There’s a debate on who actually started batchoy in Iloilo City with three contenders vying for the title: Netong’s, Deco’s or Ted’s. But for me, its no contest, Netong’s Batchoy has long conquered my taste buds and as much as possible, whenever I am in this city, I always have breakfast here.
The savory soup of hours long simmered buto-buto, a combination of pork and beef bones, the fresh miki (egg noodles), sahog of innards, bone marrow, crushed chicharon (pork rind), scallions, crushed fried garlic and freshly cracked egg is heaven. It’s a great snack or meal and locals. While Deco’s offer pre-war style pandesal, Netong’s have just plain puto, white rice cakes wrapped in threes with banana leaves.
A bowl of steaming batchoy is not only flavorful, it’s delicious, hot and filling. A serving comes in special, super special and extra special with the difference only in the bowl sizes. I usually settle for the super special. Fresh egg is optional and you can order, for free, extra soup or crushed chicharon.
The restaurant has been transformed into an airconditioned eatery with a well designed and bright interiors. Two walls are painted with a bright mural with one section various newspaper and magazine clippings where the restaurant has been featured as well as photographs of celebrities who have dined here.
Other than the batchoy, they also have other meat dishes, of which the pata (leg) and linaga (stewed beef) are quite popular. Mornings, there’s breakfast of hotdog and eggs and a tray of spaghetti.
GETTING THERE: It can be a challenge, at first, finding this specific restaurant. But what I do is this, once you get to the main entrance of the La Paz market, a beautiful late art deco structure, turn left, then turn right at the corner. As you pass by Madge Cafe, another Iloilo institution, look for a small alley with a shallow canal at the right. Follow that and you’ll then see the restaurant to your left once you get at the intersection.
Netongâ€™s Original Special La Paz Batchoy
La Paz Public Market
Luna cor. Huervana st.,
La Paz, Iloilo City
+63 033 396 9449, +63 33 396 2189
Open Hours: 7:00am â€“ 7:00pm