Monday, April 30, 2012

Hyksos Tulahan at Bacolod's Old Pala-Pala

Unfortunately, Dampa-style dining is already something common for us who live here in Manila. And though something has to be said for seafood caught just hours before being cooked, all in all, it was not really a new dining experience for us.

Anyway, we bought some fish and had it cooked tinula-style (basically a fish-based soured soup)... which tasted like a cross between the Tagalog sinigang and tinola. Fish cooked this way usually doesn't have any vegetables (that we usually look for in broth-based fish viands) but had a myriad of things that add a delicate flavor to the broth (this tamarind-looking something, lemongrass, etc). Oh, it's just really so good and a must-try for everyone.

Since we're used to dining Dampa-style, we weren't anymore really wowed by the stalls and stalls of fresh seafood at the wet market. So, we kept our order to a minimum and just really tried the weird-looking crab they called curacha (but it's not the same as the curacha crabs in Zamboanga that are big and meaty). I'm not even sure if it's really a crab or more related to lobsters and crayfish.

there are many tulahan restaurants along this area at the old Pala-Pala but Hyksos seems to be the favorite of both locals and travellers... it's the only one that got packed with customers  

the wet market and original Pala-pala in Bacolod City

banana prawns :)  they have a really mild flavor...

as big a fish you want, you can get

weirdly enough, though we were there before the supper crowd, we still had to wait a really long time for our food

we asked them to include some of the shrimps we bought in the tula... something which might have confused the cook since this took the longest time to be served

the cooked curacha

... had very little meat, we were able to finish a kilo without filling stuffed

We also had calamares and spent around P1,300 for our meal (including the purchase of the seafood, the rice and softdrinks and cooking charge). We deeply regretted not ordering the scallops because we saw all the other tables feasting on these buttered scallops. If it was that popular, then it must really be good.

So, if ever you're in Bacolod and eager for some fresh seafood... just head out to Old Pala-Pala (or the new Pala-pala restaurant, but they say the old one is still better) and dine at Hyksos. It's obviously a  tried and tested restaurant... they even have this book filled with clippings and printouts of articles and reviews.

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