Davao City’s Kadayawan Festival in Style Series
Davao City Food Trip
It was a festival of local cuisine on my tongue straight to my tummy. At times I would just go with salad but then the constant temptation of crispy bacon, tuna panga, kinilaw, baby back-ribs and lechon was too powerful to say no. It was as if I puffed some mj as I don’t know how I was able to devour all these food served to us.
WARNING: The following pictures and story will make you hungry.
Breakfast at Cafe Marco
Davao City’s Welcome was beyond my system’s expectations. My 3-day light diet was no match for the following 3 days of pigging out. Who would think of light diet when you look at the buffet breakfast table and you see crispy bacon strips and sunny side-ups??
I started the day with a hearty salad and yogurt. I was trying to fill me belly with healthy food before adding more sodium and fats. I have an alibi though, I will surf for 3 days the following week (which until now didn’t happened). So I asked the chef at Cafe Marco to make the bacon crispier, I paired it with ensaymada and everything went straight to my mouth. This is just breakfast.
Beachfront Lunch at Paradise Island, Samal
After a quick rest, the group went to the island- the Island Garden of Samal is just a 10-minute boat ride from the private port of Paradise Island. The quick ride brought us to azure waters, tourists mostly kids, were already enjoying the sun and sea when we sat on our table. We were offered fresh buck juice as we found our feet touching the fine white sand facing the ocean. It was a nice sunny day
We had a short tour of the resort, you see we needed to have some walks because we will eat- buffet lunch, yes buffet again. I picked fresh fruits- watermelon, banana and papaya before attacking the lighter ones- kinilaw (ceviche) and alto (seaweed salad). I was pacing my lunch and by the time I was ready for more, I took a generous amount of grilled Tuna Panga, Beef BBQ and squid skewers. Of course, those are best enjoyed with Mango Shake and a cold bottle of Sanmig light. Okay so I mentioned SanMig light twice in this series already. I hope they can read this and hopefully sponsor my beach party next month. the owner was generous enough and spent some time hanging with us and sharing stories of love and relationship, everyone loosen up. Must be the booze?
At the same time, the band at the background is doing a great job, both the acoustic/indie pop group and the family of musicians. Good times! It was a relaxing afternoon spent on paradise.
Davao’s Gourmet Collective at SM Lanang
Before going back to Marco Polo Hotel, we dropped by at SM Lanang to sample some of Davao’s Gourmet food, there’s a Gourmet Collective happening and we tried some local chocolates, gourmet cheese (which i really like), lechon de leche and many more of local offerings. I actually like events like this- showcasing the localism and supporting small entrepreneurs. Kudos to the organizers of this event. I support you, I support localism.
Dinner at the Classy Polo Bistro
Okay so those where two straight buffets and I wonder what’s for dinner. Ms. Patty told us that we are meeting some from the Davao Bloggers group.
Lunch was beside the beach, tonight was beside the pool. You see, Davao is as cool as this, you can easily choose between the beach on the island or the pool in the heart of the city. The blue waters brought by the neon lights was a relaxing sight. But my digestive system will do more work tonight- mozzarella cheese sticks, calamares, chicken wrapped in streaky bacon and kinilaw na malasugui with crispy dried squid on the top were the appetizers paired with some veggies or fruits. That fish kinilaw (ceviche) was my fave- the tenderness of the fresh fish and the crispiness of the dried squid was a perfect combo, it added texture to that mouth-watering wonder. Whoever thought that a simple kinilaw can be served in a fine-dining restaurant.
Then we we served with pomelo salad and Caesar’s salad, I’m no kikay but I’m a big fan of salad so I ate more greens. They say that salad not only make you sexy, it also makes you glow and hot. Hmmmm… now I know or now you know?
After the greens came the red and brown and everything in between- calamares, baby back ribs, prawns, salmon, sirloin steak. The plating is exquisite and at a time we were passing around the plate because we don’t want to mess up the food design.
What left an impression was the tender pork ribs and salmon steak. Every bite on that pork gives a different experience- the salt and pepper used was distinct, the crispy garlic strips, the heavenly sauce which I really want to imitate at home. The salmon on the the other hand was cooked just fine, not too flaky and perfectly moist. “Walang langsa” first came to mind, I wonder where it came from- I can say that its fresh. All came down my happy tummy with the help of that brain-freezing lemon-ginger shake. I recommend that you buy that.
Dessert was a showcase of Davao fruits- pomelo creme brulee, durian and mangosteen panna cotta.
My tummy needs rest to from all this feasting… ZZZzzz…
Breaky at the Continental Club, The Marco Polo
Breakfast was a quiet one- overlooking the city and the parade dancers below Roxas Ave just in front of Marco Polo Hotel. I chose to dine at the 17th floor, Continental Club.
Comfort Food for Lunch at Lachi’s
Lunch was exciting because its at Lachi’s. I have heard of this restaurant before and always saw photos of their sansrival on my Instagram feed, finally I will be able to try it myself.
Lachi’s is comfort food at its best and its not that pricey. Their callos beats my grandma’s best, the spicy oriental chicken is like food served in heaven (sorry for the adjective but i hope you get the idea) and I hope they deliver durian sans rival to Laguna. Sir Michael, the owner, was kind enough to prepare some food not available on the menu. Eating at Lachi’s would be one of the highlights of this Davao City Food tour. Oh…before I forget, they are close on Sundays and they are always jam-packed with guests so be patient.
Breaktime! Royal Pampering at Lazuli Spa
After Lachi’s was a royal full-body spa treatment at Lazuli Spa, 4th floor of Marco Polo Hotel. I will say again my tweet a week ago, “It was the best (and longest) spa treatment I ever had.” After a relaxing steam bath was a full-body scrub using ground coffee beans followed by a 90-minute full-body massage. Then Eve, the therapist, made salad on my face. I think I looked younger afterwards. The right term is “rejuvenated!!” (yes with two exclamation points). One more house tea please!
Fine-Dining with a Local Twist- Dinner at Binggoy’s
My body is already on sleep-mode but we have to try another fine-dining, candle-lit restaurant called “Binggoy’s” which is a brainchild of the ever enthusiastic Ms. Baby Montemayor, Binggoy is the name of Ms. baby’s husband. She serves Davao’s cuisine with a local twist and I like it. Take note of the local twist. The deep-fried penne pasta came as a surprise for an appetizer and that tuna kinilaw served in a shot glass was something artistic added with salted egg and lemon it was a indeed an appetite-wheter (if there’s a word like that).
What was unforgettable was the pomelo salad with fish sauce or patis. I guess its because of the patis, a very clever way to substitute the usual salt for pomelo. I’m sure it’s not the usual patis as its kinda sweet like the ones they use in Thai cuisine. Hmmmmm….
Because I’m still full from the past meals, I just focused on the main course- Grilled Tuna Panga with light curry sauce and peaches and the Wet Paella. I never thought peaches tastes good with tuna panga. And yes that wet paella is love. I suddenly miss my grandma’s cooking- Spanish-Filipino heritage food.
MTS Night Cap- Rhum Coke
Before calling it a night, I went again to MTS to meet some friends and friends of friends. It was an epic night with Bayang Barrios, Lolita Carbon (Asin), Kookie Chua and Mindanao’s Pride Maan Chua. Add tanduay rhum and peanuts and everything beautiful happens! There are experiences that are best enjoyed when you had a drink of two. Sorry I don’t have photos because Sorry, I don’t have photo because unforgettable moments can’t be captured by film/camera.
Another night spent to let the tummy rest and we ate at Cafe Marco for breakfast- another round of crispy bacon, sunny-side ups and wheat bread.
Grand Kadayawan Festival Luncheon at The Marco Polo Hotel
A fitting ending to all these feasting would be a Grand Kadayawan Festival Lunch at Cafe Marco.
The feast table is too much for me so I just took my face Filipino foods- kambing in santol, kare-kare and lechong baboy. I limited my rice to two cups and I just amused myself with tea. That’s it, food, enough, please. I have a big tummy now.
Now, I have to burn all these in water… A quick lap on the pool is in order.
Salamat kayo Marco Polo!
Davao City’s Kadayawan Festival in Style Series
Getting to Davao City by air:
Cebu Pacific Air flies daily to Davao City from Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Kalibo, Zamboanga, Dipolog, Cagayan de Oro and Puerto Princesa . For bookings and inquiries, go to www.cebupacificair.com or call (02)7020-888. The latest seat sales and promos can be found on Cebu Pacific Air’s official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook pages (/cebupacificair).