The Boxes: Bacolod restaurants and restobars
The Boxes is a strip Bacolod restaurants and restobars located in a hidden area beside the New Government Center (NGC). You have to seek them to discover the food gems in this area. It may be new but remember the name: The Boxes Bacolod restaurants.
What is The Boxes
THE BOXES is a collection of some of the finest Bacolod restaurants and restobars. It is very near the Bacolod Government Center at Circumferential Road, Bacolod City, but it cannot be accessed directly from the highway. One must make a turn on the right side of the government center, pass by at the back, and then make a left on the second corner after the NGC.
The area is called The Boxes because these Bacolod restaurants and bars are literally made of shipping container boxes stacked together and designed according to each one’s ingenuity.
The tenants at The Boxes have a lot to offer in terms of food, drinks, and experience, but I think they are underappreciated. This may primarily be because the area is known for having bars and diners would not think of going here if they just want to have dinner. Some of them are Bacolod restaurants while some operate as restobars but they sure have some good food over there.
And second, because of the cumbersome flow of traffic in this area. If you are not from around here, chances are, you will miss this place. But it is actually a lovely commercial district to scour and discover some great Bacolod restaurants. Plus, they have great selections of drink creations, aside from the usual beers and wines. After dinner, you may also wish to take a stroll around the area because it is generally peaceful around here. And clean, too.
The BOXES by The Marketplace
• Deck #01 – Yellow Leaf Cuisine
• Deck #02 – Bok’s Restobar
• Deck #03 – Tiffany’s Confections
• Deck #04 – Chateau Al Fresco restobar
• Deck #05 – Fafi’s Fusion
• Deck #06 – STOW AWAY Restobar
• Deck #08 – Sugureta Bar and Restaurant
• Deck #10 – RETRO KTV & BAR
• Deck #11 – PONS Restobar
• Deck #12 – The Dee Loo Restobar and Grill
From the many Bacolod restaurants I have been to, I felt like I have eaten every version of Pinoy food there is, but here at The Boxes, I found something new–new creations, new fusions, and even new ways of dish presentations. I surely enjoyed the Negros Bloggers first-ever Bacolod Food Crawl at The Boxes. Here I am featuring MY top food picks at ten (10) of the Bacolod restaurants | bars at THE BOXES during our visit there.
These Bacolod restaurants and bars are presented in no particular order. Hope you also try them out, too. If you already went to any of these restaurants and bars, do comment what dishes you prefer there. I would love to hear from you.
Tiffany’s Confections is perhaps the homiest place at The Boxes. With French windows, white walls, and a nice garden, you get a nice and comforting feeling when you are there. Tiffany’s has a line of unique desserts and snacks. And the lady has coffees, too. You can have snacks here or your afternoon coffees and cakes. Or you may have dinner in the neighboring restaurants and have your desserts here.
My top picks at Tiffany’s Confections are the spicy spinach dip served with baguette for snacks and the chocolate hazelnut cheesecake for dessert. The spinach dip is made with cream cheese and has just the right amount of spiciness. While I am not a chocolate lover, the chocolate cheesecake is heavenly!
They are open daily, from 2pm to 10pm. They are located at Deck #3, The Boxes. I also included Tiffany’s Confections chocolate hazelnut cheesecake in my list of Best Desserts of Bacolod.
Bok’s Restobar is a family-owned Bacolod restaurant run by sisters who love cars and who call each other as “Bok”. They have great tasting fusion dishes but the top two that stuck to my memory are their Mongolian Beef Rice Topping and their Fried Chicken Skin served with their special vinegar.
The spiced vinegar (sinamak) is so flavorful that hubby bought a long neck bottle for P180. Bok’s Restobar is located at Deck #2, The Boxes. They are open daily from 4:30pm to 1:30am. We use it as condiment with our grilled or fried dishes at home.
FAFI’S FUSION House of Chilli Crab
If you have been to or stayed in Singapore, you are most certainly gonna have a hankering for the Singapore Chilli Crab. And among Bacolod restaurants, you will find the authentic Chilli Crab at Fafi’s Fusion House of Chilli Crab.
Fafi’s Fusion dishes are made by Fafi himself — the family’s patriarch. The owners have stayed in Singapore for 10 years, so this country has had so much influence on them. The food at Fafi’s has a lot of Malay, Indo, and Chinese touches, so here you will find the terms like ketong, sotong, and sambal on the menu. But since it’s fusion, they also have some Filipino favorites there.
My top picks for this restaurant are, of course, their Singapore Chilli Crab and their Cereal Prawn, which is fresh prawns sauteed sliced chilli, fresh curry leaves, and imported sweet cereal. Their chili crab can be made spicy or just mildly spicy, but it has the consistency of the sauce that I like. They have made it more flavorful to local palate, but I do miss the aroma of cilantro. Both are seasonal offerings though, depending on the supply of these seafood.
If you are going there just to eat the chilli crabs and the prawns, make sure that you ask first from their FB page https://www.facebook.com/fafisfusion/ or call them at 0915-2045944. Fafi’s Fusion is located at Deck #5, The Boxes. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 5pm to 12mn.
Pons Restobar is a casual dining, chill place with zen elements incorporated in their design. They have good food and beautiful presentations as well as designer mixed drinks. I especially love their Fish Kinilaw and Chicharong Bulalak. Basta namit a.
At Pons Restobar, you gotta check out their different drinks as well — from the fraps, shakes, to the alcoholic cocktail mixes. They’re works of art and Instagram-worthy. Pons Restobar is located at Deck #11, The Boxes. They are open daily, from 5pm to 2am.
SUGURETA BAR AND RESTAURANT
In Japanese, Sugureta means “superior food”, we were told. Sugureta Bar and Restaurant is the only Japanese-inspired restobar in the area. Without the live singing, you might list this as among Bacolod restaurants serving Japanese cuisine.
Anyway, Sugureta serves some common Japanese dishes and I super love their rich and big order of Sukiyaki. Their pork tonkatsu is good, too. And food is really affordable. But since this is a drinking area visited by Pinoys, they also have some Pinoy appetizers that’s great pulutan. Try their sizzling fish, too. Sugureta is located at Deck #8, The Boxes. They are open daily from 5pm to 1am.
CHATEAU AL FRESCO RESTOBAR
Chateau Al Fresco Restobar is located at Deck #4, The Boxes. They are open daily from 5pm to 2am. This is the only restobar in the area with a wine room and a decent collection of wines. They have good food with big servings and are really affordable. The bar setting with live music starts at 9pm, so you can bring your family or friends here for dinner from 6pm to 9pm, if you don’t want the bar vibe.
After all, Chateau Al Fresco Restobar is a Bacolod restaurant first and a bar second. I super love their Pancit Effuven! Lots of meat and seafood and fried garlic. But most of all, I love the peppery taste–that’s the kind of pancit I love. They have Mozzarella Sticks, too, that are like the regular cheese sticks in lumpia wrapper, but the game changer is the sauce. You should put some of the sauce with each bite to know what I am talking about.
Okay, I only said that I will mention two, but I also like their Fried Chicken Skin that doesn’t have batter–just the goodness of the skin and fat, and their Barbecued Back Ribs. They are picture perfect, too, so I am including them here. hehe By the way, they have one KTV room at the second floor that can be used for 3 hours at a consummable rate of P1,500 only.
STOW AWAY RESTOBAR
Needless to say, namit gid pang luto sang Stow Away Restobar. It can be rated good among the many Bacolod restaurants that we prefer. They are located at Deck #6, The Boxes, with business hours from 5:30pm to 2am. Some of their dishes are good for pulutan like the Beef Tapa, but we thoroughly enjoyed all the dishes they served for dinner.
My special mentions would be the Sizzling Bulalo Steak and even the Fried Lumpia. Love their Fish Kinilaw, too. And don’t forget the Nachos and the Filleto Steak. Visit them and enjoy dinner before the happy hour starts.
THE DEE LOO RESTOBAR AND GRILL
The Dee Loo Restobar and Grill is located at Deck #12, The Boxes. They have grill because the owners are the family behind the Umbao Bacolod Chicken Inasal at the Manokan Country.
But aside from the Bacolod chicken inasal, they also have great dishes that may be shared by big groups. If it isn’t raining, it would be lovely to dine al fresco at their roofdeck because the view is simply breathtaking.
My top food picks here would be the Sate Babe with Java rice, the Sinigang Supreme, and the Sinuglaw. Sinuglaw is the Fish Kinilaw mixed with slices of grilled pork.
YELLOW LEAF CUISINE
Yellow Leaf Cuisine is a surprising corner at The Boxes. Located at Deck #1 of The Boxes, it is on the leftmost corner of the strip–the first one but also the last one you will reach if you make a turn from the back of the NGC. It is away from the maddening crowd of partygoers and rightfully so, because it is a quaint and homey Bacolod restaurant that serves comforting food inside a place with nooks and crannies that are Instagram-worthy.
They have many offerings at Yellow Leaf Cuisine plus lots of non-alcoholic drink creations. I super love their Chicken with Creamy Pesto Sauce and probably one of the best Salpicao I have ever tried. It’s lovely to bring your family here or to have a romantic date with your loved one.
Retro KTV is a funky Bacolod KTV bar that went all out in maintaining the Retro vibe of the place. From the cassette tape designed tabletops and place mats to the turntable designed door mats, and the mirror balls hanging from the ceiling, you get the retro feels wherever you look. Plus, you will get a giggle or worse a laugh when you read the puns intended in the menu.
But despite the blast from the past aura of the place, it is I think one of the most modern Bacolod KTV bars. Aside from all the feels that you get, the best feel is that of your tummy because they also have good eats.
I do like a lot of their food at Retro KTV, but for the purpose of this article, I will highlight the Alicia Cheese (mozarella sticks) with a spicy salsa dip and the Justin Biebercue (pork barbecue that’s mostly meat but it’s so tender). The Alicia Cheese is crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside because of the mozzarella. Eat it while it’s hot smothered with the flavorful salsa.
If you are not going to have KTV, you can just dine outside or on their breezy second floor. Hang out at Retro KTV, located at Deck #10, The Boxes. They are open daily from 5pm to 2am.