The plane from Manila landed in Bacolod just before 10 am -- too early for lunch but just right for a quick bite before embarking on our "C" Bacolod tour. The last time I was there, I saw this restaurant called "Sir" in Silay -- I had asked Bambi Borromeo, our indefatigable and excellent tour guide if it would be a good place for a late breakfast so that became our first stop of the day.
The signboard "Sir" apparently also includes "Maam", a fact I missed the first time, since the font was decidedly smaller. We presumed that "Maam" must have taken umbrage at being left out of the billing since she probably also calls the shots in the kitchen.
"Sir" Restaurant is right along the highway from Bacolod to Silay and is across the very popular Sta. Teresita school. It looks like a converted family home and has a wide and welcoming expanse of lawn, a tiled walkway and lots of greenery.
It isn't air conditioned but it's fan cooled and because there are wide windows that open up to the outdoors, where there are lots of large shady trees, it's cool and comfortable inside.
There are simple monobloc chairs and tables for 6 and 8 -- which further attests that this is a place where large groups usually dine.
Dishes are laid out, turo turo style. You lift up the caldero covers and choose from what's available for that day.
Since we were in Negros after all, we had to have lumpiang ubod. Their version came unwrapped or hubad. It was very good, the ubod or heart of the coconut tree, was fresh and sweet. Lightly sauteed with small shrimps, it was one of the best I had ever had -- and I didn't miss the lumpia wrapper at all!
Bambi recommended that we try the pata with beans or a home cooked version of what has made Hunts quite famous -- pork and beans. Since I no longer eat meat, I was not able to enjoy the pata but my friends said it was delicious -- falling off the bone tender! The beans were soft but not mushy and the sauce had the right balance of sweet and sour tomato goodness.
They were selling packs of Manapla puto by the counter. This version was called puto margarine and it was margarine'y indeed! It was the perfect thing to sop up the sauce of the pata with beans with -- savory salty meets sourish sweet!
"Sir" in Silay was definitely a good opening salvo to the rest of what would be a very culinary week-end in Negros!