When in Iloilo, the best way to experience the city is through the signature dishes from every district – from La Paz' Batchoy to Molo's Pancit Molo. But aside from these classic dishes, there's another place that people line up for in Iloilo, and that's Roberto's Siopao!
Located along the historical Calle Real, you'd easily spot Roberto's because of the long queue of people who wants to try out their dishes. Here, they serve anything from sandwiches to rice meals, but they're most famous for their siopao which come in 4 kinds: Regular, Jumbo, King, and Queen.
If you want to try out their bestselling Queen (P90) siopao – which has bacon, Chinese sausage, pork adobo, and egg – you would have to be at the store earlier as it sells out really fast and they only prepare a limited number per batch.
Since we came later that day, we were only able to get their King siopao, which is just as big and hefty as the Queen. What's special about it and the other siopao available is that you don't really need any sauce to go with it, unlike the other ones you can buy someplace else.
Priced at P80, Roberto's King Siopao is stuffed with ham, Chinese sausage, pork adobo, and egg, making it good and heavy enough to pass for a snack, or maybe even for lunch or dinner. The pork adobo is chunky and sweet as it is, so you wouldn't really go around looking for the siopao sauce to enjoy it more.
For those who are looking for a lighter version that's just as good, they may try the Jumbo (with Chinese sausage, pork adobo, and egg) for P55 and Regular (with pork adobo and egg) for P44.
One bite on it, and you'd understand why people would be willing to line up for Roberto's. The store also doesn't have any plans to branch out anywhere else, so their siopao could also be a good pasalubong for friends and families back home who want something they could only get in Iloilo.
The Dish: King Siopao (P80)
Where to Find it: JM Basa St, Iloilo City Proper, Iloilo City, Iloilo