The sky looked heavy, the clouds about to burst. I was walking briskly along the sidewalks of Congressional Avenue, my mouth already watering. I was looking forward to a brimming plate of Tuguegarao’s Pancit Batil Patong but got something else entirely. The Pancit Batil Patong place in Muñoz was closed at the moment.
Down-spirited, I hurried back and crossed the street to the main avenue when my eye caught something, I looked again, unable to believe it; a small hole in the wall right across the highway is selling one of Puerto Princesa’s most popular noodle soup, Chao Long.
I’ve tried this dish, usually at Bona’s Chao Long, during the few time I’ve visited Palawan’s capital. While it isn’t really my favorite, I decided to check this place and see if their Chao Long’s any good. Besides, their French bread and Toasted Siopao looked quite appetizing, it was more than enough reason to go in and order.
Bread & Bakers, the place is called. And yes, it is a bakery of sorts, offering crinkles, egg pies and the usual baker fares. Jay, the owner, is a local of Puerto Princesa. He decided to add Chao Long (which he playfully re-spelled as Chow Long) and Toasted Siopaos to their menu just weeks prior; great timing, I thought to myself.
I got to chat with him a bit after placing our orders, it turned out he’s related to a few of my friends in Puerto Princesa; his niece even owning Abuleighcious, one of the restaurants I’ve tried there a few years back. Small world, eh?
After a few minutes my buddy arrived just in time for lunch.
We ordered two bowls of Chao Long (Php50.00 each) which comes with a plate of basil leaves, bean sprouts and chili paste. Unfortunately their French Bread (Php30.00), which comes with pork barbecue filling among others, was not available at the moment. They were kind enough to give us one without the stuffing though, plus points for them.
We were also curious with their toasted siopao, a delicacy more common in the Bicol Region than in Palawan. The buns looked like small glazed pandesals. The cost? A measly Php9.00 per piece.
The toasted siopaos were stuffed with giniling-like meat and a few slices of hard-boiled egg. I guess this is the guisado version of a normal siopao. While the stuffing is not quite packed, it was enough to make the whole piece tasty. The buns were soft and not that heavy. I liked it.
Then it was time for Chao Long. The Vietnamese-inspired noodle was served on regular-sized bowls and has that signature orangey achuete color. Its noodles, called ho phan, are made from rice. I can see not a few pieces of beef strips swimming along the steaming soup.
My mouth was starting to water once more.
The first sip brought me back to Puerto Princesa City.
It tasted the same; no let me correct that, better than the Chao Longs I’ve tried in the city.
It still has that slightly sweet flavor I dislike before, but seemed quite right this time. The meat were super tender. The bean sprouts added a bit of crunch and texture, while the chili spelled more spunk to the soup. I held off on the basil leaves though, I generally don’t really like how they taste. The plain French bread was perfect for dunking into the bowl, crispy and soggy all at the same time.
The heavens finally gave, the rain poured. And I totally forgot about the missed Pancit Batil Patong I was craving for.
Bread & Bakers
Address: 282-C Roosevelt Ave., Muñoz, Quezon City
Contact Number: (02) 416-9058 | (0999) 902-6002
Open Hours: 6:00AM – 10:00PM Everyday
GPS Coordinates: 14°39'01.1"N 121°01'05.4"E