Friday, August 31, 2012
A girl like me can’t resist a good dessert (er, chocolate) every once in a while. Yes, even when on weight-watch campaign! There’s something about chocolates that make me happy, apart from anything that science could explain.
So, it must’ve been my lucky day when E & I headed to Maitre Chocolatier in Abreeza to grab dessert and I ordered Sweet Revenge. Priced at P250, this molten lava cake is made from Lindt chocolate (my favorite!).
Aside from the sweetness coming from the dark chocolate, though, there is also a spicy hint to this dessert that is going to surprise you. A serving of vanilla ice cream beside the molten lava cake completes this dessert. This provides a calm reverie as soon as the spicy flavor sets in on your mouth.
If you happen to visit Maitre Chocolatier in Abreeza - and you love chocolate desserts! - don't forget to try Sweet Revenge!
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Love burgers? If you answered yes, there’s one place in Davao you can’t afford to miss – Al’s Diner. This is located at the infamous Crooked Road, corner Ponciano and Rizal Street in Davao. Even though there has been a bunch of new burger joints that emerged in upscale malls in the city, such as Army Navy or Hollywood Burgers, Al’s famous burgers have become a staple in local culinary scene.
The unassuming ambiance. The friendly staff. And their reasonably priced burgers. These are just some of the reasons why I’ve found myself frequenting this spot one too many times over the past couple of years.
There’s even a very revealing slogan painted right above their entrance door: “Once is a customer, twice is a friend”. Wow. Speaks volumes about their dedication to quality customer service. Not convinced? Try visiting Al’s Diner and when you’re lucky to spot the owner there, he’ll warmly greet and entertain you.
Below are some of the food pics taken over our previous visits to Al’s Diner. Give them a try when you’re around the area!
Al's & Rob's Diner
Ponciano St., Davao City
(082) 222 5555
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Tsuru is an authentic Japanese restaurant located along J. Camus Street (if you don’t know where that is, it is right across People’s Park) and situated within the same building as Hanoi, another famous restaurant in Davao. According to the restaurant’s website, they take pride in using the freshest ingredients in preparing their dishes and anyone who’s dined here can attest to the quality of their food offerings.
Being a lover of Japanese food, I didn’t require any more convincing to dine here. And I am happy to report that the restaurant has not, in any bit, disappointed me. In fact, I am keen on declaring it as the city’s best Japanese restaurant – it’s just that I love so many of them that I can’t pick a favorite!
I ordered Salmon Belly Teriyaki (PhP 370) because I had to have salmon. This dish was seasoned with a sweet sauce, which leaves a desirable aftertaste to your palate. If you love fish or salmon, this dish is a must-try. Serving is good for 1-2 persons (but maybe one if you’re really crazy about salmon. Ha!)
Luckily for me, E also loves seafood as much as I do. As if the teriyaki dish isn’t enough to satisfy our seafood craving, we also opted for the Mixed Teppan (PhP 335). It is a combination of squid, shrimp, and lapu-lapu cooked on a hot steel plate, a form of cooking originated by Japanese cuisine.
Lastly, we ordered Asparagus Bacon Maki (PhP 170). If the pic of this dish doesn’t look appetizing for you, then I don’t know what is. Even steamed asparagus tastes heaven to me, what more when you wrap it with bacon? Pure Japanese cuisine heaven right there.
I enjoyed this lovely dinner with E so much that we can’t wait to be back. There’s a sushi bar that I want to try, too. How about you? Have you tried dining at Tsuru? How’s the experience? Be sure to sound off at the comments section below.
Tsuru Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar
J. Camus St., Davao City
Friday, August 24, 2012
La Toscana is a culinary institution in Davao. Even when many other new Italian restaurants have sprung up in the city, it still manages to bring in customers who have come to love their freshly prepared Italian cuisines.
A few months ago, E & I tried this restaurant for the first time – a long overdue visit because I’d been eyeing it for so long. But anyways, I was definitely worth the wait. You can’t go wrong with quality food and quality service.
We were served Tuscan bread with butter and some dips as complimentary so we’d have something to munch on while waiting for our order. This was a light appetizer that is a great start to a meal – just enough to whet your appetite for the full course ahead.
Halfway through enjoying, our orders were served. I was excited how our choices would be like because it seriously took us a long time to finalize what to get. That’s one of the best things about La Toscana – they have lots of options in their menu! Their pasta selection alone could beat any other restaurant’s entire menu (no kidding!).
Back to our orders, E picked our pasta dish for the night – Toscana Matriciana. This is a very simple pasta dish – but don’t let your eyes deceive you. The pasta is cooked just right and the seasoning is subtly good. I had to commend E for his pick – this one’s highly recommended.
For the pizza, we had Capriciosa. Again, there were lots of options on their pizza but we picked this one mainly because it consisted of our favorite topping choices – ham, mushroom, marinara sauce, mozzarella, and olives.
We ended this wonderful meal with tiramisu. This frozen cake isn’t extraordinary but it is good.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Kadayawan Festival 2012 is now history. And even though I missed the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan and Floral Float Parade, I got more than enough reminder of the Kadayawan rush from literally every corner. But because August is the birthday month for papa and ate, the family decided to have an intimate Sunday lunch instead of braving the heat and joining in on the rest of the city’s festivities.
And what could speak more about Davao food than Penong’s, right? It was papa’s decision to dine here because it is clearly his favorite. We dined at the Lanang branch.
We ordered their Seafood Pinakbet and Kinilaw to be shared by everyone, but we each had the following orders: Pork BBQ and Chicken BBQ. Both orders entitled us to “Unlimited Rice”, although I did not get to avail of it during our several visits there.
The unli rice offer is something that Penong’s popularized and several other barbeque houses caught on. Each order is priced at around PhP 80-90, which includes the unli rice option, so that is no doubt a great value for your money (esp for those who are big on rice!).
I, personally, was very full at the end of the meal. And the pinakbet was really good. If you ever get to visit Penong’s, make sure to order the seafood variety (note: this is more expensive than the pork pinakbet though, but totally worth it). Penong’s has and continues to satisfy every Davaoenos’ taste for good but affordable food. It’s no wonder they have become part of the city’s tradition.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Being a seafood (and fish) lover that I am, the Salmon Teriyaki Bento is my favorite Bento set from Rai Rai Ken. It is the most affordable way to indulge in Salmon – my hands down favorite fish – and Rai Rai Ken has kept me coming back with this particular dish.
The highlight of this bento is, of course, the salmon teriyaki. The reduction sauce is slightly sweet and salty and sprinkled with sesame seeds for that irresistible aroma. I also like that they leave some of the skin on to add more texture into the meat and also keep the meat from falling off since it gets really tender when they serve it.
Also included in the set is the gohan (rice), two slices of California maki, and sautéed vegetables that consist of bean sprouts and some leafy greens. Now, who can resist this kind of meal? I sure can’t! The only downside is that it is no longer available at Rai Rai Ken (insert frown here). The last time I went there, I specifically asked the waitress for it since I could not find it in the menu. I couldn’t believe my ears when she told me that they have taken it off the menu.
Since I can’t get my salmon fix from Rai Rai Ken anymore, I found myself looking for alternatives. Good thing, Bigby’s and Swiss Deli’s Salmon Steak are both off the roof! I would single-handedly campaign to get the Salmon Teriyaki Bento back on Rai Rai Ken's menu, though.
Friday, August 17, 2012
It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth. Thus, any chance I get to eat something sweet, I grab it by the heel. Little did I know that my newest addiction would come from the most unlikely place. Never been a fan of Jollibee, or fast food in general (except for KFC), I found their new Jollibee Milo blast sundae mix-in to be quite… addicting?
As a kid, Milo was clearly my favorite chocolate drink. In fact, I found myself sneaking into the refrigerator a few times to scoop the chocolate powder right off the pack. The idea of mixing it into a sundae never occurred in my mind but Jollibee had concocted quite a surefire formula for the kids and kids-at-heart.
What’s in the Jollibee Milo blast sundae mix-in that will surely get you hooked? First off, there is the creamy vanilla sundae serving as the base. You mix in the Milo powder, Milo crunchy cereals, and cookie bits! Every scoop provides an explosion of flavors in your mouth, which takes me back to those childhood years of me eating the chocolate powder straight from the pack!
My only qualm is that hopefully they will serve it up to the brim! Ha! Try this out for only P37.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
When in search of the best pasta in Davao, you can depend on Rego’s Café to deliver. Since a colleague introduced me to Rego’s, it has been my favorite and one of my go-to places to eat. It was located in Valencia Corporate Center in Arellano St. near Central Bank, which is outside our usual route, so getting there usually takes effort and planning beforehand. But this is something that we’d gladly take on just to experience their delectable pasta dishes.
Hence, it was a welcome surprise when I saw the tarp on one of the then-under renovation spot at Gaisano Mall’s The Peak and it had Rego’s name on it. When we returned there last Friday, we realized that they’ve already opened. We did not think twice about dining there because it has been a while, too, since we last did.
First off, I got to note the ambiance that looks very warm and playful. It somehow managed to recreate the same cozy atmosphere they had from their former and original branch.
The meal started off with their Chicken Caesar & Cranberries. We ordered solo for PhP 130, which isn’t the best Caesar’s salad I had (which was surprising since I was blown away the last time I ordered this same salad from Leafy Green Things before) but the cranberries redeemed it for me.
We also had Rego’s Porked Bellies for PhP 135. This is one of many value meals offered on their menu wherein you can also get a glass of iced tea to go with your order. And of course, you can’t go to Rego’s without trying out their pasta. I went with Merlot’s Pasta, which is priced at PhP 195 for a regular size (there's solo and family, too). This is my favorite part of the meal. The tanginess from the marinara sauce gave this dish a kick to it. Plus, the Hungarian sausage and basil helped render additional layers of flavor into the pasta dish.
|Rego's Porked Bellies|
We went home full and satisfied that night. What a way to reward ourselves after a tiring work week!
Note: Pardon the quality of the photos as they were taken only using my Nokia phone. I'll try to go back soon and get more quality photos!
Sunday, August 12, 2012
The southwest monsoon brought lots of heavy rain and cloudy days to Davao city over the past week. One night, in particular, I got stuck in the heavy rain and instead of trying to join in on the rush, I decided to drop by Grub Resto Café for a while as I wait for the rain to subside.
When the waiter handed out the menu, my initial thought was to order something that was perfect for the weather outside. At the same time, I wanted to try out something that I haven’t sampled before. It must have been my lucky day as my order, Chicken Pastel, meets both criteria.
|Grub's Chicken Pastel|
|Glimpse at ingredients|
The dish itself is a soup made with cuts from the chicken thigh, carrots, potato, and mushrooms in a warm and aromatic soup stock. It is then topped with mashed potato along with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
This dish totally won me over, but E wasn’t such a big fan. He thought it was just like a tinolang manok but I insist a gourmet version of the said dish. Ha! He also thinks it’s a little too overpriced for the size of the serving.
Hence, he opted for his favorite – Grub Spaghetti with Meatballs. Both dishes are priced at PhP 150.
For all of those who wish to help out in the relief efforts for flood victims in Luzon, make sure to coordinate with the appropriate officials using the following numbers:
NDRRMC: (02) 911-1406; (02) 912-2665; (02) 912-5668
RED CROSS: 143; (02) 911-1876; (02) 527-0000
You can also send your donations by texting RED 5, 25, 50, 100, or 300 to 2899 (for GLOBE) or 4143 (for Smart). The denominations represent the amount of money you wish to donate to the victims.
You can visit this link to find out where you can drop off your donations or other relief goods. Stay safe, everyone!
Friday, August 10, 2012
From Abreeza to SM Annex, here comes a brand new mall to look forward to for all the Davaoenos out there who can't get enough of their dining and shopping pleasure – the SM Lanang Premier. The mall is built right where Lanang Golf & Country Club once stood and in its place is where the second SM mall in the city is going to emerge.
Just like when Abreeza was about to open, much of the buzz centered on the shops and restaurants that will be opening along with this new mall. And I also heard that SM Lanang Davao City will have a Skygarden similar to that of SM North Edsa in Quezon City wherein you can dine al fresco on a garden with a row of restaurant choices.
I, myself, had been doing lots of research on the new shops and restaurants that will be available upon the SM Lanang Premier opening. I've heard that Forever 21 will have a branch there. So, all fashionistas and avid shoppers, rejoice! I join you in that sentiment.
But I am also equally excited about the new restos that are set to open in SM Lanang Davao. Here are just a few of the restaurants confirmed to open in SM Lanang Premier, according to the Skyscraper City forum posters:
|Image courtesy of SkyscaperCity Forums|
|Image courtesy of SkyscaperCity Forums|
Clawdaddy Crabhouse & American Grill
|Image courtesy of Skyscrapercity Forums|
|Image courtesy of Skyscrapercity Forums|
These are just a few from many, or so I heard, that will be serving Davao city with their delicious cuisines for the first time. I bet you can't wait until it opens! SM Lanang Premier opening is targeted for August 2012, just in time for the city's Kadayawan festivities!
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Davao City offers plenty of options for dining across a variety of cuisines. So, when you want to pamper your tummy and treat yourself to good food, you’d have more than enough choices! But if you are up for a unique dining experience, I think nothing beats Tong Yang Shabu-Shabu and Smokeless Grill.
Tong Yang Shabu-Shabu and Smokeless Grill is located alongside Chimes at Gov. Sales Street. They offer an extensive menu from which you can choose from to prepare your own soup or grill your own meat or seafood.
Naturally, I picked the seafood platter for making my own soup dish. Check out the fresh and tempting platter of seafood below. You also get to pick the kind of soup to use for preparing this dish. For our two platters, we picked Miso and Sinigang soup stock.
|Seafood platter on the left|
They also have items available for grilling and we opted for the standard pork BBQ. However, each of their barbecue meat and seafood menu offers a wide variety to suit any preference, or craving.
The idea of cooking my own food is not entirely alien to me because I love cooking just as much as I love to eat. However, it’s a fun and interactive experience for those who love dining out.
As a side note, I wanted to point out how helpful their staffs are. E & I are new to this kind of dining experience so we could use all the guidance we need. The waitress that attended to us was very well versed about the food choices and even offered us tips on how to prepare our food. It really makes a world of difference when waiters and waitresses are knowledgeable about the food they serve at their restaurant. (I could name a few that need improvement on this department.)
If you want to give them a try, just visit their branch at Chimes along Gov. Sales Street. Enjoy!
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Bon Appetit has been on my food trip radar for some time. Thus, it was but necessary to dine there as we chanced upon Plaza del Carmen in Loyola St., Obrero. But since we initially planned on dining at Duo Commis, we decided to just have our dessert at Bon Appetit.
We picked two desserts: Sugar and Grand-Marnier Crepe and Apple Tart with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. Of the two, the latter blew me away.
The apple tart had a good texture – there is a bit of a crunch but easy to bite into. The amount of sweetness is just perfect, too. The thin slices of apple helped to introduce some tartness against the lightly sweet tart crust. And the homemade vanilla ice cream sitting on top of the tart crust and the apples made this one of the best desserts I’ve had in a while. And surely will be one of my all-time favorites. This costs PhP 150 per serving, which can be shared by two.
|Apple Tart with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream|
I will schedule a visit to Bon Appetit soon, for a full-course meal this time. In the meantime, don’t forget to try this dessert when you visit them yourself. According to the owner, it is their best-seller… and I sure can tell why!
Bon appétit ! La Boutique
Plaza del Carmen, Loyola St. B. Obrero, Davao City
321-2574 / 09228241063
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
My first time dining at SumoSam was a pleasant and filling experience for me and my tummy. I was reluctant to dine here at first, despite the fact that I was initially curious given my love for Japanese food, due to some negative reviews I read from other bloggers – even including the new branch they’ve opened at Abreeza.
But I guess my love for Japanese food and curiosity got the best of me. And I wasn’t disappointed.
The highlight of this meal is SumoSam’s Seafood Kamameshi. I had to jump right in because I can’t wait to share to you how great this was. At more or less PhP 300 (sorry forgot to keep tab of the price again), this is the ultimate dish for seafood lovers. This is one of many SumoSam rice dishes that feature a generous mix of seafoods like squid, shrimp, and fish. The overall presentation of the dish makes it all the more enticing, too. I’ll let you be the judge.
E ordered this one. I forgot to take note of the name of the dish. Duh. But it wasn’t such a favorite of mine, a little bit on the greasy side and way too much batter that I couldn’t taste the meat.
As a redemption, we tried their sushi. And this one is a winner! It has Malagos cheese and comes with a real contrast in flavor. I suggest you order it when you get to visit SumoSam in Abreeza, especially if you love sushi.
Mine is the Chocolate and Cream Cheese flavor. :)