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Review: Nanay Sela's, Cabugao Sur, Pavia, Iloilo City
In one of our family’s little weekend adventures, we decided to try out a restaurant just outside the city. It’s called Nanay Sela’s Restaurant and it serves native dishes and seafoods. It was recommended by nanay, my mom-in-law, and we were our usual food-loving group of six.
How to Get There
If you’re interested in checking out this place, it is located along Old Iloilo-Capiz Road in Cabugao Sur, Pavia. From SM City, one of Iloilo’s biggest malls, Nanay Sela’s Restaurant is approximately a 17-minute drive, about 10.6 kilometers away. After exiting the mall’s driveway, make a U-turn along Diversion Road and drive north going to the direction of the towns of Sta.Barbaria, Maasin or Cabatuan; this can be found along the road, on the left side.
This is also 8 minutes, 7 kilometers away from Iloilo International Airport. Driving towards Iloilo City, make sure to look at your right side to not miss its simple native exterior.
Check this Map for More Directions to Nanay Sela's
Ambiance and Service
The moment we came in, the crews were smiling and welcoming, immediately providing us with their menu and leading us to the vacant seats. There were just a couple of tables occupied at that time so we got our preferred seats beside a bright glass-covered window. The place was simple, bright and airy and I loved that the place was not packed despite us coming during lunch hour. My guess was it’s mostly due to its location being out of reach of the usual eating populace, in the outskirt of the city. They also have an extension at the back side of the restaurant huge enough to cater to parties and huge influx of customers due to special events and holidays.
Driving separately in pairs, hubby and I were first to arrive so we told them we'll take our time with the menu since we're still expecting four people to join us plus our adorable few months old nephew. Twenty minutes after we ordered, the rest of the family came in. It would have been great if the staff offered a high chair for the baby since most restaurants have this. It could’ve greatly improve my sister-in-law and her husband’s dining experiences. Another 15 minutes later and they started to serve our food, as cooked.
We ordered the following:
As our starter, we got Green mango with Bagoong, a condiment made with fermented fish or krill and salt on top of a green mango. My mom-in-law requested it since this is one of her favorites. Everybody enjoyed the sourness and saltiness of this uniquely Filipino combo. If you like sour and salty, this is something you shouldn't miss.
We got ourselves two orders of Baked Oysters (See main photo above). These fresh oysters were topped with garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil baked to perfection. These were very good. I personally would have wanted to enjoy more cheese toppings though.
This is Sinigang na Tangigue. This is a Tangigue fish stew with radish, tamarind and watercress. We were torn between the tangigue or shrimp sinigang at first but decided on the fish. The warm broth was comforting, the fish meat was soft and fresh though I would've enjoyed it with a little bit more of tamarind sourness. Nonetheless, this dish was comforting and wonderful!
The Spicy Chicken Adobo was everybody's favorite and I am sure we will continue to ask for this dish whenever we are at Nanay Sela's. They're using native chicken so it is uniquely more flavorful than the usual chicken adobo. I personally like its moderate spicy kick.
We ordered two platters of rice; plain and Morisqueta Rice. Morisqueta was their version of a "stand alone" rice platter, already with meat and veges. It can be eaten on its own similar to what Chinese restaurants usually offer.
This is Buttered Okra with Garlic Kangkong. This was my first to see that Okra can be prepared this way- we were so used to either cooking it with variety of vegetables in a stew or just simply steam it and prepare it with vinegar and soy sauce. We enjoyed this dish that hubby and I agreed to try cooking this at home in the future.
The Lechon Kawali was the last to arrive. We are not a bunch who always orders pork dishes considering the food restriction of our tatay (my father-in-law) but good thing we considered this dish. It was seasoned well, crisp and perfectly cooked.
Too bad we were famished that all the food was gone even before we snapped a group photo during our first visit so here's another during our second visit when we ordered a ton of food, too!
During this time, we feasted on (clockwise) french fries, "aligue" (crab fat) rice, their seafood platter, spicy chicken adobo (again), chicken stew with coconut meat (sorry, can't recall how it's called exactly) and butter okra with garlic kangkong (again).
Value for Money and Overall Rating
Overall, the place was clean, relaxed and the ambiance, very good. The service may be improved especially the wait time but considering the freshness of the food, I'm still good with it. The food taste, as a whole, was very good and the plating was appropriate for a casual dining environment. Providing extra like offering a high chair for the baby wouldn’t have hurt and could’ve upped the dining experience. The price and value for money, we paid around Php1,600 including three orders of halo-halo for dessert. Not bad for all the deliciousness.
My Rating: Nanay Sela's Restaurant, Cabugao Sur, Pavia, Iloilo City
Nanay Sela's Restautant is a good clean place serving fresh and delicious food absolutely easy on the pocket. It is becoming one of my favorites that even its out-of-the-usual-reach location will never be a problem. We're definitely going back.