Bacolod City is a Negrense food lover’s playground. Restaurants sprout like mushroom along Lacson Street. When it comes to seafood, however, which usually doesn’t come cheap in well-known seafood areas in central Bacolod, people are resorting to two alternative seafood areas from opposite sides of Lacson Street—the Viewing Deck in Punta Taytay, at the south and the floating restaurants in Brgy. Balaring, Silay City, at the north.
Head on at Silay City's Restaurants at the North
Heading north of Silay City is Brgy. Balaring—known to tumandoks
(the locals) as the nearest go-to place when it comes to enjoying seafood dishes by the sea. One of its five restaurants is Edgewater Restaurant
, the youngest among the five floating restaurants in Brgy. Balaring, is owned by Alberto Delotavo who is also a hospital aide and barangay kagawad at the same time. Large tables covered in red cloth will welcome guests upon entering. Three cottages on the left side of the restaurant are also available for those who seek a different view and a not-so-secluded space for the company.
Photo from Edgewater Restaurant
As soon as the pork chop is served, its aroma invites one to try a slice which also didn’t disappoint. It has the right amount of juiciness which hits Filipino home cooking. A piece costs Php 50 ($ 1.09). The Tangigue Sinigang, on the other hand, overwhelms one in flavor. The appetizing Sizzling Sisig (Php 150/$ 3.26), meanwhile, is best served with an ice-cold beer.
Photos from Edgewater Restaurant
The five-year-old Edgewater Restaurant serves food as early as 15 minutes upon ordering. Other than the quick service—quick, considering that the dishes are cooked according to the customer’s liking—they, too, have a friendly and responsive staff.
On the other hand, Tama Plaza
, true to a seaside restaurant, has restful interiors and exteriors and a relaxing view of the sea. In operation for more than ten years, Tama Plaza has served celebrities including Jinggoy Estrada, Kakai, Valerie Concepcion, and Sheryl Cruz, and dancers Luningning and Milagring, from the now defunct TV show Wowowee. At Php 10 ($ .22), you can get a serving of rice while at Php 50 ($ 1.09), you can get a slice of pork. If you want to try talaba
(oysters), which is mostly caught from the area, a bowl costs Php 60 ($ 1.30).
Photos from Tama Plaza Restaurant
Viands are available at Php 150 ($ 3.26) such as Sizzling Sisig (Filipino dish typically made up of pig’s head and liver, seasoned with some spices and often topped with egg) Sizzling Tanigue (Spanish Mackerel, also locally called Tanguegue/Tanguigue), a choice of Stuffed, Adobo (Filipino dish which mainly involves marinating of meat/seafood/vegetables in garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar; usually cooked until browned in oil) or Sizzling Squid, Tilapia Gata (fish cooked with coconut milk/gata), a choice of Sizzling or Grilled Boneless Bangus, Squid Ring, Kinilaw (Filipino Ceviche), and AlimusangGata.
Picking out bestsellers Sizzling Squid, Kinilaw, Sinigang, and Gambas, a shrimp in garlic dish which originated in Spain can already make a good run for your Php 1,000 ($ 22). Sinigang, on the other hand, can be a choice of Tanigue, Alimusan, or Lison.
How to get to Tama Plaza:
Tama Plaza and Edgewater restaurants, two of the five floating restaurants in Brgy. Balaring, Silay City, are 30 minutes to an hour-ride from Bacolod City via private vehicle. From Silay City Public Market, where tricycles with route going to Brgy. Balaring is, Tama Plaza and Edgewater Restaurant are 20-30 minutes away. Fare costs Php 20-30 ($ .43-.65) per passenger.
Edgewater Restaurant – +63 34 4761949, +63 34 7141281, +63 9173028651
Tama Plaza Restaurant – +63 34 4951902; Opens as early as 7:00 AM and closes as late as 9:00 PM but may extend up to 10:00 PM for functions and events.
Take a Pick at Viewing Deck Restaurants at the South
Viewing Deck is 20 minutes, about 10 to 15 kilometers, away from Central Bacolod. It is the brainchild of former Barangay Captain of Punta Taytay, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office OIC Rufino Alcala and his constituents. Viewing Deck currently houses about 18 restaurants or “viewing decks”, with each deck bringing to mind the traditional nipa hut—only more open to showcase the view of the Punta Taytay shoreline and mangroves.
Viewing Deck 7
, also known as Five Angels Restogrill, has an area of 180 square meters that can seat up to 100 guests at a time. The almost three-year-old seaside restaurant prides itself with specialties including Sizzling Squid and Blue Marlin Sinigang. Smothered in cheese, butter, and garlic, Viewing Deck 7’s scallops won’t disappoint at Php 150 ($ 3.26) for 13 to15 pieces. Php 600 ($ 13.04) is already good for a filling meal for three. With that, one can have his or her choice of Sinigang, scallops, a bowl of oyster, drinks, and of course, the ultimate Asian staple food: rice.
Photo from Viewing Deck 7 Facebook page
Viewing Deck 7's Seafood Specialties (Photo from Viewing Deck 7 Facebook page)
Meanwhile, fish, according to Chief Cook Norma Magbanua, are mostly handpicked from nearby markets. Oysters are mostly sourced from Sagay City and Hinigaran City.
On the other hand, Viewing Deck 4
, also known as Lory Seafood Eatery, boasts a dish called Mixed Seafood. It contains fish meat, crab, and mostly squid. The spiciness of the said dish has a kick that can satisfy those who love spicy food and can challenge those who do not like it as much. However, first-timers must be on the watch for crab’s shell. This eight-year-old establishment also serves Gingaw Sinigang, a local fish cooked in Sinigang style. Some first-timers say that this version of Sinigang is salty and the taste of Sinigang mix is evident in the taste.
Viewing Deck 4's Interior
Photos from Viewing Deck 4
How to get to Punta Taytay Viewing Deck:
Punta Taytay Viewing Deck, which is 10-15 kilometers away from central Bacolod City, can be reached via private vehicle in 30 minutes. Sum-ag-Punta Taytay jeepneys from Downtown/SM City Bacolod going south also pass by Punta Taytay Viewing Deck. Fare costs Php 12-15 ($ .28-.33) one way.
Punta Taytay Viewing Deck 7 – +63 34 4443566, +63 9333610424
Punta Taytay Viewing Deck 4 – +63 9232252751
If you fancy a sidetrip to the beach, the Viewing Decks are near Villarosa Beach and Villa Iska Beach. The choice is yours. Go for the greener, strawless path by not requesting single-use straw when drinking soft drinks or juice.
Generally, people go to these places because of the freshness of the food, affordability of the dishes served, and promise of an enchanting view, especially during sunset. If you seek for these attributes, too, try these restaurants or dare to try what you haven't read here, and share your experience with us.
* Prices are subject to change without prior notice
** $ 1 = Php 46