Sunday, 27 April 2014

Restaurant Review: El Ideal Bakery (Silay City, Negros Occidental)

El Ideal Bakery - old of the country's oldest bakeries

An array of pastries
El Ideal Bakery (pronounced as “el idjal”), established in 1920 by the late Cesar Lacson Locsin, is one of the country’s oldest bakeries.  It is noted for its delicious and reasonably priced biscuits, cookies and pastries. 

These include bicho-bicho (a local delicacy made of sticky rice flour, smothered with melted brown sugar and sesame seed), piping hot piaya (a flat pastry filled with muscovado jam and sprinkled with sesame seed), moringa oatmeal cookies, pandan cuchinta with cheese, barquillos (thin hand-rolled wafers, comes in 2 and 8 layer rolls), ube puto, panara and empanada. 
Guapple pie - an El Ideal best seller
El Ideal's own bread products
Though it has undergone minor modifications (airconditioning, new kitchen equipment and newer, more durable chairs and tables were installed), it still retains its pre-World War II brick oven. 

The façade of the house, one of the city’s 29 heritage houses declared as such by the National Historical Commission, also remains the same, giving it a touch of old worldly charm. 
It has name for itself with its famous and not-so-sweet guapple (guava-apple) pie, its recipe created in the 1980s during the sugar crisis in Negros when sugar became too expensive for the pastries to be sold at reasonable prices.  Guava was therefore used as an alternative.  Another popular item is the dulce gatas, Silay City’s version of the pastillas, made with carabao milk and sugar. 
The dining area
Aside from its bakery products (which makes a visit to Silay complete), it also serves halo-halo, tasty batchoy, pancit malabon, fresh lumpia ubod (made of fresh young coconut trunk sauteed in pork, shrimps and hard boiled egg, and wrapped with a flavorful garlic sauce), spaghetti, chorizo recado pudpud (topped with an egg), double deck ham and chicken sandwich topped with melted cheese, spare ribs with rice and achara, among others. 

El Ideal Bakery: Cesar Lacson-Locsin Ancestral House, 118 Rizal St. (near Silay’s Public Plaza), Silay City, Negros Occidental. Tel: (034) 495-4430.

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