Along Mother Ignacia Avenue is a restaurant popular among the office crowd. The air-conditioned section is a common venue for casual lunch meetings while the open-air section fills up after office hours when tired and stressed out employees unwind over beer and pulutan. The place is called Jay-J’s. The menu is Filipino and the specialty is chicken inasal — grilled chicken associated with Bacolod City. We were there a couple of weeks ago and we ordered a lot more aside from the house specialty.
The meal started with molo soup which is also known as pancit molo. Molo soup is the Filipino version of the Chinese wonton soup. Why it is called pancit when there are no noodles in the soup is interesting. Apparently, the dumpling wrapper is categorized as noodle because it is made from the very same ingredients used for making noodles — flour and water.
Of course we ordered chicken inasal. My husband and kids all ordered thighs which turned out to be drumstick, thigh and part of the back. I ordered my favorite part of the chicken — the tail.
We enjoyed our chicken inasal with garlic fried rice.
But grilled chicken was not all we had.
There was camaron rebosado (deep-fried batter-coated shrimps served with sweet and sour sauce)…
Lechon con kangkong (crispy pork belly with water spinach), laing (taro leaves in coconut milk), a salad and I forgot what else.
The chicken inasal was good, so was the molo soup, the rest were okay although nothing to get too excited about. Considering the prices (a drumstick-thigh-back inasal went for P75.00 if I remember correctly) and the reasonably fast and efficient service, I can understand why it is popular among the office crowd.
I do have one complaint. I always go to the rest room after a meal in a restaurant. The Ladies Room at Jay-J’s was clean, it had strong running water, a decent toilet bowl, but…
There was this window right beside the toilet bowl that was in the direct line of sight of a huge condominium building across the street. It was the only window so it had to stay open since there was no exhaust fan inside the Ladies Room. At night, when the light inside the Ladies Room is on, anyone using the toilet would be in full view of anyone with a telephoto lens or binoculars in the condominium.
Some people might not consider toilet facilities in a restaurant as a serious issue. I see it differently. I am very particular about toilets, wash areas and even the availability of toilet paper and hand towels. Those things… they say a lot about how the restaurant management values the comfort and wellbeing of the customers. But then again, that’s just me.