Red Pancit that is! This week’s entry brought the Pancit King to a province close to his heart – Batangas. In the city of Batangas itself, is an infamous dish originally known as Pancit Tikyano.
Pancit Tikyano as it is called after being named after its inventor – Mang Tikyano was originally sold in Letty’s Panciteria in front of the cathedral of Batangas city. The Pancit King was fortunate enough to having tried it out back in 2010.
When I went back to the place, I learned that the old Letty’s has already closed down and the locals directed me to walk a couple of blocks away where it supposedly transferred. After almost 10 minutes of walk, I finally arrived at Triple J Panciteria (with an inscription in their signage: “Apo ng Letty’s”). I ordered one Pancit Tikyano (Php.120 good for two) partnered with two sticks of pork barbecue (Php.15.00 each) – their famous combination.
It was around 3:00 in the afternoon and there was only an old man manning the place all by himself. According to him, the old carinderia closed because the building they were renting was demolished. Looking around this new location, I cannot help but notice how untidy the overall ambiance was. The tables and chairs were sticky and smelly. While waiting for the old man to serve our pancit, there was even a mouse climbing the counter top of the pre-cooked viands. I forced myself to find comfort knowing that the pancit I ordered is being freshly prepared plus the fact that I went all the way to this city just for a serving of this pancit.
Some minutes later, the old man served my pancit. My immediate observation was that it was unlike what I ordered before. Sure it does have the signature red miki noodles but the toppings were only slices of pork, cabbage and Baguio beans. Recalling their serving before, it also has slices of chayote and topped with kikiam and a couple of whole chicharon bilog. While the overall taste is the same, the dish was nothing like that of before with all the familiar toppings missing.
It was pretty depressing how Letty’s turned out to be compared to what it was before. In my opinion, they had lost the pride in having been able to invent and develop this uniquely red pancit. As a fact, I was able to research other restaurants that are now serving this dish in the city – which they now call “Miki Pula”. On my next visit, I would probably be trying out Miki Pula in one of these places.
At the Batangas City Public Market, one may also buy fresh miki pula noodles in a number of stalls. The noodles is red because of food coloring. The taste is quite similar to the usual plain miki but appears very interestingly as it looks somewhat like pinoy-style Spaghetti.
Triple J’s Panciteria: #37 D.Silang St., Brgy.18, Batangas City