Tuesday, July 26, 2011

D’Original La Paz Batchoy Restaurant Review

When Jan and I descend into the murky depths of noodle soup cravings, we park our kids and go to Cagayan de Oro’s D’Original La Paz Batchoy, a restaurant that specializes in, you guessed it, noodle soup that’s called La Paz Batchoy.

The recipe originated from the district of La Paz in Iloilo, concocted in the late 1930s by Federico Guillergan, Sr. Interestingly, La Paz in Spanish, is said to translate to “peace” in English. One look at a bowl of batchoy, with its riotous mix of ingredients, and you would seriously doubt the fitness of its name. You’d have to actually taste it to appreciate the harmonious internal melody it creates in your belly.

D’Original has been around since 1974 and is, in my opinion, the only place worth dropping by in Cagayan de Oro if you want to either drown your sorrows or celebrate life in a hot bowl of tasty batchoy. Never mind that despite the place’s popularity among every snack loving Kagay-anon, it continues to sport a campy name and has essentially retained a similar atmosphere to what it had years ago.

They’ve probably repainted the walls a couple of times, extended the floor area and now the service crew wear bright red uniforms, but Jan, the true blue Kagay-anon, can attest that the small place has remained cramped and has been cooled by motor fans for the longest time so that loyal patrons still gallantly sweat over their bowls. D’Original must be serving something right if people continue to flock to an eatery that feels like a sauna on the hottest of days.

D’Original’s version packs a flavorful punch, for many reasons. There’s the pork liver, pork cracklings, broth, and egg. I suspect that the recipe might have also gotten a boost from good old MSG that every traditional Filipino cook can’t seem to live without.

I would imagine though that Iloilo’s original creation might even be more interesting to the taste buds. I’ve been told other ingredients that should go into the pot include shrimp, beef, intestines and other innards. Until Jan and I get to taste the real original batchoy though, we shall continue to sweat it out in D’Original.

The regular bowl goes for a cheap Php42 and it you want it with egg, you pay an extra Php7. You can also go for Special (Php50), Special with Egg (Php55), Super (Php60) and Super with Egg (Php65). There’s no difference in the core ingredients, just the sizes and if you’ve got a small appetite, be warned, the Supers are super big. You can pay extra if you want more garlic, cracklings and meat in your soup. Other dishes probably worth trying at D’Original include dinuguan, lomi, sotanghon and chopseuy.

D’Original La Paz Batchoy
Capistrano St., Cagayan de Oro

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