Eat All You Can Mongolian Bar
I am one foodie who recalls memories related to food. The aroma, the taste, the texture…they are all connected to certain boxes in my brain that triggers memories. And here’s one story of how one of the iconic Bacolod restaurants has affected me.
Take for example the MONGOLIAN BAR at the iconic BOB’S RESTAURANT here in Bacolod City. It was not until my college years that Bob’s Restaurant and its Mongolian Bar came to my consciousness. When I was single, I lived with my parents in one of the southern residential areas of the city and during those times, Bob’s was kinda far from us, so we never got to pass by their vicinity.
I had only know about Bob’s when I went to college at the University of St. La Salle. That was in the early 90s–about 25 years ago. If my memory serves me right, Mongolian lunches were available at their La Salle Avenue branch every Wednesday only. It was my colleagues at our school paper, The Spectrum, who first introduced me to the joys of eating Mongolian rice. For a noob, I had to be taught everything–what it was, how to prepare, and how to eat it. I was also given tips on how to appreciate my MONGOLIAN RICE. Sadly, I can no longer remember how much it costs back then. Maybe P129? Can somebody correct me?
Ever since my first Mongolian lunch at Bob’s La Salle, I was hooked. The sweet, spicy, nutty taste of the soy sauce-based RICE BOWL just lingers on my taste buds. I remember sharing the meal with friends who also liked it and up to now, the association of a Mongolian meal to me is having it with good company who know how to appreciate the meal. In the past, it was my friends. Now, it’s my husband and several other members of the family.
I love Mongolian rice so much that whenever we eat at Bob’s, my husband and I always indulge ourselves. We style our bowls differently so that we have something different for each bowl. But one thing is common for both of us–we gotta have all the meats and squid plus chili. Yep, we like our spicy. Then we share our bowls. It is okay to share between us because we both had Mongolian Rice. But if your companion ordered something else, technically, it is not allowed because the management forbids it. If you get caught, you will pay double.
Just so you know how much we love Mongolian Rice, aside from eating at Bob’s, I prepare Mongolian Rice at home as well because my husband and I enjoy it so much. We are such fried rice eaters.
From the first time I was introduced to the Mongolian Bar at Bob’s, several restaurants tried serving it but didn’t last long. My husband and I tried them all, too. But to my knowledge, only Bob’s has sustained their Mongolian Bar with the same kinds of ingredients throughout the years.
The Bob’s Mongolian Bar Advantage
Perhaps the reason why other Mongolian restaurants or offerings have failed in the past is because they scrimp on the ingredients, especially the meats and squid. At Bob’s, when they say unlimited, the ingredients are UNLIMITED. We really enjoy it because we like squid and beer and we don’t like it if tinitipid kami. You just have to finish everything that you get. Moreover, you can get fill up different bowls and create different combinations and flavors, thus having like several kinds of food.
How to Enjoy the Mongolian Bar
The first time I had Mongolian, I was told not to drink soda or juices because it fills your tummy quickly and you can only eat so much. But as I became quite an “expert” in eating this, I realized that having it with Coke (yeah, as in Coca-cola) makes me feel good afterwards because then I get a satisfying burp. I don’t drink a lot while eating though, just occasional sips. I finish my drink after I am done with my meal.
I know that I can finish two full bowls, three if they are not so full, so I fill up the number bowls that I intend to eat one after the other. That means, I have them cooked at the same time so that I would not have to keep coming back to the bar to fill up the next bowl. I do this because if I finish my first bowl first before preparing my second bowl and then wait for it to be cooked and served, the time lapse would cause me to lose my appetite. And I would not be happy.
When you fill up a bowl, you can choose the ingredients you like. I eat everything so I fill up my bowl with everything. Then I choose the kind of noodles I would mix with it. Afterwards, I go to in-charge who mixes the sauce. I would tell him the condiments I like and the taste I prefer. You may also do it yourself, if you know how to balance the flavors. But I let him do it because I don’t like the sauces messing my hands. I choose different flavors for each bowl. Usually, my first bowl would have peanut sauce while my second one does not because after awhile, the sweet nutty taste can become cloying.
I choose to have a different kinds of noodles for every bowl. I add the noodles so that there is a starchy component to my bowl that will absorb all the liquids that the vegetables, meats, and sauces produce. You may have the option to have the flavored rice mixed with your bowl, but I prefer not to. I ask mine to be served separately and I don’t usually finish it. It’s too heavy already.
Make different kinds of bowls. You can have all vegetables, all meat, or a combination of both. If you don’t fill up your bowl, you just mix a few ingredients and flavor them differently so that you have have up to 4 or 5 different dishes. This is what I love about the Mongolian Bar–the variety and versatility.
Note: Be careful when filling up your bowl so that the ingredients don’t get scattered around the bar. No need to rush because there’s ample ingredients.
Each bowl is then issued a receipt when brought to the kitchen. You get to keep the other half so that the waiter will know whose bowl it is when serving.