Turo-Turo Express at the Grand Tower Suites Iloilo – Sooo Pinoy Food Trip na Pilipinas!

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March 13, 2012 – Sooo Pinoy Food Tour Day 2 in Iloilo – Previous Post: Bauhinia Filipino Cuisine.

Turo-Turo also known as Carinderia are small eateries that you can find anywhere in the Philippines. The exact meaning of the word is “point-point” simply because in these type of restaurants, all you need to do is point and order the food you want to eat from the selections displayed in their food counter.

ilongo bulalo soup
Bulalo Soup

Unlike the usual turo-turo restaurants that you will find in every island in the Philippines, The Grand Tower Suites version is a lot more different. Turo-turo Express has nice interiors with welcoming colors, spacious tables and the restaurant is fully air-conditioned. If you want Filipino and Ilongo food but you are not comfortable in visiting crowded carinderias, then this clean and cozy restaurant is for you. 

Dinuguan at Puto
Dinuguan at Puto

I woke up late.. too late to join the rest of the team who left the hotel at exactly 8:00am. Good thing the team from Unilever Philippines waited for me so I can follow the rest who are already in the venue. They just started when I arrived so I did my food plating and took photos right beside the window which is a good spot if you are into food pornography:)

Callos recipe pinoy
Callos

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Among the dishes served, my favorite is their Pinakbet which doesnt have too much sauce in it. Ilongo’s version of Pinakbet is quite interesting, they use alamang (shrimp paste) instead of fish Bagoong which we usually taste in the Ilokano version of the dish.

Bibingka Malagkit and Turon
Bibingka Malagkit and Turon

In Iloilo, Bibingka refers to any type of rice cake regardless of how it is being cooked and presented. To set an example, Puto Maya – a rice cake cooked in coconut milk and refined sugar is called Bibingka by most Ilonggo’s. I like their version of Puto Maya which was served with a mixture of coconut milk and condensed milk sauce. Their turon is also good, the turon wrapper is so crispy and it was served with caramel and condensed milk sauce.

Lumpiang Hipon
Lumpiang Hipon

Unlike the traditional Ilongo Dinuguan, their version of the famous “Pinoy Pork Blood Stew” is very much like the tagalog version except for the Putong Puti which was steamed in Banana leaf which made it more fragrant.

Pinakbet ilongo
Pinakbet

Their Bulalo is similar to Batangas version which was served with sweet corn, Tagalog Petchay and siling haba that is typically used in Sinigang. Another interesting dish is their lumpiang hipon – its simply a fried lumpia with juicy shrimps inside a crispy lumpia wrapper.

iloilo restaurants
Turo-Turo Food Express

My second favorite is their Callos – a legacy from the Spanish colonial era, this stew was cooked with ox tripe is flavored with spicy and sweet chorizo bilbao. This dish is also popular in Southern Luzon particularly in Pampanga which is an equally perfect destination for pinoy foodies.

Besides variety of Ilongo dishes, Turo-turo express also offers other regional Pinoy food for merienda and desserts.

The Grand Tower
Iznart St., Iloilo City
Iloilo, Philippines

To know more about the Sooo Pinoy campaign, food lovers are invited to like the Sooo Pinoy fan page on Facebook and follow @SoooPinoy on Twitter.

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