Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bacolod: 21 Restaurant Batchoy

21 Restaurant Batchoy: The Best Batchoy in Bacolod

21 Restaurant (or more locally known by it's old name as Bar 21), is a staple among both tourists to Bacolod City and locals alike. In my humble opinion, it serves some of the best batchoy in one of the most relaxing environments in the city. 

For those of you who don't know what batchoy is, let me explain what it is before you guys miss out anymore on this cholesterol-rific dish that many people in Bacolod claim to be a local delicacy.

When I had a visitor try this dish for the first time, my friend aptly dubbed it 'heart attack soup'. Imagine crunchy bits of chicharon generously scattered around a pipping hot and thick pork broth with bone marrow, egg, liver and chicken bits. Throw a handful of soft egg noodles in and sprinkle some green spring onions and you've got batchoy! Don't forget to add some soy sauce and pepper!

Batchoy is more or less synonymous to the Visayas region of the Philippines with Bacolod (Negros) and Iloilo (Panay) both hawking home cooked dishes that will whet any appetite. In Bacolod, the best batchoy for me can be found in 21 Restaurant along the main street called Lacson.


Restaurant 21 used to be called Bar 21 (and is still known by this name to the locals. Beats me why they changed the name.) It's called '21' because it's located on 21st Street corner Lacson Street. Although other people may argue that the true batchoy lies in some of the 'hole in the wall' places that dot Bacolod, I would have to say that to each his own. For me, I enjoy my batchoy in an environment that is relaxed although a bit more expensive than the dishes served at competing outlets.

Restaurant 21 can be called a tidy little bistro with glass doors looking out onto the main Lacson Street and a chic and hip interior that is both airconditioned and host to some pretty friendly and attentive waiters and waitresses. 


People usually bring tourists or guests here when they want them to be at ease and experience a taste of Bacolod at a higher level than most restaurants. But for people used to Manila prices, you will find that the prices at Restaurant 21 are more than reasonable.

For this bowl of Special Batchoy we paid a total of Php 95.00. Don't forget to order a side of buttered toast at Php 25.00 for four buttery slices. The price was very reasonable for the steaming bowl filled to the brim with broth, noodles, chicharon and what not. Since it was merienda time, we also ordered Toasted Ravioli (pictured below) which was quite good for around Php 120.00.

Toasted Ravioli makes for an interesting appetizer at Php 120.00


As I've said earlier, the batchoy here is really good. It's the broth that actually makes the dish so good because it is very thick and flavorful. You might get a little head rush afterwards because of the arterial clogging (lol). What I like about this dish is that they somehow manage to keep their chicharon nice and crispy no matter how long you've let those delectable little pork skin bits swim in the soup. The liver bits and chicken strips also make for additional texture and flavor.

If we are to believe what most oldies say, they state that batchoy is actually originated as a poor man's dish because it was mostly made from food refuse (liver, chicken leftovers, pig skin for the chicharon and some recipes even have pig brain and such). But in my opinion, the only reason why we would call this a poor man's dish is because I pity the poor man who would get a heart attack after sating his hunger on this deliciously sinful dish that Bacolod is known for.

So the next time you're around Bacolod and it starts to rain, go on and trot down to 21 Restaurant for some hearty heart attack soup.

Special Batchoy (Php 95.00) with a side of buttered toast (Php 25.00) makes for a filling merienda snack.

21 Restaurant Contact Details:

  • Address: 21st Lacson Street, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
  • Address Notes: Located smack dab in the center of Bacolod on Lacson street, you cannot miss 21 Restaurant. It is located near Cafe Bob's and Inaka. It is also fairly near the only Caltex station on Lacson Street.
  • Telephone Number: (034) 4334096
  • Fax Number: (034) 4353852
  • Website:
  • E-mail Address:
  • Operating Hours: 11 AM to 11 PM, Monday to Sunday.
  • Parking: Street parking. 


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