Kusina Maria

Food Blog + Food Shop

Category : Asian Cuisine

Kadayawan Specials by Chef Alex Destriza

Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin with Bistek Sauce with Chorizo Pumpkin Risotto, Kangkong 2 Ways, and Glazed Carrots and Onions by Chef Alex Destriza of Marco Polo Davao

Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin with Bistek Sauce with Chorizo Pumpkin Risotto, Kangkong 2 Ways, and Glazed Carrots and Onions by Chef Alex Destriza of Marco Polo Davao

Davao is known for many things… the durian, the Philippine Eagle, Mount Apo, the Waling-Waling, and of course, our diverse and bountiful harvest which we celebrate with a unique Thanksgiving festival every August. This thanksgiving is called Kadayawan Festival.

For the Kadayawan Festival 2015, Marco Polo Davao has prepared something a special tasting menu prepared by their newly appointed head chef, Chef Alex Destriza. Chef Alex has crafted two Kadayawan Specials Set Menus to showcase Davao’s fresh bounty of fruits, vegetables, livestock, poultry, seafood, and dairy, and livestock.

There are two Three Course Sets you can choose from.

Set A starts with a uniquely luscious Sweet Corn Bisque with Lapu-lapu Croquette, and Ube Tarragon Cream.

Sweet Corn Bisque with Lapu Lapu Croquette and Ube Tarragon Cream by Chef Alex Destriza of Marco Polo Davao

Sweet Corn Bisque with Lapu Lapu Croquette and Ube Tarragon Cream by Chef Alex Destriza of Marco Polo Davao

The Sweet Corn Bisque base is subtlety sweet and creamy but not too rich. The perfectly deep fried Lapu-lapu croquette provides umami flavor and a crunchy texture. These two components are tied together by an Ube Tarragon Cream. All three components blend perfectly together to produce a unique soup experience. The dish is as delicious as it is pretty.

The soup is followed by a memorable Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin with Bistek Sauce with Chorizo Pumpkin Risotto, Kangkong 2 Ways, and Glazed Carrots and Onions.

Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin with Bistek Sauce with Chorizo Pumpkin Risotto, Kangkong 2 Ways, and Glazed Carrots and Onions by Chef Alex Destriza of Marco Polo Davao

Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin with Bistek Sauce with Chorizo Pumpkin Risotto, Kangkong 2 Ways, and Glazed Carrots and Onions by Chef Alex Destriza of Marco Polo Davao

The beef is succulent and tasty. It is served medium rare, the right way. The Bistek Sauce is the right combination of salty and sour with a hint of sweet and peppery. My favorite of the three sides in this dish is the Kangkong served two ways. The Adobong KangKong below the beef is the element which brings the meal back to the simplicity of Filipino cuisine. This is paired with deep fried Crispy Kangkong, a favorite appetizer of Filipinos. Together with the Chorizo Pumpkin Risotto and the Glazed Carrots and Onions, all the components form an elegant plate that highlights the most popular flavors of Filipino cuisine. Bistek. Adobo. Deep fried. All in one dish.

Your Kadayawan Specials Meal will end with another unique marriage of flavors: Biko Pandan with Chocolate Mousse and Caramelized Pecans.

Biko Pandan with Chocolate Mousse and Caramelized Pecans by Chef Alex Destriza of Marco Polo Davao

Biko Pandan with Chocolate Mousse and Caramelized Pecans by Chef Alex Destriza of Marco Polo Davao

Biko is a traditional Filipino rice cake made of glutinous or sticky rice and cooked in coconut milk. In this unique iteration, the Biko is flavored with Pandan and served with pandan jelly on the side. Hence, the name Biko Pandan. It is complemented by a Dark Chocolate Mousse that is decadent but not overwhelmingly rich. I would have never thought the two would go so well, but they do. After all, Filipino rice cakes (commonly called “kakanin”) are usually served with Native Hot Chocolate. The Caramelized Pecans add another layer of sweetness and crunch to the beautiful plated dessert.
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Lechon Liempo by Don Durian

Lechon Liempo by Don Durian

Lechon Liempo by Don Durian

No Filipino celebration is complete without the most wanted lechon. And the most coveted part of any lechon is the belly. In recent years, Lechon Belly Roll has become a popular Filipino food trend.

Lechon, for those not in the know, is spit roasted whole pig. Lechon Belly Roll, however, is just the pork belly section, rolled and roasted. Like the traditional whole lechon, a Lechon Belly Roll is seasoned and stuffed with spices.

There are numerous food establishments that serve lechon belly roll in Davao. One of those that is fast gaining popularity is Don Durian. Don Durian is a home-based business that specializes in Lechon Liempo and Lechon Manok.

Lechon Liempo by Don Durian

Lechon Liempo by Don Durian

Don Durian’s Lechon Liempo is tasty, juicy, and tender. You can taste the spices and herbs in every inch of the meat. It is the right blend of salty and spicy with a touch of umami. More importantly, the meat is perfectly cooked. More importantly, the meat is perfectly cooked. And each bite of the meat is tender and the skin is gloriously crisp.
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Wasabi Oyster Tempura by White House

Wasabi Oyster Tempura with Balsamic Mayonnaise

Wasabi Oyster Tempura with Balsamic Mayonnaise

When I was younger, my cousin told me that Oysters are the best shellfish you can have. It’s “prima classe,” she said. We were having sacks (literally, sacks) of steamed oysters straight from Roxas for our family lunch. Back then, I have never tried oysters and I was hesitant. I was fond of shellfish and I had to try this “prima classe” shellfish. I ended up loving it… steamed, baked, Rockefeller style, grilled and even raw, I can eat oysters all day long. A lot of people are hesitant to try oysters as I was, especially since it is often served raw or steamed. The slimy texture and the briny taste is offputting for people.

If you belong to the hesitant crowd, here’s one way you can enjoy it without losing the unique flavor of the oyster. Try the Wasabi Oyster Tempura with Balsamic Mayonnaise by White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge.

True to their fusion cuisine brand, White House serves up various oyster dishes with a mix of Japanese and western flavors. The Wasabi Oyster Tempura is my favorite. The Oysters are lightly coated with a wasabi before it is dipped in tempura batter.
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Betute and More by Abe’s Farm

Betute by Abe's Farm

Betute by Abé’s Farm

Pampanga is said to be one of the Philippines’ prime food destinations. It is known for their unique Capampangan Cuisine (alternately Kapampangan) that combines local, Malay, Spanish, American, and Chinese influences. These cuisine and other Filipino cuisine favorites are highlighted at Abé’s Farm.

Abé’s Farm is named after writer, artist, and food lover Emilio Aguilar Cruz. “Abé,” the Capampangan term for “friend,” is Cruz’s nickname. Abé’s Farm is owned and managed by the LJC Restaurant Group, founded by Emilio Cruz’s son, Larry J. Cruz.

Abé’s Farm takes pride in serving a full menu of Capampangan food and other signature dishes from the LJC Restaurant Group, specializing in Filipino dishes. From appetizers to desserts, Abé’s Farm pleases the palate and satisfies the tummy.

Taking centerstage are unique and exotic Capampangan dishes such as the Betute and Arobung Kamaru (Farm Crickets). Betute is friend farm frogs stuffed with spiced ground pork. It is a good exotic dish to try for those who might feel iffy about trying locusts.

Betute by Abe's Farm

Betute by Abe’s Farm

The Betute by Abé’s Farm is perfectly spiced and properly cooked. If you didn’t know it was farm frogs, you wouldn’t have guessed that it is made with exotic meat. The savory taste of the Betute is sure to whet your appetite for more Capampangan dishes.
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Buta Kakuni by The White House Fusion Cuisine

Buta Kakuni by The White House Fusion Cuisine

Buta Kakuni by The White House Fusion Cuisine

Have you ever eaten pork belly so tender it melts in your mouth? I have.

Buta Kakuni is a Japanese dish which literally translates to “pork square simmered.” Buta Kakuni is a traditional Japanese dish prepared by cutting pork belly into squares and slowly braising it in soy sauce and dashi. The result is melt in your mouth pork belly with a perfectly balanced mix of sweet, sour, and salty, and a good dosage of umami. It is traditionally served with karashi, a type of mustard paste which provides the dish with spice and a hint of bitterness.

Buta Kakuni is said to have come from Chinese origins. It is close in flavor profile and preparation technique to Dongpo Pork which is square cut pork belly red-braised in soy sauce and Chinese fermented wine. This is also similar to the Filipino dish, Humba which is pork braised in soy sauce and aromatics.
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Have Sam Thai

Set Meal #1 Beef Red Curry and Chicken Khao Pad

Have Sam Thai’s Set Meal #1 Beef Red Curry and Chicken Khao Pad


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Tiongson Arcade in General Santos City is known for its dampa style restaurants which serve fresh seafood at affordable prices. Who would have thought that in the midst of the popular dampa restaurants in Tiongson Arcade one would stand out for its unique offering: authentic Thai cuisine.

Have Sam Thai is an awesome mus-try foodie haven in General Santos City. The food is authentic, meticulously prepared and spiced properly. Not to mention, everything is cheap.

Check out the Have Sam Thai’s Set Meal #2.

Beef Red Curry by Have Sam Thai

Beef Red Curry by Have Sam Thai

Chicken Khao Pad by Have Sam Thai

Chicken Khao Pad by Have Sam Thai

Have Sam Thai's Brewed Red Iced Tea

Have Sam Thai’s Brewed Red Iced Tea

That’s a serving of Beef Red Curry, a plate of Chicken Khao Pad (Thai Fried Rice), and a glass of Have Sam Thai’s Brewed Red Iced Tea for just P170. Great deal, right? And everything is superb. The beef is tender. The red curry sauce is deliciously rich and spicy with a hint of sweet and and sour.
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