Food

My Top 8 eats in Davao City

Let’s steer away from Durian for a bit and explore what else Davao City has to offer. Davao City has been so controversial as of late most especially because of our current President Digong, but this didn’t stop us from visiting this wonderful city during Kadayawan Festival at the height of Martial Law. If you’re wondering how the province is doing during Martial Law, it’s business as usual for everyone. While we were initially anxious about the military presence and constant helicopter rounds, eventually we felt safe and enjoyed the festivities.

Kadayawan is a Bagobo word that means happiness, and this annual festival celebrates Davao’s bountiful harvest through songs, dances, local tribal games, and lots of eating. Here are couple of my favorite eats that you should definitely check out when you visit:

Kaondayawan Food Festival

A new addition to the roster of Kadayawan activities, Kaondayawan (kaon in Visayan means “eat”) features hawker food stalls and unique drink concoctions. Think of it as a food park of sorts, installed at Palma Gil Street specifically for the festival.

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I zeroed in on the lechon and wagyu stalls while my fellow tourists/traveling companions, Phil and Princess, ordered Lechon Shawarma and the evergreen isaw (chicken intestines). Read More

Love, Z Bakery & Patisserie

Being a creature of habit, I usually stay true to my tried and tested food places. But once in a while when I’m feeling adventurous (ha!) I go out of my way and try new things. In this case, a new patisserie. Venture a little bit north and you’ll find the lovely Love, Z Bakery & Patisserie outside Filinvest Gate 1, stop number 2 on our Manila Food Trip 2017.

Love, Z is the brainchild of a group of friends brought together by their love for food and good conversation. Having spent so much time in restaurants, cafes, and other establishments, they eventually decided to create a place of their own and thus Love, Z bakery was born.

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We welcomed their freshly baked pastries, cakes, breads, and our beverage of choice (I had coffee, of course). Having had our fill of rice and heavy servings of chicken from the previous food crawl, it was nice to just sit down, chill for a bit, and catch up. I was seated with Rocky and Gellie, fellow coffee lovers and dessert aficionados.

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Poultry Stack

I am a homegrown Quezon City girl so it’s pretty obvious that our default for easy eats would be the Banawe, Tomas Morato or the Scout area. Just when I thought I’ve seen and tried all the places within the vicinity, another quirky restaurant opens up and it’s called Poultry Stack.

This was the first stop of the day of the Manila Food Trip 2017 event organized by Ms. Aileen Octaviano of the Pampanga Bloggers’ Society where I was invited by my fellow beauty blogger and Kapampangan, Gellie Abogado. This was also the first food crawl I participated in.

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Early birds: With Rocky Gonzales discussing food, travel, and politics

Poultry Stack is a hip restaurant developed by renowned chefs Chef Gene and Chef Gino Gonzalez, serving distinct local and international cuisines revolving around its main ingredient: chicken.

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A yummy Pinoy treat called Balikutsa

My childhood summers involved regular weekend beach trips, biking from afternoon ’til night with 10 of my cousins and friends, good food (lots of Lechon!), and chewing on balikutsa. I had totally forgotten about it, save for some cravings here and there, but truth be told I haven’t really eaten balikutsa (coconut toffee) since high school. Come to think of it, I haven’t eaten a stick in 20+ years!

What is Balikutsa?

It’s coconut toffee, basically. It’s a sweet snack/dessert that is always handmade with a recipe that is passed on from generation to generation. I first tasted this delicious snack in Cabadbaran City, my hometown in Agusan del Norte, where I used to spend my two months of summer vacation like clockwork. I understand (after doing some light research on Google) that other provinces have their own versions of this very addicting dessert.

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Here’s a quick background story: While in Cabadbaran City visiting my Dad, I woke up one day looking for Mart (Dad’s helper) and found him over the stove frantically cooking something. I was a little bit annoyed because he was ignoring me, until I went over to him and asked: “What are you doing ba?!” He said he’s cooking balikutsa for me. In true Kira fashion, I didn’t believe him (I am naturally dubious of poeple, haha) until I looked over his shoulder and saw the warm sticky toffee! He said he wanted to surprise us — and thank you, Cathy, for arranging all of this. Oh my god, I wanted to cry! Read More

My 6 Favorite Food Places in Naga City

One of the things I loved about Naga City was that it was so easy to commute to anywhere! I stayed at Naga Land Hotel which was smack in the middle of town just a couple of yards away from a popular eatery, and a 10-minute walk away from the Cathedral and local churches. There were no scooter rentals here, but it was notably so easy to travel via tricycle and jeepney — and so affordable, too!

Here are some of my favorite places that you should try when you come visit. These are all easy to locate and reach whether by foot or local transport:

1. Que Pasa  Barlin Street, Naga City, Camarines Sur

I had just finished exploring the famous Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Penafrancia when it suddenly rained and I found myself seeking shelter in a nearby barbecue joint. Intrigued with the quirky interiors, I was surprised to discover that it was actually open for lunch time. I had initially thought it was a bar!

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Que Pasa Naga is a fun resto with a very Instagrammable Spanish ambiance. They specialize in freshly grilled fare with 4 different sauces: Que Pasa sauce (reduced beer with butter and garlic), Cerveza Negra sauce (barbecue sauce), Chili Xocolate (spicy and sweet), Bicol sauce (spicy). Guys, try all the sauces if you can! They add all the character and flavor to the dish — nasa sauce ang sikreto!

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Discovering the delicious sweet snack called Tutu Kueh

While whiling away my time in Food Opera in ION Orchard, I chanced upon an unassuming kiosk selling floral-shaped snacks that I thought was cute. The light pink color also caught my attention and I asked the seller what they were. He promptly answered, “Tutu Kueh” in his Singlish accent. I was perplexed, probably had a confused look on before he continued, “It’s rice cake.”

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Okay admittedly I am not a fan of kakanin, a Filipino word for native delicacies or sweet desserts made of [sweet] rice and/or root vegetables. I do love bibingkakutsinta, and puto, I’ll give you that. But these are pretty basic sweet munchies — almost everyone loves them!

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