The entrance to Ading’s Pala-pala Seafood Restaurant in Bacolod City.

Tonight, we were invited to the opening of Ading’s Pala-Pala Seafood Restaurant and Bar along San Juan Street, Bacolod City. The only direction that we got was that it was in front of the old Pala-pala area–the famous seafood market in the city.

Well, we thought that would not be hard to find. But what we saw when we got there blew our minds. The place is huge!!! Literally. And it was brightly-lit, like a beacon in what was once a dark road beset with problematic (for lack of a better word) elements.

The spacious “lobby” where it feels so free to choose the seafood that you fancy.

When we went inside, we were greeted at what felt like a foyer where you can choose fresh seafood and have them cooked however you like–tinolakinilawinihaw, etc. To the left is the al fresco dining area. But inside was a really long air-conditioned hall that could sit up to 250 persons!

A little background about Pala-pala. It is an area here in Bacolod City located just behind the provincial government offices. During the afternoons, people go there to buy seafood but in the evenings until the wee hours, the place is bustling with activity because the roadside eateries locally known as “tulahan”, literally meaning a place where tinola (a local soup) is cooked, are open. People would buy fresh seafood from the market and they would bring it to the tulahan to cook. The owners earn from the preparation and cooking charges as well as the rice and drinks that they serve. Going there is quite an adventure, as you buy your seafood in the wet market, bring your purchase, and have them cooked.

Fresh catch of the day.

The problem is, the sanitation in the tulahans may be questionable. There are no decent restrooms and lavatories. And the place is quite dark and the stench can be a bit nasty, too.

That is the reason why I said that Ading’s Pala-pala is like a beacon in the area–brightly lit, spacious, organized, with a large air-conditioned area, and is manned by three chefs in the kitchen who have their own specialties. There is a children’s playroom and kids have their own high chairs! It is a great place to bring the whole family.

Ading’s Pala-pala serves ala carte meals and welcomes functions big and small, but the essence of pala-pala dining remains–you can still buy seafood from the market and bring it to their restaurant for preparation and just pay the corresponding cooking fees. Or you can choose from their fresh seafood offerings. The difference is that you get to dine in a cozy and clean restaurant with good service.

I think that Ading’s Pala-pala is a refreshing new place that Bacolodnons and visitors should visit.

The al fresco dining area.

The air-conditioned dining area.

Part of the buffet tonight.

Negrense bloggers with Ading’s Pala-pala owner, Mr. Ricky Trinidad.