Stanley Talabahan For Hito Cravings (Iloilo)
A few years ago, my uncle was addicted to grilled catfish (hito in Tagalog or pantat in Hiligaynon) that we would have the same dish almost every night. This became my favorite fish dish replacing bangus (milk fish). I just loved how juicy it is when grilled; soft and meaty and yummy! Sadly, this nightly routine died down but I have never forgotten the feeling of happiness it gives me.
When I was young, I used to think that catfishes were dirty fishes because they usually live at canals or esteros. They are considered as bottom feeders and eat wastes, dead fishes (similar to janitor fish maybe?). So why should I eat such a fish? But I was informed that the catfish that we would be grilling and eating are farm raised catfishes. This means that their environment is much cleaner and they have a better diet than the wild ones.
On one of my short visits at Iloilo, I asked my parents on where we can eat hito as I was craving for it and they suggested Stanley’s Talabahan. This would be the first time that I have heard of this place. It is located at Villa; where usually Tatoy’s and Breakthrough would be the places to visit there.
Stanley Talabahan is a nipa hut cottage. It has two floors where the 2nd floor is reserved for social functions and karaoke. Before entering the restaurant, they will show you what food is available. Just point (turo-turo) and they will start cooking / grilling.
We ordered the following for dinner but I only had one thing on my mind.
Lechon Manok (Roasted Chicken)
Grilled Catfish (Hito)
This isn’t burnt. Catfishes usually has a dark skin so that would explain the dark color.
and a closer look on the meat (once we get past the black skin).
I had one whole catfish all by myself! I removed the stick and the skin; and started scraping the catfish meat from it. I dripped it into a customized …umm… saw-saw-wan and enjoyed the meal. Craving satisfied!
Till next time,
Restaurant by Location: Iloilo