Before SM Lanang Premier opened its doors to the public, I was excited primarily for the new restaurants that will be opening in Davao for the first time. As a foodie who is always out to explore new culinary adventures, I was more than happy to find out that Davao foodies will get to experience new dining options, alongside with old favorites opening a new branch. One of those restaurants that I am keeping a close eye on is Hog's Breath Cafe. I am especially thrilled with the idea that this will be the first branch in the Philippines! This Australian-bred brand is going to introduce world-class steaks to the city (and the country!) for our tummy's delight.
When Roxie Macasaet, the marketing manager for Hog's Breath Davao, invited me to the pre-opening taste testing event, I immediately said "yes"! The idea of tasting Aussie's prime steak is already pleasing enough, but the opportunity to sample it before the rest of Davao is an even better prospect!
Upon entering, we were greeted by their friendly wait staff. Once we were settled on our seat, the ambiance quickly drew my attention because it felt so cozy and warm. I like the small details of license plates plastered across different parts of the walls to liven it up a bit!
For appetizer, we got to pick two off of the menu - the Tomato Bruschetta (which was one of their bestsellers, I was informed by our attending wait staff) and the Buffalo Wings. The Tomato Bruschetta was first served on our table and I was quick to dig in. I love the aroma of the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red onions and basil, but I did notice that the bread wasn't as crunchy as I had expected it to be. We figured it could have been the moisture from the tomato that was causing the bread to lose its crunch, though you cannot fault that given that the tomato was fresh and its flavor truly served as the highlight of this dish.
Next up is the Buffalo Wings. Boy, I am pleased with the sizes of their serving! This appetizer features 6 pieces of wings that are well seasoned and comes with a very delicious dip! Out of curiosity, and because we dug it so much, we even asked one of the waiters about what ingredients were used on the dip. It turned out to be blue cheese, as I have guessed, and I love the slightly tangy taste of the dip against the honey sweet buffalo wings!
I opted for the Salmon Nicoise Salad because I knew that the rib was too big for my appetite as a main course. Anyway, it turned out to be a fantastic choice for a seafood and veggie lover like me. The salmon was as tasty as can be, although I do have to point out the fact that the natural taste of salmon really shone through in this dish. The dressing on the salad was also very savory but not too overpowering. According to the chef, the classic Caesar's salad dressing is tossed in with tomato salsa and some parmesan cheese.
Of course, the most awaited part of the meal was the Prime Rib Steak. For this pre-tasting event, only the 200g serving size is available, although they do have two other larger serving sizes to choose from once the restaurant officially opens. E opted to have it cooked medium rare, which the waitress recommended is the best way to have it served. The main reason why steaks from Hog's Breath Cafe are notable worldwide is the fact that the steak is cooked slowly for up to 18 hours, thus allowing the meat to become naturally tender without losing its moisture. We also learned that all steak meats are imported from Australia and are of the grain-fed variety, which is less fatty as compared to the ones that are grass-fed. Every bite of the steak is packed with flavor and any steak lover out there would find themselves in pure culinary heaven with this one!
To end the meal, we had two delectable desserts in Mississippi Mud Cake and the Banana Split. Let me start with the Mississippi Mud Cake because it is one of two desserts that recently blew me away. The cake in itself is packed with lots of flavor. As a chocolate lover, this dessert is right up my alley. According to their website, they have guarded this recipe for over 20 years - so there is really a secret to why this cake is simply out-of-this-world! The cream and vanilla ice cream on the side is only the icing on the cake, so to speak! The Banana Split, on the other hand, is just like any you would expect.
Not forgetting to mention, their drinks were also world-class. I really enjoyed the refreshing flavor of the Mango and Apple Juice, which is served with heavy cream on top. And the Lime Mojito that E picked had a slight kick to it, which is surprising given that it is alcohol-free. Also, try the Strawberry Cocktail - not your traditional margarita as it comes with a sweet and less potent taste!
I definitely recommend Hog's Breath Cafe to those who are in search for the best steak in Davao, or simply who want to experience world-class dining. My search might have come to an end for the best steak in town. Visit them at SM Lanang Premier wherein you can find them at the fountain side of the SM Supermarket exit.They officially open on December 13, 2012 (Thursday) but a "Secret Party" will be held on December 12, 2012. Make sure to check that out as you can get a discount when you dine!