But unlike before, I enjoyed Iloilo's tastiest dish the different way - a comparative way, actually. For this food trip, I went around the city eating three of the most well-known La Paz Batchoy noodles. I was in Iloilo for four days, so as not to get myself so overwhelmed with this Iloilo's goodness, I just had one La Batchoy noodle a day.
On my first day, as soon as I landed, I first went to Ted's Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy, which is located at SM City Iloilo. If you are commuting around town or if you are coming from the airport via shuttle services, Ted's is really a good starter to stuff your tummy with Iloilo goodness.
Like the other La Paz Batchoy stores, Ted's Oldtimer La Paz batchoys are offered in different filling level. There's the Special, Super Special and Extra Special. I always get the Extra Special - first, since I'm always after the best kind, and second, since the price is really affordable.
Ted's Extra Special La Paz Batchoy - Php70.00
What I like about Ted's Oldtimer La Paz Batchoy is its "just right" flavor. Among the three La Paz Batchoy dishes that I tried, I personally find Ted's version the safest and easy to get along with. Not that I find the the other versions off but, commercially speaking, Ted' has the potential to be loved all over the country and maybe all over the world. And yes, Ted's La Paz Batchoy goes well with a pan de sal, I think.
My second La Paz Batchoy stop is located right at the very heart of La Paz, Iloilo. Inside La Paz Public Market nestles probably the most favorite of a lot of people - well, base from the blogs that I've read - the Netong's Original Special La Paz Batchoy.
Netong's Extra Batchoy - Php80.00
If you are looking for that authentic and cook right-before-your-eyes La Paz Batchoy, Netong's is indeed the place to be. Though finding this place may be a little challenge, Netong's is quite popular in the vicinity and Ilonggo's are natural charmer so you won't really have a hard time finding the place.
Anyway, as for the flavor, Netong's version of the famous La Paz Batchoy is the tastiest that I've had. Each flavor gives that wonderful experience that will make you feel at home here in Iloilo. And since I loved it so much, I asked for another serving - yes, ANOTHER SERVING - and since a different person prepared my noodles, I think the flavor changed. The second serving that I had was a bit salty compared on the first one, so I asked for an order of "puto" or rice cake to match with it, and it was good again, though more filling.
There's only one Netong's and it is inside the La Paz Public Market. And if you'll ask me if it's worth the visit, I'd definitely say yes! Just be sure that you have a tummy ready to eat a lot, okay?
The last but not the least La Paz Batchoy store that I visited, this one was right before I head to the airport, is Deco's Original La Paz Batchoy. If you think that Ted's is almost everywhere in Iloilo, well, look around because Deco's is there competing commercially too. In fact both stores have reached Metro Manila, so if you wanna try the La Paz Batchoys of both store, you really don't to go this far.
Deco's Extra Batchoy - Php77.00
But again, since I'm on a mission of finding that perfect La Paz Batchoy, I had my first-ever Deco's Original La Paz Batchoy in Iloilo, specifically along the famous and lovely Calle Real.
I find Deco's version of La Paz Batchoy the mildest one when it comes to taste and the heaviest one when it come to filling my tummy. Maybe their bowl is bigger that the two stores that's why it gave me so much weight, but nonetheless, I find their version enjoyable too.
Deco's has also teh most decent looking store compared to the two, so if you are kinda meticulous as to your surrounding, having Iloilo's pride in Deco's is the perfect place for you.
In conclusion, I'd say that the three La Paz Batchoy that I had on this mission were overwhelmingly good. The taste may be almost the same, but each has still a unique way of making it their own. And without further ado, the best La Paz Batchoy for me on this trip is Netong's!
Until next time, Iloilo! I can't wait to discover you more!
Happy eating, everyone!