Txacho: Authentic Spanish Cuisine

Txacho is one of the most popular  restaurants in the art district.  They specialize in 100% authentic Spanish food (tapas).  This is totally awesome because Bacolod is quickly becoming a food mecca with all these international cuisine restaurants popping up everywhere!

Txacho’s exterior: Very fun, a bohemian sort of atmosphere where you can chill and rub shoulders with local artists and famous celebrities.
Click on the picture to see a 360 degree view of Txacho’s outside area. Press play after the page loads.(Might load slowly on slow internet connections.)

Txacho has three dining areas, one outside dining area and two indoor dining areas with a semi private room.  The indoors areas are well lit and feature some art and a well stocked bar.

Txacho’s Bar
An antique frame gives emphasis to Txacho’s menu.
Click to see an interactive 360 degree view of Txacho’s interior. Don’t forget to press play!

We took a look at the menu and we decided to order their most popular tapas.

Since this was a Spanish restaurant, we got the Spanish meatballs.  It came with a rich sauce and plenty of potatoes and herbs.  It was delicious!

Spanish meatballs.

We also had the Stuffed Piquillo Peppers.  It came in a sauce made from peppers (not tomatoes!) and it was stuffed with ground beef and bechamel sauce.  It was delicious and quite unique to taste a sauce made from peppers.

Stuffed Piquillo Peppers.  Azie, our 4 year old food reviewer loves this dish so much! He loves to dip bread in the sauce and it and eat it all up.

We were able to meet and interview David Lopez, the head chef and a very good friend of ours.   We brought along a surprise ingredient for him to cook with.  Hilarity ensues.

L-R: Gino, Alex and David Lopez.

We’re here today with David Lopez of Txacho!  Txacho is one of the most popular bars and restaurants here in Bacolod serving authentic Spanish cuisine!

BFH:  Hi David! Where are you from?

David: From Spain, from the Basque region.

BFH:  You have a very interesting restaurant name.  What does Txacho mean?

David: Txacho means friend.  It’s a way of calling each other…very colloquial, like como estas txacho or Txacho! Come here!   It’s like pare for you guys.

BFH: What inspired you to put up a Spanish restaurant/bar in Bacolod?

David: Well I’ve been visiting Bacolod Since 1997.  I have a lot of friends. I’ve been coming here nearly every summer.  I’m a chef.  In Spain it’s harder to open a restaurant so I thought why not open a Spanish restaurant here, introduce Spanish cuisine.

Txacho’s excellent Boquerones. (sardines in olive oil)

BFH:  What do you like about Bacolod?

David: The people…

BFH: The people?

David: Very friendly! Also people love to eat which is good!  The weather is good!

BFH: When did Txacho open?

David: We opened January 15th.

BFH: Yes! And It immediately became very popular in the art district!

David:  Well actually, I’ll tell you something.  During the first day we were deciding when to open.  We were sitting just over there having a meeting.  Some people saw the lights on, they walked inside and that became the opening!  Like a party! <laughs>

BFH: Wow!  We’ve noticed that there’s a lot of celebrities who come and visit. 

David: Sometimes.  <grins>

BFH: Can you name a few?

David: We’ve recently had the ambassador of Israel to the Philippines visit, Chef JP Anglo comes to visit often.  We’ve had Isabel Roces from Manila.

As we we are talking Charlie Co (a famous artist) and his wife come in and sit at a table.

David: <waving hello> Hi good evening!  <whispers to me> There, some local celebrities just arrived!

BFH: So what do you serve here at Txacho?

David: We serve Tapas and typical Spanish cuisine with a twist from the Basque region.  Every region has got its own twist.

BFH: What are tapas?

David:   Tapas is like a pica pica.  Small dishes.  You can order a lot of small dishes and you can make a meal out of it. .  It’s something you normally eat sharing.   It’s something you can just share with other people.  Very typical in Spain.

Txacho’s Tortillas de patatas (potato omelet). David makes it with lots of onions so it tastes really savory!

BFH: So this is 100% pure Spanish food. 

David: Pure with local ingredients.  That’s the challenge.

BFH: So what’s the most popular dish here at Txacho?

David: We have a few.  I think the most popular would have to be the Basque Chorizo, the Txistorra.

BFH: What dish are you most proud of?

David: Let me think….<pauses>  I’m really proud of the stuffed peppers because that was my mom’s recipe.  The way it came out is very close.  Obviously it’s not the same as my mom’s but it’s very close. I’m proud of that.  People like it!

David got this recipe from his mom!

BFH:  So what did you serve the ambassador to Israel?

David: Actually he was just drinking!  <laughs>  Maybe he was full!

BFH:   So what did you serve Isabel Roces? What did she try?

David: She’s a vegetarian so she ordered the Baguio tomato salad and the patatas bravas.  It’s purely vegetarian for her.

BFH: When are the busiest nights of txacho?

David: Most popular nights probably weekends but also during the week we also get a lot of people out of nowhere and it becomes a party!

BFH: Do you have any special projects lined up for Txacho?

David: Yeah we are thinking of selling the Txistorra, the boquerones so people can take them home. That’s our next challenge and we are also thinking of opening for lunch.

BFH: Oh great!  Due to popular demand? Because some people come here and assume you’re open for lunch

David: Some people yes. There’s been a few people asking for it.  We want more people to come to the art district during lunch.

BFH: I hear that your going to have special nights?

David: Yes, maybe a paella night.  We’re gonna do pintxos, I want to introduce pintxos…

BFH: What ARE pintxos?

David:   Pinchos are unique to San Sebastian, To the Basque region.  Pintxos are like a small bread with different varieties of toppings, like canapés.  So you display them on the bar and people just  see whatever they like and they eat it.  It’s really nice.  I want to introduce that but I want Bacolod to be ready first.

Pintxos! (taken from everyfoodweeat.blogspot.com)

BFH: How about the paella night?

David:   I’m probably gonna cook here outside, make 2 or three different paellas.  I will have a meat paella, a seafood paella and a black paella with squid ink.

BFH: Are Filipino tastes similar to Spanish tastes?

David: I’ve noticed Filipinos like things saltier and sweeter.

BFH:  So do you adjust Txacho’s food to compensate for that?

David: I haven’t really adjusted the food.  I’m sticking to what I know.

BFH:  Oh PLEASE DO!  Stick to what you know, that way the food tastes authentic!

David: Yes.  I’m keeping it real.

BFH: What is a hallmark of Basque cooking? What dish is exclusive to the Basque region?

David: We use a lot of seafood Probably an exclusive dish is kokochas.  It’s a dish made from the chins of the fish and it is like a gelatin.  So when you cook it slowly in olive oil it releases the gelatin and it becomes a white sauce.

Kokochas! (taken from everyfoodweeat.blogspot.com)
Kokochas! (taken from everyfoodweeat.blogspot.com)

BFH: That sounds great!

BFH: So what are your favorite restaurants here in Bacolod?

David: Bar 21, Mushu, the Pure Indian restaurant is very good (in villamonte) and Chicken house.

BFH: Any parting words for the readers?

David:  I used to read the Bacolod Food Hunters a long time ago when I was in Spain and I would look up restaurants in Bacolod so having my restaurant featured by you is like a dream come true for me.

After the interview we brought David his mystery ingredient: Canned silkworms!  David gamely stepped up to the challenge to make a dish out of these silkworms.

David’s fried silkworm Salad. He did a great job! The lemon and onion killed the strong nutty silkworm taste. It was delicious!


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18 Comments Add yours

  1. docJ says:

    fantastic review as always! have you tried their patatas bravas? it’s terrific

    1. Martin Banana says:

      Not yet.. I’m trying to taste everything!

  2. Fabulous post, Martin. I really hope Txacho opens for lunch soon, so we can check them out. All the food looks and sounds great. We can hardly wait!

    Hope to see you around Panaad Saturday, if I knew where the demonstration is. Food Demonstration, not a Rally, lol.

    ~ Gary ~

  3. raffy says:

    hey mart did you eat the worms?

    1. Martin Banana says:

      yes! It tasted ok after david cooked it

  4. pepe says:

    did i taste star margarine in the croquettes?
    too expensive to last
    and no rice plain on the menu……ilongos will starve on tapas!!!!

  5. Martin Banana says:

    Were you there last night? I was there too! 🙂

    There is rice on the menu btw. I think the prices are okay though. My favorite Tortilla de Patatas is just 90 pesos. Nothing over 200.

    What you tasted in the croquetas is possibly the bechamel sauce.

  6. ChrisJ says:

    Wow, looks like a great place to visit when my wife and I retire there to Talisay in a few years. I’m a cook who is involved in Spanish cuisine a lot, having sold Spanish imported foods and cookware, wine, cheese, and look forward to trying out this place!

    I hope to start a small food business when I arrive, more than likely catering with my Spanish cuisine familiarity, but we shall see. I note that the chef serves boquerones–again, using local ingredients (usually its anchovies but not many of that cold water fish in your neighborhood!)

    1. Martin Banana says:

      That’s great to hear! Are you Spanish? There’s a good Spanish community here in Bacolod and talisay is a great place to retire. Drop me a line when you’re here in Bacolod and ill introduce you around

      1. That would be great. I’m a baker, home chef who has sold and managed cheese and wine shops, worked for a Spanish food and etc importer, and specialize in Spanish cuisine these days. Looking forward to meeting you all (in 2016).

  7. Johan says:

    I’ve gone there for the past 3 Sunday’s and enjoy the service and gambas. My only issue is the music is pretty loud for what seems to have a lounge vibe to it. I like the music but at the same time don’t want to feel like i’m a at a club.

  8. pepe says:

    The speciality garlic chicken was truly terrible , dry, un seasoned, and no taste of garlic, served by a korean girl smoking a cigarette. Terrible place

  9. Txacho says:

    Dear Pepe, is the first time that a customer complains about our chicken, We are sorry that your experience in Txacho wansnt good. Next time, if there is a next, We appreciate if you can complain to us on the spot, so that we can address the problem. We are a very welcoming team, and we will do anything in our means to make your dinning enjoyable.

    About the Korean waiter? We are not sure who are you talking about, since we don’t employ any Korean nationals. And We are guarantee that no waiter smokes on the premises.

    We have noticed that you have been writing very negative comment about our place, even before we started. We don’t know what you have against Txacho, but it sounds to me, as if you have some sort of personal problems with our establishment.

    We are sorry that you feel that way, nevertheless we value our customers feedback.

    1. Is Txacho open for lunch now?

      For me personally, only the good and excellent restaurants make my blog, All Around Bacolod. I do not give a negative review, so if the restaurant is one I did not enjoy, I simply do not post about them. I am not going to bash anyone’s restaurant just based on my personal opinion. However, I am happy to rave about a restaurant if I enjoy it.

      Have a great evening.

      ~ Gary ~

      1. Txacho says:

        Hello Gary,
        Txacho is not open for lunch just yet. There are outgoing works on the second floor, which are quite noisy and dusty. Once the new establishment opens up and the construction work finishes, we will like to open for lunch at weekends, and eventually weekdays. Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to meeting you.

        I hope you will enjoy Txacho.

  10. Johan says:

    @Txacho, any chance you might place some flat screens up at the bar? Maybe show some sports or extreme surfing or skiing types of shows. Good for peeps who like to just come in for a drink and chill. Just a thought from someone who used to own a bar/club and does enjoy your place. I’m sure you already have a vision of what you want for your place but just curios. Oh yeah you need some part-time bartenders, would work for free, or maybe some of those tasty Gambas!

  11. meyeshua says:

    I am taking my wife and daughter out Saturday night for Valentines Day. We live 1 1/2 hours south so I do my best to plan ahead. Was planning on Tyrol but now I am conflicted, being a retired American chef and a major foodie who is doing my best to introduce my beautiful women to international foods.

    1. Martin Banana says:

      Thats great! Please try Negros Museum Cafe for dinner, then txacho for drinks and cocktails. Have a great valentines!

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