Da Where: Davao City, Philippines
Da When: August 11-15, 2012
Da Who: me and Deej, on our Davao Duo trip
What's a trip to a new (or revisited) place without dipping your feet into the hustle and bustle of their daily grind and dipping your spoon into the local eats?
In my past two visits to this largest city in the Mindanao isles, my taste buds have come to like delish dishes that can only be found in this part of the country.
Have you ever had any of these? :)
Lyndon's World's Worst Ribs and Awful Chicken
Wheels & More Drive, Bajada, Davao City
If the name of the resto doesn't pique your curiosity, then maybe the easy-on-the-pocket prices of usually swanky dishes such as baby back ribs and baked scallops will likely lure you in.
This relatively new place in Bajada has been getting some good buzz because of the name but the food is relatively good and for the price, it's hard to resist. We came too late for dinner (being the last few stragglers who stumbled in) so the scallops were already out so we ended up enjoying just the ribs (PhP105.00) and some chopsuey (PhP180.00).
Good food and good company. What's not to love? :)
|Open-air resto, pretty popular with big groups|
|A witty resto name will also need wacky dish names in the menu.|
|The PhP105.00 Rib Plate|
|Friends and food. Best things in the world.|
Isla Reta Resort, Talicud Island
Island Garden City of Samal
Resorts that allow beach camping likely will also not have world-class facilities, especially a 5-star restaurant. Though a little remote, your stay on this island resort will not require starvation.
Their local staff will cook chicken, pork or noodle meals for you with variations of fried, grilled or soup-based dishes. Expect the prices to be a little steeper as they have to travel to purchase the ingredients plus a wait time of an hour or so since they cook it as you order.
|You CAN'T not have an appetite if food is served with a view like this.|
|Flavorful bihon guisado (PhP180.00)|
|Whole chicken grilled and butter-fried (PhP300.00)|
Backstage Cafe and Eatery
along Torres St., Davao City
One of the dishes Southern Philippines is known for is the the tasty, hot bowl of balbacua. It's usually made from ox tail or even variations using beef.
Deej and I asked a cab driver and he directed us to a wet market that is known for serving this but it was too far from where we were staying so we just tried a wayside eatery that also served a good helping of this full-flavored fare.
Cheap, appetizing and very filling, it would be a perfect complement to a cold, rainy night. Or a superb hangover cure. :)
|The place was packed at 1900H, looks like a lot of locals eat here.|
|A steaming, greasy bowl of balbacua (PhP45.00). Yum! :)|
|Adobong pusit (PhP30.00) and the free Pepsi that went with our meal|
|Sugba baboy (grilled pork) with cucumber slices (PhP40.00)|
Lachi's Sansrival and Cakes
Marfori Heights, Davao City
Deej and I both have a sweet tooth (though we vehemently deny it for the sake of our so-called 'diets') so we would not let go of the chance to drop by Lachi's for some dainty treats.
For the few weeks I got to work in Davao in 2008 and 2009, this place has become synonymous to sinfully-good desserts and I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into their cheesecakes again.
The place got a little upscale but still very cozy (read: small) so you may have to wait for a bit before you can snag a table during busy hours like lunch and dinner. I tell you, the muscle cramps will be worth it. :)
|I'm gaining pounds just by looking at these... :)|
|My NY Cheesecake topped with cherry (PhP75.00) and Mud Pie Cheesecake (PhP60.00)|
|Deej's NY Cheesecake topped with blueberry (PhP75.00) and Triple Chocolate Cheesecake (P70.00)|
|Colorful curtains adorn the simple glass windows of Lachi's|
Matina, Aplaya, Davao City
Before I flew out of Davao in my afternoon flight, my friends took me out for lunch to Davao's seaside restos dotted along Times Beach in Matina.
We enjoyed a sumptuous lunch of seafood and barbecued pork with the salty breeze cooling the mid-day heat just a few meters from our nipa-hut table.
This actually reminded me of seaside restos in my hometown of Iloilo. I always associate good food and my healthy appetite to home. :)
|The nipa-hut tables were deserted on a Wednesday. Farther off, the waves crashing can be heard.|
|I forgot the fish used in this dish but it was very flavorful, tasted like yellow-fin tuna.|
|Kinilaw na baboy at isda (Fish and pork ceviche)|
|Their San Mig Light in Davao are in printed bottles and don't use labels.|
Magsaysay Fruit Market
Magsaysay, Davao City
A visit in the Fruit Basket of the Philippines is not complete without having a taste of the famously-pungent durian and marang fruits!
Deej and I dropped by here and enjoy the fruits freshly opened, together with a bottle of Coke (apparently durian and marang go best with soda). Eating these is actually an acquired taste but after getting over your initial squeamishness from the smell, it's actually creamy and fine-tasting.
Tip: Best eaten with plastic-covered hands. Dig in! :)
|Kuya slicing open a durian for us.|
|Marang at PhP40.00/kilo|
|Durian at PhP60.00/kilo|