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[Review] Buto's Balat Restaurant, Iloilo City, Philippines

Buto't Balat is a local Ilonggo/Filipino cuisine restaurant that is one of my go-to places when I am craving for fresh seafood and my childhood favorites (having lived in Iloilo City when I was young). Although the name of the restaurant is not very appetizing (it translates to "skin and bones"), they do serve great tasting dishes on their menu. I wouldn't say it is my first choice (Breakthrough and Tatoy's Manukan and Seafood would be at the top of that list), but they are more everyday-casual-dining type of restaurant that you would go to when you do not want to eat fast food (which are plentiful in the area) and enjoy a good home cooked style meal. In contrast, Breakthrough and Tatoy's are more catered for big groups that would like to celebrate a special occasion.

Adobong Pusit (Adobo style squid in squid ink broth)
Located just beside the SM Delgado mall, the area is very accessible if you happen to be in downtown Iloilo. It should be noted that it is an open-air restaurant and in fact, the dining area has quaint grass huts that you can use to dine in to add that rustic feel to the whole dining experience.

Steamed Talaba (oysters)
The menu is extensive featuring several preparations for each type of meat, but what I like most about their offerings is the seafood selection (or I may just be biased since I love seafood). Be sure to try their Adobadong Alimusan (adobo-style wild-caught catfish with coconut milk) and Inihaw na Pantat (grilled catfish). I always order a bucket of steamed talaba (oysters) if they are available. I would also highly recommend the Binakol na Manok (chicken cooked in coconut water broth with tender coconut meat).

Kalderetang Kambing (goat stew)
Not all are home runs though. The Bicol express was just meh and the grilled Blue Marlin steak turned out very dry (I suspect since they slice the slabs so thinly that it is very easy to overcook).

Inihaw na Pantat (grilled catfish)
The staff was friendly and the service was reasonably quick. Overall a pleasant dining experience.

More photos of the food we ordered:

Beef Tapa

Grilled Blue Marlin Steak

Bicol Express with crispy breaded eggplant

Chicken Binakol

Adobadong Alimusan

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