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Budget Eats

  • Byrons Backribs Bacolod - Mea in Bacolod
    Byrons Backribs Bacolod: A Family Favorite
    Posted in: Budget Eats, Where and What to Eat

    What You Need To Know About Byrons Backribs Bacolod


    Here in Bacolod, we have plenty of homegrown favorites that we simply cannot get enough of. I have my own list of favorite dishes that includes Chicken Inasal, a slew of bbq-ed innards, and backribs. It’s easy to get the inasal and bbq-ed innards because there’s practically one “sulugbahan” (where you can buy grilled deliciousness) at every corner of the street. But, when it comes to backribs, my husband would always suggest Byrons Backribs Bacolod.

    Byrons Backribs Bacolod


    Byrons Bacolod is located at Block 8, Stork Street, Homesite, Barangay Montevista. For locals, it’s easy to get to because it has been at the same location ever since. But, for travelers or visitors of Bacolod, it’s best to take a taxi or a GrabCar to get to the place. It’s not far as it is only within the city, and jeepneys (homesite, I think) actually pass the restaurant.


    The set-up is casual dining at an open-air restaurant. There’s plenty of seating, and you won’t feel like you’ve been cramped into a small space. The tables and benches are sparsely placed. I’m guessing that Byron’s was meant for big groups; just look at the tables and long benches.


    Definitely, their specialty is the Backribs. You can get it in spicy or regular. Personally, I always go for the spicy version because it gives a bit of a kick to every bite. Serving-wise, I think it is enough for two people. I can’t finish one serving by myself.

    Other Dishes

    Although backribs is their specialty, Byrons also serves other grilled, sizzling, or soup dishes. They have pork barbecue, linaga, sizzling sisig, and bangus, to name a few.

    They have a reasonable variety on their menu, so customers can choose other viands just in case they’re not up for backribs. Aside from full meals, they also serve a few snack items. Despite the variety, backribs is still the most popular dish on the menu – people almost always order backribs and rice.


    The price for all of their dishes is reasonable. I like that they have budget meals that are affordable enough for students. They also have unlimited rice options just in case you want to indulge. We usually order the backribs which cost about P165.00 (seen on the photo). I think we had the unlimited rice option added. We always get extra sauce and you should too.

    By the way, you should take note that there were three of us sharing and eating the two backribs we ordered – me, my husband, and my son.

    Why I Love Byrons Backribs Bacolod

    Disclaimer: I was given free meals for this post but I and my family visit Byrons
    from time to time because their ribs are truly delightful.

    1. The Price

    The price for the meals is actually very reasonable. One order of backribs can be shared by two people. Just order an extra plate of rice plus sauce, and you and your companion will be full and contented.

    2. The Place

    When I reached 30 years old (I am 31 as I am writing this), I began to prefer places that are quieter and not too crowded. Every time I and my family would go, we would always have a peaceful dinner – a plus in any tita’s book.

    Other Information

    Just in case you can’t visit the main branch which is at Homesite, Byrons Backribs (or Byron’s Backribs Grille) also has branches in the following locations:

    • CEBU – 2nd Floor Verandah, Robonsions Galleria Cebu. Facebook Page Here
    • Across Bob’s Cafe at the Homegrown Compound
    • SM City Bacolod, Foodcourt

    For Byrons Backribs Homesite, it’s important to take note that they sometimes run out of backribs so it’s best to contact their number on their Facebook Page. You can refer to the list below for the information you need:

    • Opening Hours: Always Open (based on their Facebook Page)
    • Contact Number: 0910 425 7472
    • Facebook Page Here

  • City Lunch Bacolod | Mea in Bacolod
    City Lunch Bacolod: My Favorite Siopao and Fresh Lumpia
    Posted in: Budget Eats, Where and What to Eat

    City Lunch Bacolod | Mea in Bacolod


    City Lunch Bacolod is not that popular compared to other restaurants or cafes in the city. I would like to think that this is one place that’s has been deemed “a local secret”. Of course, not all of the items on the menu are hits, but there are two that have really stood out even during my parents’ time.

    City Lunch Bacolod Serving Siopao And Fresh Lumpia Since Our Parents’ Time

    City Lunch Location

    City Lunch Bacolod is located at the Shopping area, along Narra Avenue. It’s on the same side of the street as the infamous Luisa’s Chicken. In this area, you will also see Sandok and Sharyn’s Cansi House.


    Those who have been to the restaurant know that the place is a bit shabby. I’m not sure about the exact year the resto started but what I know is that my mother and father have been buying the siopao and fresh lumpia City Lunch Bacolod serves when they were still young and working. That was approximately a few years before I was born. I am currently thirty years old (30 y.o.) so you can imagine that this place must have a lot of history.


    City Lunch - Chinese Food in Bacolod | Mea in Bacolod

    City Lunch serves lunch and snacks. I’m not too sure about dinner as I have never visited the place during night time. Some of their most popular food items, aside from my picks, are bihon, pancit, maki, lomi and kimlo. They also serve coffee.


    I think plenty of folks go here because of their prices. As you can see in the photo above, most of the meals are just P100. From personal experience, your P100 will get you a dish that’s not out of this world in terms of taste. However, the dishes are not bad at all. Some can actually compete with the menu items of other top restaurants in the city when talking about deliciousness. So, it’s a matter of taste quality and price.

    City Lunch Bacolod | Mea in Bacolod

    Why I Love City Lunch’s Siopao and Fresh Lumpia

    Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review. I purchased the food items with my own money.

    1. The Price

    As I said, nothing beats a reasonably decent dish with a reasonable price affixed to it. The special siopao is only P38.00 while the super special one is P70.00. The fresh lumpia only costs P30.00. Eating here, definitely, won’t break your bank and wallet.

    2. The Siopao Sauce

    When you order the siopao, it’s going to come with a special sauce. Putting the sauce on your steamed bun will make it more flavorful. It’s probably a matter of taste, but in my opinion, the sauce is delicious. The siopao alone is delicious, but the sauce adds an extra umph.

    Other Information

    • They do have a contact number: (034) 707-2406.
    • I double checked. I don’t think that they have a Facebook page yet.
    • Reserve your siopao and fresh lumpia early because they usually run out at around Filipino snack time which is maybe 3pm-4pm.
  • Manokan Country Chicken Inasal from Bacolod | Mea in Bacolod
    First-Timers Guide To Eating Chicken Inasal at Manokan Country
    Posted in: Budget Eats, Where and What to Eat


    The Manokan Country near SM City Bacolod has been serving the infamous Bacolod chicken inasal for, I don’t know how many, years. It’s been there ever since I was young, and, as far as I can remember, I and my family have spent numerous weekend dinners there.

    Manokan Country in Bacolod City | Mea in Bacolod

    The Manokan Country is not a place for you to wine and dine but it’s always packed.

    After all those dinners, you would think that my family would be fed up with the inasal there by now, but no. We keep coming back for more and, apparently, the rest of the world keeps coming back for more inasal as well.

    Eat Bacolod Chicken Inasal at Manokan Country

    Because of it’s age and the consistency of the taste of the Bacolod chicken inasal served, the Manokan Country has become a part of every visitor’s Places to Eat in Bacolod list. But, here’s the thing. If it’s your first-time visiting the Manokan Country, you’ll have a whole array of restaurants to choose from. The place isn’t called “country” for nothing. There’s, probably, more than ten places that serve Bacolod chicken inasal.

    How To Choose Where To Eat

    I recommend going to places that you’ve already heard of. We have always gone to Aida’s. When I was younger, I clearly remember my mom knowing most of the old staff’s names. There’s also Nena’s, I think there’s Nena’s I and II. I don’t remember eating at any other place at the Manokan Country.

    How To Eat Bacolod Chicken Inasal

    Eating inasal (barbecue) is a no-brainer but there’s a way Bacolodnons eat chicken inasal that makes the experience a little more enjoyable. Here’s how you can do it:

    1. Sawsawan Perfection

    Sawsawan means sauce in our local dialect. I’m sure that there are more types of sawsawan for Bacolod chicken inasal, but I have always stuck with just two: original and sinamak combo. I made up the names of the sauces, of course.

    To me, there are two types of sawsawan: original and sinamak combo.

    As soon as you are seated, the waitress will give you small dishes for the sauces, plus calamansi and chili peppers. Your sinamak (a special concoction of vinegar and other ingredients) and soy sauce will be on your table. To make the original sawsawan, combine calamansi, soysauce, sinamak, and chili peppers (crushed; optional) into your small dish. The sinamak combo, on the other hand, is a combination of sinamak, calamansi, and chili peppers (crushed; optional).

    2. Talaba – Your Opening Act

    Talaba is a popular appetizer at the Manokan Country.

    You’ll have to wait while your Bacolod chicken inasal is being grilled. While you wait, order an appetizer – talaba (oysters). We’ve always ordered talaba before we dig into the rice and inasal.

    3. Prepare Your Rice

    Don’t be stingy with your chicken oil.

    No, I don’t mean that you need to cook your rice yourself. As soon as your rice is served, prep it with chicken oil and salt. I don’t know about those who have eaten chicken inasal before, but Bacolodnons are generous when it comes to pouring chicken oil on rice. My husband sprinkles a little bit of salt on his rice after he pours the oil.

    4. Small Gulps

    Take small gulps of your drink to make more room for your inasal.

    You’re going to want to enjoy more of your chicken inasal so make sure you don’t drink as much coke or water. Make room for the inasal you’ve been dying to eat.

    5. Hands-on Experience

    Always use your hands.

    There is no other way to eat Bacolod chicken inasal – you have to use your hands. You can use a spoon and a fork too, but it’s tradition. The sinks you will see at the restaurant are specifically for handwashing before and after you eat your Bacolod chicken inasal.

    Please be reminded that the Manokan country isn’t a place where you can dine and wine. It’s more informal and Bacolodnons like it that way. So, next time you visit my city, go to the Manokan Country and enjoy our inasal the way we do.

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  • Netong's Original La Paz Batchoy in Iloilo | Mea in Bacolod
    Netong’s Original La Paz Batchoy in Iloilo
    Posted in: Budget Eats, DIY Iloilo 2017 - Where to go

    Question: where can you taste the most authentic La Paz Batchoy? The answer is La Paz, Iloilo, of course. The Filipino noodle dish originated from this district, after all. Last May, when I and my friends went to Iloilo on a day trip, we had to include “eating original La Paz batchoy at the La Paz public marketplace” on our must-do list.

    Netongs Original La Paz Batchoy with the Gang - Iloilo

    L-R: JM, Myzha, Melchi, Mea at Netong’s Original La Paz Batchoy

    Tasting batchoy at the La Paz public marketplace is kind of a pre-requisite when you visit Iloilo for the first time or if you haven’t visited the City of Love in a while. In a way, it’s a delightful cultural experience all on its own. It’s like eating chicken inasal when you go to Bacolod.

    Netong’s Original Special La Paz Batchoy

    One place seems to resonate from everyone’s lips when talking about batchoy and La Paz – Netong’s Original Special La Paz Batchoy. That’s exactly where we headed to. From the pier, we took a taxi to La Paz. I think the original Deco’s, also well-known for their batchoy, is located in the same area but on the outside of the public market. For you to get to Netong’s, you have to go inside.

    Netongs La Paz Batchoy Iloilo - Finding Netong's

    Best Way to Get to Netong’s

    I am not very good with directions so I can’t really remember which direction we turned to get to Netong’s. What I recommend is to, simply, ask a vendor. That’s the fastest way for you to get to the small eatery. Everyone is familiar with the place because, from my guess, it’s been there for quite some time and almost all the vendors most likely know how popular Netong’s is among visitors of Iloilo.

    What to Order at Netong’s Original La Paz Batchoy?

    When you get to Netong’s, I highly recommend that you eat the Mega Bowl plus the puto. You can never go wrong with batchoy and puto. The prices are very reasonable so if you want to order more, go ahead and try other items on the menu.

    At that time, I wasn’t very hungry so instead of the Mega Bowl, I had the extra special bowl (picture below).  I paired it with Mt. Dew which totaled to P115.00. That’s not bad I would say, but here are a few drawbacks:

    • Don’t expect the place to be fancy.
    • I don’t think that they have a restroom in the eatery so you’re going to have to use the restroom in the public market.
    • Don’t expect the place to be 100% clean.

    Netong's Original La Paz Batchoy in Iloilo | Mea in Bacolod


    I heard that there was another Netong’s at a place called Atria. I’m guessing it’s a mall or food park. I have not been there, but, to me, it’s more authentic if you experience batchoy where it originated from despite the drawbacks. Overall, the trip to Netong’s was a success. If you must use the restroom, you can cross the street to JD’s bakeshop, buy something from them (affordable biscuits or bread), then use the restroom there. I’ll link up all the reviews I did from our Iloilo trip so stay tuned for that. Don’t forget to visit Mea in Bacolod on Facebook!

  • Highlands Vietnamese Coffee in Bacolod | Mea in Bacolod
    Most Affordable Vietnamese Coffee in Bacolod City?
    Posted in: Budget Eats

    Vietnamese coffee on ice is one of my favorite coffee drinks. Here in Bacolod City, we have about three places that serve this coffee drink. One of them is Highlands Coffee, located inside City Mall Mandalagan. This is going to be a short post, but I just felt the need to mention the Vietnamese Iced Coffee Highlands Coffee serves because it only costs P59.00.

    Phin Vietnamese Coffee

    Highlands Coffee Bacolod City - City Mall Mandalagan | Mea in Bacolod

    Phin Vietnamese Coffee is what Highlands Coffee named their drink. According to the official website, this coffee drink is the perfect blend of well-roasted Arabica and Robusta coffee beans (grown in Vietnam). As you may have known, this small stand or shop is not homegrown, but, homegrown or not, they show potential.

    Highlands Coffee Prices

    The prices aren’t bad too! I mentioned the Phin Vietnamese Coffee being P59.00. I think this one’s the biggest. There’s a smaller one for P39.00. Yes, it’s not a typo – it’s really P39.00. They also have other drinks that I am eyeing:

    Highlands Coffee Freeze Coffee Drink | Mea in Bacolod

    (Photo was taken from Highlands Coffee website.)


    Each of the drinks on the photo above costs, I think, P79.00, which is not bad if you compare it to other similar drinks in franchise coffee shops in the city. This really gets me thinking – the Vietnamese sure do know what they’re doing when it comes to coffee.

    FYI, I just love their price point and Vietnamese coffee so much that I am posting this on my blog. This is not sponsored in case you were wondering. So, if you ever drop by City Mall Mandalagan, make sure to go inside the food court and enjoy yourself a nice cup of iced Vietnamese coffee from this coffee stand.

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  • Baby Back Ribs in Bacolod City
    The Ribshack: Serving Grilled Goodness in Bacolod City
    Posted in: Budget Eats, Where and What to Eat

    Bacolodnons love anything grilled! Grilled baby back ribs smothered in barbecue sauce, grilled fish, grilled chicken, grilled pork – you name it and a Bacolodnon will eat it! People usually go to different places to grill different kinds of meat. But now that Ribshack is open at SM City Bacolod’s South Wing, people can now enjoy different kinds of grilled meat in one roof.

    Ribshack is Open & Now Grilling

    Baby Back Ribs Place Interior

    Ribshack’s interior.

    With the interior looking professional, sleek and minimalist, it’s hard to believe that this place is homegrown. It really is, though. Most places in the city with baby back ribs are homegrown, I think. A lot of people probably mistake this place as a franchise business. But, nope. The Ribshack is #local.

    Ribshack Interior | Restroom Behind Red Door

    A Bit of Back Story

    Ribshack started about 4 years ago. The owners, Delman Alagao and, wife Yani Alagao started at Terra Plaza back in 2012. They, then, tried out food kiosks for a few years.

    Ribshack Owners

    Delman Alagao and Yani Alagao, Ribshack’s Hands-on Owners

    They eventually opened their first branch at the 888 China Town Premier Mall. You’ll find this Ribshack branch at the mall’s food court. People always line up for their ribs and other grilled items because they are affordable and delicious.

    Ribshack’s Menu & Price Range

    Ribshack Menu - Check out the Baby Back Ribs

    When you visit the Ribshack’s SM branch, you’ll find a menu stand outside where the Ribshack’s grilled specialties are listed. I would say that the price is mid-range, good enough despite the restaurant being inside a mall.

    Ribshack's Inside Menu

    If you go inside, you’ll see the same menu overhead the cashier, but with the add-ons and the drinks.

    Ribshack’s Food in Pictures

    Disclaimer: Please remember that the servings on actual orders will be different from the pictures below.

    1. Jumbo Squid – Highly Recommended

    Not Bbay Back Ribs but Jumbo Squid

    One of my favorite types of seafood is squid! I can eat squid all day and that’s why I am recommending this grilled version on a stick.

    2. Spareribs – Recommended

    Spare Ribs from the Ribshack

    If baby back ribs are not on the menu, the next best thing is spareribs. Try Ribshack’s spareribs – it’s a student and family favorite.

    3. Grilled Chicken


    Everyone loves grilled chicken in Bacolod so it makes sense that a grilling place has this Bacolod signature food.

    4.  Grilled Bangus

    Grilled Bangus

    This menu item was specifically made for individuals who do not eat chicken meat or pork for health reasons. Another fish alternative is the Blue Marlin which I couldn’t take a picture of. It is sold by grams, fyi.

    5. Pork BBQ

    Pork BBQ from Ribshack

    Aside from our legendary chicken inasal, another grilled delicacy that I think Bacolod seems to be cooking rather well is the pork BBQ. Ribshack’s pork BBQ is a bit on the sweet side. It reminded me of Lola’s BBQ found at the back of LLC.

    6. Kebabs – Highly Recommended

    Ribshack Kebabs

    I love kebabs. You may think that it’s similar to the pork BBQ but the flavor and the texture of the meat are totally different. The sauce also gives it that extra “oomph” so don’t forget to order this one too.

    7. Where’s the Back Ribs?

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to salvage my photos of the mouth-watering baby back ribs (or just back ribs). This is a must try because, well, take the hint from the name.

    Visit the Ribshack Today

    All of the recipes are family secrets, and, if you noticed, the Ribshack makes sure that they have different kinds of meat on their menu. Like I said, it’s anything grilled under one roof. You’ll surely enjoy a dinner or lunch with your family here.

    Ribshack SM City Bacolod South Wing

    • Website
    • ribshackgrillbacolod@gmail.com
    • Contact nos:
      • +63 9324736639 (SM South Wing)
      • +63 9258649741 (888 Premier Mall)
    • LIKE Ribshack on FACEBOOK
  • Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod
    CAFE: Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod
    Posted in: Budget Eats, Where and What to Eat

    First of all, this isn’t just another cafe post because this cafe is special. I say ‘special’ because this cafe has a unique concept that I have not see done in any other cafe in Bacolod. Let me introduce you to: Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod. The cafe is owned and managed by 3 young men who are very creative and approachable: Jae, Big and Echo.

    Disclaimer: I and a few other bloggers were invited to sample their food and their coffee. This, however, has not altered my perception and opinion of the cafe in any way.


    Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod is located at the second floor of the LaSalle Courtyard. It’s important for you to know that the cafe doesn’t really look like a cafe from the outside. It’s not even visible if you’re standing downstairs, at the center of the courtyard. But, go upstairs and then go right. It’s right above Saddam’s Shawarma.


    At First Glance

    Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod - From the outside

    At first glance, you’ll see a seemingly small cafe with a little bit of seating. But, as soon as you enter the hole on the wall, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to some place else.


    The Hole is an Entrance

    Inside Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod

    The hole on the wall is actually an entrance to the actual cafe. When I entered, I instantly got why they called the cafe a lifestyle lounge. There was more seating, a couple of shelves with plenty of books and activity boards on them, toys, a gaming area and black walls that you are free to write on.

    Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod - Cover

    Again, you cannot see this from the outside. All that you’re going to see is the small cafe with a hole on the wall. The floor was made to look like grass which makes the place even more interesting.

    Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod - 13


    The Menu

    Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod Menu

    Did I take a test? No. It’s Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod’s menu – believe it or not. It’s meant to look like a test paper, but you don’t need to study in order to fill this up. You just need to be hungry. You’ll be given a pen. What you need to do is go through the test paper menu and check what you want to order.

    Great news: The Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod is very student-friendly, not only with the atmosphere, but also with their menu prices. Most items are below P100. In fact, the most expensive item on the menu is probably P100 (without any add ons).


    What do you order at Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod?

    You can order plenty, but here are the food items on the menu that I got to taste:

    1. Brownie ala Mode

    Menu - Brownie Ala Mode

    Swivel calls it: Deez Nut(ty) Brownies Topped with Vanilla Ice Cream

    Yes, there’s a brownie buried under the ice cream somewhere. If you have a sweet tooth, you will like this one with all of your heart.


    2. Bacon Mushroom Melt – Highly Recommended

    Menu - Bacon Mushroom Melt

    Bacon Mushroom Melt P70

    It’s one of the cafe’s best sellers. I usually enjoy my sandwiches with a whole lotta chips. As evidence by the amount of chips on the photo, do you think I enjoyed this sandwich? H to the heck yeah! It’s not just the chips too. The sandwich tasted delicious.


    3. A.R.T-which – Highly Recommended

    Menu - Artwich Sandwich

    A.R.T-wich P80

    Have you ever tasted the flavor of apples, raspberry jam and tuna together? It’s different but this sandwich is one of my personal faves. I like the taste of sweet and savory together (like bacon and chocolate which I ate a lot of when I was preggers). If you read the menu carefully, the “chefff” (yes with 3 fs) created this original combination.


    4. Mugpie – Highly Recommended

    Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod - Mugpie

    Mugpie P80

    Wait is this a sandwich? Is it chips and dips only with bread? What is it? Those, too, were the questions running through my head as this plate was being placed in front of me. Believe it or not, it’s pizza. No that wasn’t a typo, it really is pizza. Well, more specifically it’s pizza sauce in a mug served with buttered toast.


    5. The Bannedwich – Recommended

    Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod - 11 - Bannedwich

    Bannedwich P100

    They wouldn’t tell us why this sandwich was banned. Maybe it ran away without paying the bill (*corniks). On a more serious note, this sandwich is layered meat over meat, topped with even more meat. Do you dare try it’s goodness? Now, I get why they call it the bannedwich.


    6. Swivel’s Coffee – Highly Recommended

    Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod - 7 - Swivel Coffee

    You all know how I feel about coffee. This special brew was made specifically for us – it’s not on the menu. But, you’ll find a lot of coffee choices with the names:

    • Sprakuccino – from P40-P60
    • Caramel Macchiato – from P50-P70
    • Caffe Mocha – from P50-P70
    • Caffe Latte – from P50-P70

    The prices differ according to how it is prepared – hot, iced or blended. You can also choose levels for your caffeine, sugar and milk. Level 1 the lowest and Level 3 the highest.


    7. The Legit S’mores


    Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod - 10 - The Legit Smores

    The Legit S’mores P40

    Of course they have smores and it costs ONLY P40.


    Gaming Area

    Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod - 12

    Did I mention that they have a gaming area? I do not know what console they have, but from the looks of the faces of the boys who were playing, it’s a console that you want to play with. I also want to mention that they have a small multimedia room where you and your friends can watch movies in.


    The Cherry on Top of the Icing

    Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod - 2

    So I already mentioned that they have several activities boards and cards that customers can freely get. The best one of all would be this: Cards Against Humanity – a game where you forget about your humanity for a couple of minutes. It’s prejudice, sacrilegious, sometimes evil, but it’s loads of fun – trust me.

    So the next time you feel like you have nothing to do or if you need a place where you can eat, have coffee and spend the afternoon in, go to Swivel Lifestyle Lounge Bacolod, located at the second floor of the La Salle courtyard (right on top of Saddam’s Shawarma).

  • Mekong: Tasting Vietnamese Street Food in Bacolod
    Posted in: Budget Eats, Where and What to Eat

    Mekong is a river in South East Asia that runs from the Tibetan Plateau through China’s Yunnan province, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Although it passes through many regions, people commonly associate it with Vietnam.

    In Bacolod City, we now have our own version of Mekong. It’s not really a body of water, but a street food stand that serves palatable Vietnamese food. And, it has an interesting back story.

    Ton and His Merry Men

    Vietnamese Street Food in Bacolod City

    Ton-Trong Ho, Proprietor of Mekong

    Ton Ho has been in the Bacolod City for years. Having seen the need for jobs, he put up this stand to continue helping the children who he has helped through outreach and charity works before. Well, they’re all grown up now and they’re the ones running this Vietnamese street food stand. They’re in charge of everything from the cooking, to purchasing ingredients, and even serving. Ton Ho says that running a business (their business, as he says) is a better use of their time and I agree 100%.

    It is businesses like this that I hope really make it and I’m not just saying this because of sympathy. The food is excellent! Ton Ho is a French chef who believes in the slow cooking process and in healthy eating. Through his teachings, he’s imparted this view to the team running the stand so you know that you get quality food, with interesting flavors, at an affordable price.

    Mekong’s Vietnamese Street Food Menu

    Speaking of quality food with interesting flavors, here are some dishes that you can look forward to tasting when you visit Mekong.

    1. Pot Stickers – Highly Recommended

    Mekong - Mea in Bacolod - Pot Stickers

    These pot stickers are pork dumplings that have have been steamed and then fried. They’re really delicious and flavorful.

    2. Papaya Salad – Highly Recommended

    Mekong's Papaya Salad - Vietnamese Street Food Stand Bacolod

    I’m a fan of salads and I’ve tried a couple in my lifetime. This, however, didn’t taste like the salads I’ve tasted before. It’s different, but refreshing. Just delicious!

    3. Phad Kee Mow Chicken & Shrimp – Recommended

    Mekong - Mea in Bacolod - Phad Ke Mow

    Phad kee mow is a flat rice noodle with vegetables and meat. The dish is of Chinese influence and was popularized by Chinese people living in Thailand and Laos. The meat can be chicken or shrimp in this dish.

    Mekong - Mea in Bacolod - 1

    4. Lad Na – Highly Recommended

    Mekong Vietnamese Street Food - Mea in Bacolod - Lad Na

    Lad Na is another stir fired dish on the Vietnamese street food stand menu. It has cabbage, chicken and other ingredients. I like this better than the Phad Kee Mow because of the crunchiness of the cabbage.

    5. Amok Chicken – Recommended

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    Amok is a Southeast-Asian dish that’s originally cooked in banana leaves. The taste of this dish is pretty interesting. I invite you to try its texture and flavor when you visit Mekong. I can’t really describe it through words, but it’s pretty tasty even if you have the most pinoy taste buds.

    6. Beef Curry with Rice – Highly Recommended

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    I love a good curry dish. There have already been a few in the city that caught my attention. The beef curry at Mekong is savory and flavorful, fantastic if you’re craving for a satisfying lunch.

    7. Grilled Chicken Lemongrass – Recommended

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    Grilled chicken is a no-brainer for most Bacolodnons because this is what the city is known for, among other things. This dish, however, is actually popular in Thai and Vietnamese cooking. Try this if you’re tired of the usual inasal.

    8. Vietnamese Coffee and Thai Iced Tea – Highly Recommedned

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    To wash down all of the food you’re going to order, you have a choice of beverages from Coke, iced tea, coffee and beer. Three Vietnamese coffees and one Thai Iced Tea were served. Y’all know how much I love coffee so the darkest one was given to me.

    8. Lao Sticky Rice and Mango – Highly Recommended

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    Although this sticky rice looks green and sweet, it actually tastes very similar to our version of sticky rice. This was served for dessert and yes, it’s still rice, but this variation and style of cooking is something that you need to try because it is interesting. It’s not too sweet too.

    Where is Mekong located?

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    Mekong is at the side of the Robinsons Triangle. It’s at the alley that’s beside Pan de Manila. You can’t see it from the outside, but you’ll never miss it when you go to where the tables are.

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    Nice to Know Facts About Mekong

    • The chicken and beef they serve is HALAL approved.
    • Their dishes are GLUTEN FREE.
    • The prices are affordable (below P100 for most).


    • Lopez Jaena, Triangle Island Plaza, 6100 Bacolod City, Philippines
    • 0909 865 9692
    • mekong.streetfoods.bacolod@gmail.com
    • http://www.mekongfresh.net

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  • Saddam’s Shawarma at Homegrown Bacolod
    Posted in: Budget Eats

    Saddam’s Shawarma, located at Homegrown Bacolod, serves all kinds of shawarma delights, from shawarma rice, to shawarma wraps, and, their most popular, shawarma fries. They invited me, along with some of the Negros Bloggers, over to taste some of the dishes they have. And, let me tell you, I don’t know what Saddam’s secret is, but their dishes  are definite must-tries (especially when you’re on a budget):

    1. Chicken Shawarma Rice

    Chicken Shawarma Rice Saddam's Shawarma

    2. Beef Shawarma Rice

    Beef Shawarma Rice Saddams Shawarma

    3. Beef Shawarma Wrap

    Shawarma Wrap - Beef - Saddams Shawarma

    4. Chicken Shawarma Wrap

    Shawarma Wrap - Chicken - Saddams Shawarma

    5. Saddam’s Shawarma Fries – I really like this!

    Shawarma Fries Saddams Shawarma

    Saddam sure is a good cook. All of these dishes are below P100 and they come in a ready-to-go box which is perfect if you don’t want to eat at Homegrown. I suggest that you do, though, because you’ll be dining al fresco style, in the midst of other local restaurants, under the stars. It’s a great experience, plus you can snap a photo with one of Homegrown’s art walls as the background. I’ll talk more about other restaurants you can see at Homegrown Bacolod so check back again soon!

  • CREM Shawarma NOW OPEN at Robinson’s Triangle
    Posted in: Budget Eats, Where and What to Eat

    If you or your kids are students at St John’s Institute (HuaMing) here in Bacolod, you may already know this lady who is mostly known as “Manang CREM” or “Mommy CREM”. Her real name is Malou, just in case you were wondering, and she’s just been blessed with a new stand that you can find at the Robinson’s Triangle Plaza. CREM Shawarma, your favorite palamahawan, is now accessible to people in the shopping and east area.

    Opening Hours: 10:30am until 3pm or 4pm

    For Lunch and Snacks


    From the front, you can’t clearly see where CREM Shawarma is, but if you move towards the Super Batchoy House and see a stand facing towards the tables, that’s it!

    Crem Shawarma at Robinsons Triangle

    Foods You Can Try

    Here are some dishes that CREM Shawarma serves at their Robinson’s Triangle stand:

    1. Shawarma Rice

    Crem Shawarma at Robinsons Triangle - 3

    2. Sisig

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    3. CREM Shawarma’s Nachos

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    4. Bomb!

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    These are great! I don’t know if you still need to put sauce on a bomb!, but it’s basically a ball of mashed potatoes. It’s as big as a golf ball, but it’s really packed.

    5. The CREM Shawarma Wrap

    Crem Shawarma at Robinsons Triangle - 7

    7. Siomai

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     8. Various Desserts

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    Both of these are really moist on the inside. When I was there, I was told that most students mistake the brownie for the one KFC sells.

    Interesting Information About CREM Shawarma

    Did you know that you can actually order in volume from Manang CREM? Not only do students, their parents and other patrons come here because of the great food and affordability, businesses like Security Bank also order in volume for events and parties. If you’re looking to order in volume, there might be other menus available so it’s best to ask from Manang CREM herself. Whether it be birthdays, team meetings, basketball games, or Christmas parties, contact manang CREM to see what she can do for you.

    So diin ka mamahaw today?

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    Contact number: 0908-715-4505
    CREM Shawarma Facebook Page
    Mea in Bacolod Facebook Page