in Bacolod only says The Ruins, Negros Museum and Butterfly Museum. Food-wise, I just wanted to visit Calea. But my friends (and clients) were very excited for me. They gave me a long list of restaurants and highly recommended several dishes for me to try. And I must say, their excitement was contagious! I was so excited just staring at the list they gave me. And on my first day, I visited Aboy's. 
Hello, Aboy's.

This Filipino restaurant is one of the highly recommended establishments by my foodie friends and R's dealers. 

The spacious restaurant is divided into three areas-- al fresco, air-conditioned dining area and function rooms. We stayed at one of the function rooms but headed to the main dining hall to see the food display.
The main hall has a long counter displaying the different available dishes that day. Some of the dishes that caught my attention were the Squid Ink Fat (PHP185) and Pangat (PHP120), two of Aboy's bestsellers.
We decided to get those as well as Bicol Express (PHP140), Blue Marlin (PHP100/100 grams), Sizzling Scallops (PHP200), Steamed Tinum-am and Fish Sinigang (PHP400, medium). For drinks, I went with Sago't Gulaman (PHP40). We also got some Bibingka (PHP80) for dessert.
Most of our orders were served in less than 10 minutes as most of the dishes were already cooked and just needed to be plated.
I first sampled the Squid Ink Fat and drowned a quarter of my rice with the black chunky dish. And it was delicious! No wonder it's one of Aboy's bestsellers! 
I liked the contrast of sour and salty taste of it and the slight chewiness from the squid bits. Just thinking about this dish makes me drool. It may not be pretty to look at but it is a must order dish. 
The Bicol Express was surprisingly not spicy as long as you avoid the chopped chili. I loved the tender pork chunks and the flavorful coconut milk broth.
The Blue Marlin had a nice sweet taste though it was nothing spectacular.
R's colleagues kept raving about Aboy's Steamed Tinum-am or oyster mushrooms which was said to be only available at Aboy's. And it was pretty good. The delicate taste of mushrooms and its slight chewy texture was addicting. I think I ate half an order which was meant to be split to four.
The Sizzling Scallops were fresh and rich in butter. But just like the blue marlin, it wasn't anything extraordinary.
Pangat or Aboy's version of laing was one of my favorites as well. This vegetable dish had a lovely rich coconut milk taste. It would have been better though if it had a bit of spice.
The Fish Sinigang had a generous serving of fresh fish though the broth needed to be a bit tangier. (Note: I am biased here as I love sour dishes. And by sour, I mean Cry Baby level sour.)
While waiting for dessert, I finished my glass of Sago't Gulaman. I liked that it was not overly sweet and that it had a lot of jelly and tapioca balls.
Before our dessert was served, we were each given a cup of tarragon tea, a complimentary drink from Aboy's to help us wash down the food we ate.
R's dealer told me that Aboy's bibingka is one of the best in Bacolod. Sadly, I was not impressed by it as I love my bibingka topped with salted egg. Though Aboy's version was fluffy and buttery, I still prefer the ones Manila offers.

Overall, it was a pleasant dining experience. Food was good and service was spectacular. Not a single server failed to greet us when we pass by and everyone was smiling. Indeed, Bacolod is the City of Smiles.

Aboy's is located at Singcang, Liroville Subdivision, Bacolod, Negros Occidental. It is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.. For inquiries or reservations, contact them at +63 34 435 0760.

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