Camiña Balay nga Bato (Iloilo)

May 03, 2018 Phantasm Darkstar 0 Comment(s)

Traveling to Iloilo City has brought us to this ancestral house which serves one of the best traditionally-prepared hot chocolate in the country, known as "Tsokolate de Batirol."

Upon entering the house, we were given a warm welcome by one of the owners (Ms. Luth Camiña) and she gave us a tour before having lunch. The interiors are amazing as well as the collections inside. You will see antiques, artworks, fine wooden furniture, and more--this house is rich in culture and class. For a house that is more than 150 years old, it is well-maintained, and the owners still live in this place.  Camiña Balay nga Bato is located at 20 Osmeña Street, Arevalo, Iloilo City, Philippines.

Next up, my favorite part: buffet. They offer lunch and dinner buffet which feature their local gourmet food. You just need to make a reservation at least a day in advance. 

Dining at Camiña Balay nga Bato will make you feel like a noble. As this house belonged to the upper-class. The dining area showcases exquisite tableware. With golden bells, if you need to request something from the server, and Sinamak or the famous Ilonggo spiced vinegar on the side.

Here are some of the dishes that you can find:

Saging at Tsokolate. Fried banana with melted tablea dip.

Fried Shrimp with Green Onions. Fresh shrimp cooked just right.

Pancit na Walang Sahog. I'm surprised that this tastes great--even without the sahog.

Grilled Bangus. Another fresh catch which makes it extra good.

Ternate Rice. Check it out, guys, it's blue! It's cooked with Blue Ternate of Butterfly Pea which has a lot of health benefits.

Kalo-Kalo Kalkag Rice (KKK). Fried rice with small shrimp.

Adobo Rice. 

Pork Binuog. Grilled pork.

Hinanggop Salad with Anchovy Fries. A good contrast between the sour taste of the vinegar of the hinanggop and the salty anchovies.

Winged Bean Balagay. The vegetables all looked fresh but I skipped eating healthy on this day and went for the meat and seafood.

Stir-Fry Baby Spinach.

Embotido de Arevalo.

Malabar Nightshade. 

Bitter Gourd/Ampalaya Salad. 

Cucumber and Calamansi Juice. Homemade and very refreshing. 

Pancit Molo. One of Iloilo's famous delicacy is the Pancit Molo. Being Filipino-Chinese, dumpling soups aren't new to me. This Pancit Molo or Filipino Pork Dumpling Soup, however, has its own unique delicious taste. The soup is rich in flavor and is quite viscous. The term pancit for this dish, though, is confusing since I was expecting noodles in it. 

The dishes taste good and I had a good dining experience here. 

Last is my favorite part, having the tsokolate de batirol which they call, Tsokolate eh. This hot chocolate is made from melted tablea. There is also a way to drink it. The way of the elite: hold the cup with your pinky finger raised. Yep, I'm now an elitist. Lmao. 

Trivia: During the Spanish regime, there were two types of hot chocolate that hosts can give you. The "tsokolate eh" (meaning thick and rich chocolate) and the "tsokolate ah" (meaning watered and thin chocolate). Being given the thick chocolate, it means that you are liked, while the watery means you are disliked. 

Camiña Balay nga Bato
20 Osmeña Street, Brgy. Sta. Felomina, Arevalo, Iloilo City, Philippines
Disclaimer and full disclosure: My trip to Iloilo City for the Dinagyang Festival was sponsored by AirAsia and the Department of Tourism (Region VI). 

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