Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tori Grill Review

A new grill/Japanese restaurant has emerged in the city! As self-professed Japanese food lovers, we could not help but get excited at the thought of dining at Tori Grill. The idea of dining in a Japanese restaurant sans sushi is a bit alien but as adventurous foodies (as we like to refer to ourselves now), we were still filled with anticipation.

The Good: One of the things that I remember most about dining in Tori Grill is the taste of their grilled selections. All items are well seasoned even diners with discerning taste buds will give them a passing mark. And if you had been paying attention to your food, you can also tell that they use fresh ingredients.

The Bad: The fact that the food tastes good in Tori Grill cannot make us overlook a few shortcomings about our dining experience, though. The reasonable prices on their menu is something to be commended for. However, the serving sizes were a tad too small. They're even smaller than a kiddie sized meal. They could argue that they have kept serving sizes commensurate to the prices. But we would have appreciated it if the waitress warned us about just how small these servings are. Given the taste and quality of their Japanese barbecues, I would be willing to pay more (and consequently get a bigger serving!).

Another important observation we made during our dine: the menu. I have noticed that they have listed the menu items in Japanese. Even a Japanese food aficionado myself is not that well versed in all dishes in the cuisine. Hence, they could have listed an English description below the Japanese names of the dishes, just so diners have an idea on what they're going to order.

In case you are curious, I got to sample these:

Meal 1 (PhP 84): 2 negima (chicken thigh), 1 okura bacon (okra wrapped with bacon), and 1 torikawa (chicken skin)
*You can add PhP 30 for unlimited rice, miso and salad.
Aspara Bacon (PhP 35 per stick): Asparagus wrapped with bacon
Uzura Bacon (PhP 35 per stick): Quail egg wrapped with bacon

We wish to not make any conclusive opinion about Tori Grill. Hopefully, if the proprietors read this, they will consider this as one of  honest feedback they get from customers and use that to make improvements.

Tori Grill is located at Quirino Avenue, corner General Luna St., Davao City.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dencia's: Old-Time Favorite

This blog has been around for roughly 4-5 years now but it has not dawned onto me until recently that I have not got around to writing a review on Dencia's. When you talk about Davao food and restaurants, there is one place you cannot afford not to include in the list: Davao Dencia's Restaurant. This restaurant has notably turned into one of the landmarks of the city and is recommended with pride by locals to tourists coming into the city for the first time.

Dencia's actually traces its roots in Manila and first opened way back in the 1950s. The husband-and-wife team of Mr. Olegario and Soo te Brito, founded Dencia's. When they moved to Davao, they decided to bring Dencia's with them. Ever since then, the culinary landscape in Davao has never been the same.


The two-storey building where the restaurant sits is within walking distance from other notable landmarks in the city. Hence, accessibility is the heart of this restaurant. But that is not all. They are lauded for producing remarkable Filipino-Chinese dishes that scream comfort food. Among their most famous dishes in the restaurant are the Tokwa't Baboy and their Lugaw.


On our recent trip to Dencia's, we opted for the non-conventional choices. The Inihaw na Pork Chop (PhP 75) and Shrimps ala Newburg (PhP 195) were among the items we sampled. Do not be deceived by the looks as even though the Inihaw na Pork Chop is lacking in presentation, it does not lack anything when it comes to the taste department. The pork is soft and well seasoned that you can eat it on its own without needing any dips or sauces. Meanwhlile, the shrimp dish also does not scrimp on taste and serving size. And you have to appreciate restaurants that serve fresh seafood ingredients!

Have you been to Dencia's? What is your favorite dish from the restaurant?

Davao Dencia's Restaurant is located at General Luna Street, Davao City. For reservations, you can contact them at (082) 227-6777 or (082) 226-4336. They are open Mondays to Sundays from 7AM to 9PM. You can also check out their Facebook page here.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Gourmet Treats from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

I have a confession to make - I am not big fan of coffee shops. Sure, I do visit coffee shops from time to time. But only when I want to enjoy caffeinated drinks and usually order them on-the-go. Call me a cheapskate but sometimes I'd rather have coffee at home. But if there is one coffee shop that I love to frequent, it's Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

The pricing of their drinks and dishes might still be higher in Davao City standards, but they make it completely worth the visit. Read on to find out more about Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's gourmet offerings that deserve a return visit.

Greek Salad (PhP 175)- This is a true Mediterranean treat filled with all flavors and ingredients that remind you of the Mediterranean cuisine. This colorful salad comes with a mix of lemon vinaigrette, fresh tomato slices, cucumber slices, olives, and lettuces, together with generous chunks of feta cheese. Apart from the minor issue of this being a little salty for my liking (due to the liberal serving of feta cheese), I would gladly order this salad again when I visit Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The serving is also humungous, which means that it can be shared by two.

Roast Chicken & Mushroom Fusilli (PhP 235)- If I would be dining out and not in the mood for a rice meal, a pasta dish is a must. Like the Greek Salad above, this pasta dish is not inexpensive but totally worth the price given the size of the serving. This pasta recipe is also created with subtle but rich flavor starting off from the shitake mushrooms and shredded chicken. The rich cream sauce coats every bit of the fusilli pasta and finished off with bell peppers to add some depth into the flavor.

Double Chocolate Original Ice Blended (PhP 165 for regular, PhP 185 for large)- This refreshing ice blended drink is a dream for a chocolate lover like myself. It is prepared with a rich and creamy double dose of chocolate powder together with coffee extract, non-fat milk and ice. Hence, you get to experience double the amount of chocolate goodness that quenches the thirst at the same time.

Chicago Cheesecake (PhP 125 per slice) - Arguably, this is one of the best cheesecakes I've had. The price per slice might be higher than what you'd pay for but they do give you a generous slice. The only downside is that one slice just isn't enough..

The beauty of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's menu is that it consists of high quality gourmet offerings without any mask of pretension. Their menu offerings might not be the cheapest, but they certainly make up for it by offering the freshest and highest quality ingredients. And that for me is all that matters!

Visit Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at their branches in G-Mall The Peak, SM City Davao and Abreeza Mall.
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Saturday, May 10, 2014

New York Style Chicken BBQ Pizza from S&R

During the lenten season, S&R introduced the limited edition Tuna Margherita Pizza for those who would like to join in the observance of the Lent without sacrificing their urge to enjoy good quality food. Last May 1, 2014, S&R introduced yet another addition to their delectable treats at the Food Service section - the all-new New York Style Chicken BBQ Pizza.

Calling out all pizza lovers out there, this is a must try. If you have tasted S&R pizzas before, you should know what to expect and then some. The pizza dough is topped with a rich, slightly tangy and sweet BBQ sauce along with a thick layer of melted mozzarella cheese. Then, you get huge chunks of chicken tenders that come off with a smokey flavor and aroma. For added dose of flavor, the pizza is also garnished with green bell peppers and onion rings.

The liberal amount of toppings used on this pizza ensures that you can get every piece of the topping with every bite. It is a powerful blend of flavor that satisfies even the most discerning palate. For this reason, you can enjoy a pizza that is filling but not too heavy. The chicken tenders topped in the pizza are in itself worth the try!

Make sure to visit S&R Membership Shopping to enjoy the new Chicken BBQ Pizza. It will be available until July 31st only so be sure to drop by before that date. You can order a slice for PhP 99 or the whole pizza for PhP 549.

S&R Davao is located at McArthur Hi-way cor. J. Rodriguez St., Talomo Avenue, Brgy. Ma-a, Davao City. You can also call them for inquiries at (082) 299-0909.

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