Every Filipino family has its own weekend custom. Many go to church in the morning and then have lunch together either with homecooked meals or at a Bacolod restaurant. Meanwhile, the Batapa-Sigue household has a tradition—cooking big servings of Ilonggo comfort dishes like KBL and KMU for the whole family to share. Now, they have extended the invitation to Bacolodnons and they are fast becoming known as the House of KBL in Bacolod City.
Partners in Love, Law, and Ladling
Atty. Arnel Sigue and wife Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue are both foodies. He came from a fishing village in San Joaquin, Iloilo. His father was a fisherman and he has experienced selling fish since he was 7 years old.
Meanwhile, she was raised by her paternal grandmother along with her siblings. The grandmamma was a known caterer in the 60s—famous for her chorizo and morcon. Atty. Jocelle could no longer remember how many heads of garlic she has chopped in her childhood.
The couple loves to cook and, of course, eat. The husband specializes in Ilonggo dishes while the wife is more into fusion experimental as well as international cuisine. They have been married for 17 years now and they are each other’s biggest fan – in their cooking as well as in other undertakings. Both being very accomplished already, yet they still give positive criticism to each other in order to improve.
The couple has both experienced cooking for many people because Atty. Arnel cooks lunch for all their law office staff almost every week. On the other hand, Atty. Jocelle has cooked dishes for her staff on the average of twice a week when she was still serving as councilor of Bacolod City.
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House of KBL and KMU: Starting a New Sunday Trend
A very enterprising person, Atty. Jocelle has always dreamed of creating a dining haunt for specialty questers. Much like the kansihan that serves only kansi, she wanted a place that serves a single specialty dish that people are willing to travel for.
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Thus, this is where the favorite Ilonggo comfort food of Western Visayas comes in – the KBL.
The KBL simply stands for Kadios, Baboy, and Langka (pigeon peas, pork, and unripe jackfruit), which are the three main ingredients of this dish.
While the preparation style is not specified in the name, the Ilonggos of Iloilo and Negros Occidental when they hear these three letters. They already understand that this is a hearty soup dish that’s best eaten with rice and shared with loved ones.
Extending Their Invitation
Now, the Batapa-Sigue household has expanded. They are already inviting people to join them in this KBL Sunday habit.
Atty. Arnel whips a big batch of KBL every Sunday, boiling the pot of kadios and pork from early in the morning. By around 11am, freshly cooked KBL is ready to be served. And everyone is invited to drop by and sample their homecooking in their weekend eatery.
KBL for Dine in or TakeOut
You may opt to dine at their place, as they also serve rice. But mind you, KBL is the only dish that they serve for now. They might add the KMU or kadios, manok, ubad (pigeon, peas, chicken, and banana core) in their menu, so you can watch out for it, too.
Or you can bring your kaserola and order for takeout. You may request for a bit more soup or some more jackfruit or the kadios, whichever you prefer. If you don’t bring your own container, they also have microwaveable containers for takeout orders.
So many people have taken the House of KBL Sunday habit with them, and we got to sample it last Sunday, too. I was amazed at the number of people who came and went. These are friends of the couple who either just got a hankering for good KBL or they don’t want to cook anymore. Or both.
Natural and Organic Ingredients
KBL is a slow-cooked dish. At the House of KBL, the couple sources out their meat from local farms while the vegetables, including batwan, are from the wet market. They want to support local community farmers and traders.
Meanwhile, their lemongrass and chili all come from their backyard. So with every spoonful of KBL, you know you are eating a dish created with love as well as care for the environment and other people.
Where to Go
Aside from KBL, visitors will also find that Atty. Jocelle has put up a weekend bazaar there. She welcomes everyone who wants to display their stuff there in order to promote reusing and recycling.
House of KBL
Greensville 1 Subdivision, #23 C.L. Montelibano Ave.
Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
Tel. No. (034) 709 6135
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