When visitors come to Iloilo, they always look for a place to eat Iloilo’s famous batchoy and bring home a box filled with biscocho, but did you know that Iloilo also offers one of the best siopaos in the country? Siopao is a Chinese in origin food filled with meat, either chicken or pork, along with other ingredients wrapped in a white bun called mantao. Siopao is widely available around the country and even in the city of Iloilo, but if you think you deserve the best, you have got to try Roberto’s!
What will you be missing if you don’t give it a try?
Three words: Roberto’s Queen Siopao. My first Roberto’s experience was when my mother brought home the best siopao I have ever tasted. I can attest that Roberto’s siopao is second to none. The diameter is almost an inch bigger than a saucer, very meaty with bacon strips, boiled egg, chicken bits and Chinese sausage and other ingredients with just the right dash of seasonings. It is nicely wrapped in a soft dough thick enough to hold in the scrumptious filling but not too thick that you have to bite more than once before you see what is inside, unlike most commercialized siopaos which looks big but you have to take quite a few nibbles first before the stuffing is revealed. And just like real royalty, this queen siopao is not easy to get. It is only available every Thursday, but the waiting is always worth it.
What to expect from Roberto’s?
Roberto’s is located along Calle Real in Iloilo City. It welcomes both new customers and loyal patrons everyday from 8 in the morning until 7 in the evening. People from different work places, young and old, in groups or alone jam pack this fast food chain. It is usually crowded and it does not have high end sets of tables and chairs. It is not located near most offices and schools and by looking at the tiles, you can notice that a lot of people have already been there. It is an open area along the road and you can hear the honking of the jeepneys, but once you take a bite of their siopao, the surrounding does not matter at all. The money and time are all worth it. But if you are the kind of person who wants to savour every bit of the siopao in a comfortable place, you can always patiently line up in their express lane and grab a bunch of their bestseller, King Siopao, which is available every day.
Aside from the King siopao, they also offer combo meals for lunch and dinner, such as meat balls, fried chicken, fried lumpiang shanghai with rice and a lot more at very affordable prices.
You cannot find another Roberto’s siopao on the face of the planet. The one and only Roberto’s is found in Iloilo city. That is why, if you get the chance to have a trip to the city of love, do not miss the opportunity to try another pride of the Ilonggos.