I’m a late bloomer. My recent trip to Bacolod City in Negros Occidental was my first time out of town alone on vacation. I just wanted to get away from Manila and not be pressured to do anything or talk to anyone. That I ended up doing work for Manila in Bacolod is another story.
My mother is the overprotective type, so when she found out that I was going to a city I had never been to by myself (I booked my flight before telling her so that she couldn’t say no), she immediately searched her contacts for anyone based there. She found someone: a family friend who was based in one of the universities there, and she texted him about my whereabouts before telling me about it (Now know who I learned that tactic from!). Since he was a good friend who I hadn’t seen in ages, I was more than glad to meet up with him.
He had been in Bacolod for three years, and it was clear how much he loved his adopted city. He spoke Ilonggo fluently, to the point that when he did speak Tagalog, it was with a strong Ilonggo accent. He was the one who told me that “everything in Bacolod is five minutes away,” and that in Bacolod, you will never lack for good food, or good parties. He also took me to Felicia’s Pastry Cafe, a cute little place that serves cute little pastries. I don’t remember the exact names of the pastries that we ordered. Suffice it to say that we had a mini chocolate mousse, a giant mint macaron, a mini apple pie, a mini cheesecake, and for me, a cup of coffee.
My favorite was the chocolate mousse. I think I fell silent after I put the first spoonful in my mouth. It was velvety, the layers of different textured and different intensities of chocolate blending into an explosion of cocoa and sweetness. It took great willpower not to snatch the whole cake away from the table and eat it myself.
I don’t remember anything about the cheesecake except that it was good, as was the apple pie. I think everything just faded into the background after that mousse.
What I do remember though is the mint macaron. First of all, it was huge and green, flavored with enough mint so that it cut through the richness brought about by the other pastries. In Tagalog, nakakawala ng umay.
The pastries were a delight to eat with the coffee, which further helped cut through their richness. I think I ended up eating most of our afternoon snack.
My friend insisted on paying, saying that it’s only in Bacolod that he can afford to be this generous, as Bacolod has city food at provincial prices. Our total bill came up to less than Php350.
As we walked out, I noticed that the restaurant had an extension, and that on top of the door leading into the extension was the word “steak.” My friend explained that Felicia’s had just opened a steak room a few days ago. Reason, I think, for me to visit the restaurant again, though with a mousse like that, I don’t think I’ll need much persuading.
Felicia's Pastry Cafe and Steak Room 6th Lacson Street DOLL Building Bacolod City +63 034 433-6586