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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.