Foreword: Two months after my Davao trip and I still haven’t written about the dining experience I had during the Kadayawan festival. Having joined the bloggers for the PTB meet-up in Apo View Hotel organized by the great Olan Emboscado, I was fortunate to be part of the three-day gastronomic journey starting with Lachi’s desserts, moving on with the sumptuous lunch at Grab-a-Crab in Abreeza Mall, hearty snacks care of Mam Beb’s Bakeshop, the quintessential Durian-Coke combo, and the 99-peso lunch buffet at Tita D’z.
August 19- After getting a hint of burnt hair (we did a short dancing stint with the uber talented firedancers), we then went to Lachi’s, a restaurant known for its mouth-watering desserts. I was particularly drawn to the Durian-laced cakes (Sans Rival and cheesecake) as I still haven’t tried fresh durian at that time. I figured it would be good to start with these cakes to gradually introduce Durian to my palate.
I instantly became a fan of their desserts! I wrote about the cakes already when their main dishes were as equally tempting.Doi, CJ, Edz, Sheena, Renz, do you guys remember the chocolate-covered tofu? It turned out to be fish fillet. My ears let me down again
August 20 – Crabs were the star of the gourmet feast. After the colorful Indak-indak sa Kadalanan, everyone had their stomachs growling with hunger primarily brought about by the tiring photo-coverage of the Kadayawan highlight. Olan, thanks again for the premium media pass! We wouldn’t have had the same level of enjoyment during the Festival if it were not for your efforts.
Durian is the most intimidating fruit one could ever lay his eyes on. The spiky exterior, the custard-like flesh, and that very strong (I wouldn’t say repulsive, that’s harsh and entirely subjective) smell makes one hell of a challenge. Even the Bizarre Foods host and gourmet traveler extraordinaire Andrew Zimmern couldn’t take the fruit down. It’s a textural thing, he says. This coming from a man who eats bull testicles, putrefied shark flesh, wood worms and rotting innards for a living sure raises the fear in me.
And I did it! I ate durian and found it delicious. It really is a textural thing and the Coke does well in keeping the fruit bits down. I found it amusing that one could rub off the smell from one’s hands with the rind of the fruit.
August 21 – We had lunch at Tita D’z after witnessing Pamulak sa Kadayawan (Flower Parade). The restaurant, situated in Rizal Street, is a hit among locals and tourists alike since it offers a 99-peso lunch buffet. Aside from the usual fare of meat dishes and sautéed vegetables, the buffet also included tuna sahimi and lato (seaweed) salad. Fruits were the perfect ending to the filling meal.
It was only when we went out of the resto that I realized this:Tita D’z is an institution in Davao when it comes to dining. There was a hungry mob forming outside who were waiting for their turn at the buffet table.
All in all, my Davao itinerary became a food trip of explosive proportions. The city has so much to offer in terms of cheap but good eats as well as fine gourmet options. I think I gained a pound or two but I didn’t regret any of it because the trip was a remarkable experience shared with an awesome group of new friends. I say, go to Davao and unleash the hungry traveler in you!