Text and photos by: Bombette G. Marin
Native chicken, duck and goat meat are a staple of most rural Iloilo cuisine especially on special occasions. They are served in many ways and the best place to try is in a roadside place run by a former agent from one of the biggest pharmaceutical company in the Philippines as a way to share his passion in eating. Very simple PAPISIK Restobar in Barangay Mali-ao, Pavia, Iloilo.
PAPISIK Restobar of Ariel Imperial precisely captures what local food is all about. He is not primarily concerned by the ambience of a restaurant. What he is primarily after for is good food that reflects the stated intentions of the owner. Opened in December 8 of 2016, PAPISIK perfectly cooked, honest food that used simplest yet the best ingredients reflect the soul of the cuisine of rural Iloilo.
The authentic rural Ilonggo cuisine offers a great variety of dishes specialties. Ilonggo food is distinctive due to the blended influences. As to the amount of meat, poultry, all parts of the animal are used in cooking including the skin, blood, and organs.
You might want to try a variety of local cuisine inspired from the ones served best in many towns all over Iloilo. Must-trys include the Papisik (Pina-upuang Native Chicken), Adobo nga Pato (duck), Adobo Native Chicken, Kinilaw nga Kanding (Ceviche Goat), Tinuom and Native Chicken Dinugu-an. Its spicy or plain Pork Sisig is another favourite.
The traditional Ilonggo cuisine is dramatically influenced by simple seasoning used in cooking the specific dishes, a habit which has become a tradition ever since. Of course, our local cuisine varies across the country, but one can invariably find adobo everywhere in its local menu. Therefore, it is no wonder that many rural favourites are represented by native chicken, duck or goat. This course has been around ever since. As a matter of fact, there are many ways of cooking them: one way for each day of the week, to put it that way.
The restaurant is made up of three open cottages, nipa hut inspired that can accommodate around 120 customers at the same time. You could not miss it as you drive up passing Aganan Bridge in Pavia on the way to central Iloilo. The wooden tables with medium-sized bamboo benches are placed not too close together. At the center of the cottage is the display area where customers can find out what is available from a tiny whiteboard menu that hangs on the kitchen counter table.
Many of the customers engage the owner in discussions about the food. In fact, most customers have commuted from neighboring Iloilo City to revisit the food. Many would unreservedly recommend this restaurant to all those who value food experiences.
PAPISIK Restobar opens daily from 8 a.m. till 10 p.m. It also accepts delivery with no charge for a minimum order of P700.00. All meals are served with unlimited rice. For more information, please contact the owner, Ariel Imperial at 09397778100.