Who wouldn’t want to taste a new concoction, be it a beverage or a dish? When something new and one-of-a-kind appears, people will take an extra effort to find out what it’s all about. At Lars Buko Batchoy Eatery in Onate-De Leon St., Mandurriao, Iloilo City situated right after the public market, buko batchoy is the main attraction, an Ilonggo dish with a twist.
What is unusual about this food is there are lots of tender coconut meat mixed into the regular ingredients. Only four-month old, the carinderia-style eatery has already attracted a huge following, both well-heeled and Tatay Digong types. Apart from its signature meal, pancit guisado, halo-halo, sotanghon, beef linaga, and much more may be eaten under a huge mango tree, picnic style.
For a casual tete-a-tete on their business venture and passion for food –this writer sits down with entrepreneurial couple, Primrose Paredes Uy and Larry Lao.
Why was Lars Buko Batchoy established? Was it out of love for Ilonggo dishes and Pinoy food? The reason why we chose buko batchoy as our product is because Larry is a batchoy lover. He tasted buko batchoy during his birthday last October, and fell in love with it. Since it was a unique fusion, we thought why not share it with our fellow Ilonggos since we are undeniably batchoy lovers.
Why did you choose buko as the main ingredient in most of your dishes? Buko is popularly called the tree of life. It is also mentioned as a super food which has higher nutrients. The buko juice itself is abundant in natural vitamins. It is also rich in amino acids, organic acids, enzymes, anti-oxidants and phyto nutrients, a rich source of electrolytes, rich in cytokinins, and has an alkalizing effect in our body, which can help correct the cumulative effects of acidifying foods that makes up most diets today. Coconut meat, on the other hand, is good for the heart and also improves the immune system of the body.
What can customers look forward to in Buko Batchoy in the days to come? Customers can look forward to more unique dishes, new promos and freebies, better service and most especially a comfortable, spacious, and convenient place to dine in.
Plans for now and the future — Our plan for now is to make buko batchoy known not only in the city but in the province of Iloilo as well. That aside from the traditional Lapaz batchoy, we can come up with this unique batchoy with a twist that is more exciting and interesting to the Ilonggo’s palate. Our future plan is that someday, we could bring it nationally and share with other people the unique batchoy dish from Iloilo.
Share with us the main ingredients/recipe for a successful outcome of the business and how to keep customers wanting more. It’s definitely good service. Letting the customers wait for a long time is a big no no. Next is the commitment to selling good food, and lastly, building good relationships and rapport with customers so that they will keep on coming back to our place.
Any anecdote on Lars Buko Batchoy — I remember during our first month of operation. It was closing time when a bunch of customers came and told us that a relative from Australia told them that they should try and look for our buko batchoy. So from Villa, they took time to look for our place in Mandurriao so that they could experience the buko batchoy that keeps the netizens crazy. That’s how we realized the marketability of the product and that someday it will be a hit in Iloilo City.