While rainy days call for a hot mug of coffee or a steaming cup of tea, in Bacolod, locals favor the city’s famous beef soup called Cansi, an intense yet hearty beef soup flavored with Batwan, a citrus fruit endemic to Western Visayas that adds a distinctively sour punch to the dish.
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One of the best places to grab this iconic Bacolod delicacy is Sharyn, a non-airconditioned eatery frequented by locals and tourists. Its owner Delia Perez shares that the secret to her delicious Cansi is slow cooking: simmering the beef broth for hours over a low fire. “Since I introduced Cansi to the locals in 1985, people have been coming here to try the soup. Through word of mouth, it has become famous,” relates Delia.
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Regular customers Willie and Mary Grace Perez visited Sharyn before leaving Bacolod City, shortly after their appointment with the doctor on a rainy Friday morning. “This is not our first time. We’ve been here many times,” shares Mary Grace, “Whenever it is cold and we want something warm on a rainy day, we come here for a bowl of Cansi. We love the broth.” Willie finds the soup comforting, especially when he feels sick. “It’s delicious,” he exclaims, “We came from the hospital because my hemoglobin dropped. The soup is like medicine to me. After having one, I feel relieved because it makes me sweat.”
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Because of Sharyn’s popularity, it is nearly impossible to get a table. On weekdays, the eatery would run out of tables and chairs during lunch breaks. On weekends, the place is filled with local and foreign tourists who have either heard of the place and its specialty from friends and co-workers or come across features by travel and food bloggers. People wanting to try the famous beef soup would patiently wait outside until they get their turn for the experience of Cansi. “Many restaurants in the city now are offering Cansi, but most people still come here looking for ours. I believe it is the distinct flavor,” said Delia.
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