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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to click on the ads on our page to help us out!