Last February, my brother and I together with a friend was able to do a side trip to Negros Oriental after the SFC International Conference in Cebu City. At first we stayed at a rest house (courtesy of our gracious hosts tito Bingbong and tita Nette) in Tanjay City, then we spent our last two days in Dumaguete City. On my first visit to Dumaguete, my ex boyfriend wasn't able to meet up with me, so this time, he made up for it.
Riding his habal-habal (motorcycle), he took me to Jo's Chicken Inato where we ate dinner. Based on what's written on the menu, Jo's Chicken Inato started in mid 1980's. It is owned by Jesse and Josephine Ng, where the name of the place was derived. At first I thought "inato" meant the way they cooked chicken (because of Chicken Inasal), but I later found out that "inato" connotes something you can be at home with. Hmm...
Inside, I realized how popular this food place really was. They have many different levels divided into their 2-storey building. People have the choice to eat on the ground floor, and upstairs were two dining areas - the air conditioned room and the balcony area. I really wanted to eat in the balcony area so I could see the sights and hear the sounds of the city, but the ex said the balcony area has the tendency to be polluted - with the smoke from the barbecueing meats to the smoke from the cigarettes. I got his point, so okay, on to the air conditioned room. Hehehe.
We had their chicken barbecue and pancit canton. It was difficult for me to take pictures because it wasn't a well-lit room (most of the lights were fixed in the walls). Anyway, they typically serve the foods without the utensils for the foods were meant to eat using the hands, but if eaters weren't in the mood to use their hands, they can ask for utensils. As for me and the ex, we just ate using our hands with gusto!
The chicken barbecue isn't really the usual chicken barbecue/inasal I have tasted. It was really, really, good! If I were eating this on lunch time, I might've have another serving. It was that good. The pancit canton (although I wasn't able to photograph it well) tasted great, too. I love saucy pancit canton!
Seeing the ex (who stayed as a good friend of mine) after a long time made me happy. After this dinner, we went to Hayahay (another food place) for some drinks, then he gave me a quick tour of the city riding his habal-habal. It was a fine day, wish we could do it again.
By the way, Jo's Chicken Inato is also serving good foods in Cebu, Mandaue, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Ormoc, Tagbilaran, Roxas, Bacolod, Iloilo, Dipolog, Quezon City, and Makati City. If I could find that Quezon City branch, I'd eat there.
*** Jenn ***