Bacolod City is not only known as the "City of Smiles" but also as the place where the yummiest roasted chicken can be tasted. Such is the fame of the Chicken Inasal that an entire food joint is dedicated to it. When in Bacolod City, your eyes will feast on a wide array of Chicken Inasal restaurant choices only at Manokan Country.
Straight from our mid-morning flight from Manila, we landed at the Bacolod-Silay airport and was brought to Manokan Country by Pao, my niece's boyfriend who unselfishly took the day off just to pick us up. My boy craved for authentic chicken inasal and his Kuya Pao suggested we have lunch at Aida's.
Chicken Inasal is not like any ordinary roasted chicken. It's not even close to how we cook it here in Manila. Its earthy and smoky taste is brought about by the ingredients used for its marinade: ginger, garlic, brown sugar, cane vinegar, rock salt, and calamansi juice. Customers are asked whether they would want the paa (drumstick), the pecho (breast), pakpak (wings) or the pecho-pak (breast and wings). Their prices range from 50 to 80 pesos, if my memory serves me right.
Three condiments were laid on our table when the inasal was served. We mixed soy sauce with spiced cane vinegar to make a dipping sauce. Meanwhile, we slathered our steamed rice with the orange-colored chicken oil which became the perfect companion of our yummy, hot of the grill, Chicken Inasal. Once everything was ready and our hands clean, we started to eat it using only our hands. It's the customary way of eating Chicken Inasal here. They'll find you funny if you ask for utensils, haha!
Since it was our first day in Bacolod and our first time in Manokan Country, we did not limit our tummies to Chicken Inasal. An old lady who sat by the carinderia's entrance offered us a plate of talaba(oysters) for only 35 pesos.
Manokan Country is a no frills place. Don't expect an airconditioned restaurant with elegant tables and chairs. It's more like eating in a neighborhood canteen or turo-turo if you know what I mean. Yet, the yummy food and the entire eating experience is authentic which will make you want to come back for more.
We stayed in Negros Occidental for almost a week and visited my husband's relatives who were staying in outside Bacolod City. But as soon as we came back to Bacolod City, we went back to Manokan Country to try another restaurant in this chicken inasal haven. We settled on eating at Nene Rose II. We found the Chicken Inasal better at Nene Rose II. It was tastier that what we had when we ate at Aida's. Plus they had more to offer aside from just chicken pieces and talaba. There was also Inihaw na Bangus (Grilled Milkfish) aside from the baticolon (grilled chicken gizzards) and puwit (chicken butt).
Manokan Country is in Rizal Street, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. It's just a few meters away from SM City Bacolod and the town's public plaza. You can conveniently ride a traysikad (pedicab) and ask the driver to bring you there, ride a cab, or ride a jeep to SM and walk a few meters to reach the place.
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