Any Lipa, Batangas trip of mine is never complete without a bowl of this iconic thick piping hot noodle soup – Lomi.
A little revelation though, growing up in the metro, the Pancit King did not use to be a fan of the lomi. As a kid, I’m not a fan of food which I consider to be for the sick – thick soups in general such as lugaw and this salty thick noodles in thickened soup – lomi. When comparing thicker and fine noodles I am also always for then thinner ones.
It is only when I tasted Loming Batangas that I developed a love for it. When comparing the Batangas version and the ones in Manila; a very obvious difference is that Manila’s is usually topped with vegetables such as carrots and cabbage while Batangas’ is usually topped only with varieties of meats – fried pork, kikiam, meatballs, liver, chicharon; best when it has all of these. Taste-wise, I do not find the Batangas version to be salty since they only make use of freshly-made miki noodles compared here in Manila where it is “fresh” but is infused with lots of salt and other chemicals as preservatives. Authentic Batangas Lomi also has a richer broth since pork head is part of the stock they are using.
While Loming Batangas is found everywhere in the whole province, the best ones may be found in its place of origin – the city of Lipa. Lomihan (pronounced by Batangeño locals with the silent “h” – lomi-an) is literally found everywhere in the city. Any Lipeño will have his/her favorite brand. While I have already tasted a handful of brands – every one of them has a distinct twist and tweaks in their recipe.
Research tells me that it was actually introduced by a Chinese from the mainland, To Kim Eng and that his descendants are behind the famous Lomi King. Rightfully so, Lomi King in my opinion is still the lomihan to beat especially with their “Super Lomi” (Php.105) – humongous bowl with all the good stuff: meatballs, pork, liver and kikiam. A huge bowl not only worth travelling for but also worth fasting-prior-for, for me to finish the whole bowl by myself.
Another place the Pancit King may recommend for its twists is Liam’s Lomi House. On a particular trip with my girlfried Jane, we were able to order their Lo-canton (lomi but uses canton as noodles) Lo-bihon (lomi of bihon noodles) [both priced at only Php.55] along with their best-seller Lechon Lomi (lomi with lechon kawali toppings, Php.50). Both the lomi with canton noodles and bihon noodles are in my opinion strange but interesting since they produce a pretty different texture to the usual. Their lechon kawali-topped Lomi though is one for the books. During our visit, the restaurant was packed with customers even while they were already closing at 8:00pm.
My last visit to Lipa brought me to Benok’s Lomi Haus. Their unique offering is their extensive options of viands as toppings to their lomi. They have fried chicken, pork liver, pork chop, and even pork asado all breaded and crispy as options as well as lechon kawali and chicharon all at Php.68.00. An advantage for Benok’s is that they are open 24 hours for anybody’s lomi fix anytime of the day. A side note though, their canteen-like place is very untidy.
Our personal favorite Loming Batangas though is the Seafood Lomi of Kubo sa Halamanan. This particular restaurant along Laurel Highway is not yet as popular as most lomihan. They are also serving a full range of Batangeño and Filipino menu. While they are not yet blogged about, I came to know of it through Jane, my girlfriend who actually grew up in Batangas. Literally, they have 4-5 nipa huts or kubo in front of a plant nursery. While they are located right along the highway, it is such a cozy and surprisingly breezy place being surrounded by various plants. An order of Seafood Lomi is a bigger-than-average sized bowl of the thick egg noodles soup with generous toppings of a combination of seafoods they have in their kitchen; it can have a combination of fish fillet, small prawns, squid and mussels – in most of of our visits, all of those mentioned. For the occasions they do not have mussels or small prawns, they will compromise the serving with more of what’s available. As a bonus, they do offer free unli-kapeng Barako to their dining customers. I think I forget to mention that their seafood Lomi is priced very affordably at Php.75.
Lomi King. Pres. J.P.Laurel Highway, Lipa City, Batangas
Liam’s Lomi House. Gen. Luna St., Sabang, Lipa City, Batangas
Benok’s Lomi Haus. Pres. J.P.Laurel Highway, Lipa City, Batangas
Kubo sa Halamanan. Pres. J.P. Laurel Highway, Brgy. Inusloban, Lipa, Batangas