Kusina Maria

Food Blog + Food Shop

Category : Eat with Me!

Smoked Salmon Salad by Mykie’s Private Kitchen

Mixed Greens with Truffle Raspberry Vinaigrette and Smoked Salmon by Mykie's Private Kitchen

Mixed Greens with Truffle Raspberry Vinaigrette and Smoked Salmon by Mykie’s Private Kitchen

If you have been reading this blog for quite some time, you probably know by now I love salads. So it should not come as a surprise that I begin most big meals (and any buffet) with a good salad. I think good cold kitchen chefs are grossly undervalued here in Davao so I always take the time to blog about the good salads I have tried.

I was superbly delighted when my first Mykie’s Private Kitchen experience opened with a superb salad. Another thing you have to know is I can’t get enough of salmon, especially when it is raw or smoked. So it’s easy to please my palate with a salmon salad, right? Wrong. I have higher standards and are more picky with food that I love. Needless to say, Mykie’s Private Kitchen’s Mixed Greens with Truffle Raspberry Vinaigrette and Smoked Salmon exceeded expectations.

The salad is composed of a mix of fresh, crisp greens. They use a good mix that combines different flavors and textures. The greens are complemented by the piquant flavor of red onions. I am not a fan of raw onions so I didn’t eat any of it. However, the sharp flavor of onions was obvious throughout the salad. It was a nice touch, I must say.

And the salmon, oh the smoked salmon. It was heavenly. It was tender, perfectly bursting with smokiness and umami flavor with a touch of saltiness and sweetness.

Mixed Greens with Truffle Raspberry Vinaigrette and Smoked Salmon  and Scallops Starters by Mykie's Private Kitchen

Mixed Greens with Truffle Raspberry Vinaigrette and Smoked Salmon and Scallops Starters by Mykie’s Private Kitchen

To bring all these great components together is a superbly flavorful but light Truffle Raspberry Vinaigrette. The mix of funky umami truffle flavor and tangy tarty raspberry is unexpectedly delightful. The dressing ties all the flavors of the greens, the onions, and the salmon together without overpowering any of the salad components.

Kudos to Chef Mykie and Chef Topher who had perfect control over the use of the vinaigrette. It is always tricky dressing a composed salad. There has to be enough dressing to coat and flavor the salad components but not too much to overwhelm the individual flavors.
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Boodle Fight at RBG Park Inn Davao

RBG Boodle Fight Rematch 2 with Boneless Pork Lechon Belly

RBG Boodle Fight Rematch with Boneless Pork Lechon Belly

There’s not better way to celebrate anything than with food, good, glorious food. And RBG at Park Inn Davao knows that. They have prepared a feast to celebrate the Kadayawan Festival. Presenting… RBG’s Boodle Fight Rematch.

Boodle Fight is the Philippine military style of dining. Rice and various dishes are laid out on banana leaves and diners are encouraged to eat with their hands, sans plates and utensils. In the past few years, it has become a stylish (and easy) way of serving Filipino dishes, mostly featuring fresh seafood and grilled dishes. It is often practiced in fiestas and family gatherings.

RBG’s Boodle Fight Rematch is a good representation of typical Filipino fiesta dishes, highlighting popular Davao food. The meal’s centerpiece is Boneless Pork Lechon Belly, a scaled down version of the popular Lechon (whole roasted pig).

Boneless  Pork Lechon Belly of the RBG Boodle Fight Rematch

Boneless Pork Lechon Belly of the RBG Boodle Fight Rematch

Tasty, succulent, and encased in crispy pork skin. It is definitely a delight to eat.

The Boodle Fight Rematch spread includes popular Filipino starters: Native Tinolang Manok (Chicken Soup made with free range chickens), Fern Salad with Salted Eggs, and Lumpia (Spring Rolls).

Fern Salad of the RBG Boodle Fight Rematch 2

Fern Salad of the RBG Boodle Fight Rematch

Aside from the Lechon Belly, RBG’s Boodle Fight features Pinaupong Manok and Grilled Tuna Belly.

Pinaupong Manok of the RBG Boodle Fight Rematch

Pinaupong Manok of the RBG Boodle Fight Rematch

Grilled Tuna Belly of the RBG Boodle Fight Rematch 2

Grilled Tuna Belly of the RBG Boodle Fight Rematch


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JAM Foods Angus Tapa

Jam Foods USDA Tapa at the Davao Gourmet Collective at SM Lanang Premier

Jam Foods USDA Tapa at the Davao Gourmet Collective at SM Lanang Premier

One iconic Filipino dish is Tapsilog. Tapsilog is short for Tapa, Siningag, at Ilog (Cured Beef, Garlic Ric, and Egg). Tapa is cured beef, similar to beef jerky. Beef is marinated with a mixture of vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and garlic. It is cured for several days then fried to perfection. As with most Filipino dishes, there are many iterations of Tapa. There’s dry tapa, wet tapa, red tapa, so on so forth. For most Filipinos like me, it doesn’t matter. All kinds of tapa is good tapa. Eating Tapsilog any time of the day brings every Filipino home. No matter where you are. It is comfort food.

So how do you make your tapa stand out and be talked about? Make it extremely awesome. And that is exactly what JAM Foods did. JAM Foods took the ordinary, commonplace tapa and made it gourmet. The first time I tried JAM Foods USDA Angus Tapa, I could not stop eating.

About a year ago, I was invited to the Press Preview of Davao Gourmet Collective Kadayawan Food and Music Fair. It was there that I had my first gourmet Angus Tapa and I fell in love.
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Truffsilog by Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar

Truffsilog by Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar, Tapa with Truffles, Fried Egg, Garlic Rice, and Tomato & Onion Salsa

Truffsilog by Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar

If adobo is the Philippines’ “national dish,” one could argue that Tapsilog is our “national breakfast.” It is delicious, it is accessible, and it has many different variations just like the adobo. And Filipinos love to eat it not just for breakfast, but also for lunch and dinner, and as recovery food after a late night of partying. So when it comes to tapsilog, you can say it is hard to please diners and be talked about as if it is something new or exciting. After all, there is a tapsilogan in almost every kanto (street corner).

Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar manages to stand out with their Truffsilog. Don’t get me wrongm they are not the first ones to offer such, but they have certainly led the pack in Davao and they have done it masterfully.

Look at that beauty.

Truffsilog by Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar, Tapa with Truffles, Fried Egg, Garlic Rice, and Tomato & Onion Salsa

Truffsilog by Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar

Tapsilog is short for Tapa, Sinangag, at Itlog. Tapa is cured beef, Sinagag is garlic fried rice, and Itlog is egg. Tapa is common breakfast dish around the Philippines. It is available in various cuts and classes of beef. The curing process differs in each region but the most popular one involves curing beef in salt, garlic, and soy sauce. Some variations include calamansi juice (lemon), sugar, or vinegar in the curing marinade. After curing the beef in the marinade, it is drained, pat dry, and fried. Tapa is often salty with a hint of sour and sweet. The curing process gives the meat a sublime of umami flavor.
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Tequila Rose Truffles by Kai Artisan Chocolates

Tequila Rose Truffles by Kai Artisan Chocolates

Tequila Rose Truffles by Kai Artisan Chocolates

I believe that when you’re eating excellent chocolate, one piece or one bite is enough. A piece of truly decadent and rich chocolate, whatever form or flavor, should be enough to satisfy your chocolate craving. This is true for every piece of handcrafted truffle and praline by Kai Artisan Chocolates.

One of my favorites is Kai’s Tequila Rose Truffles.

Tequila Rose is a specialty tequila made of a combination of Strawberry Creme Liquor and Tequila. It is a popular liquor ingredient for drinks and pastries. It is a bit creamy with a distinct strawberry taste with a splash of tequila. It is only 30 proof or contains just about 15% alcohol.

Kai Artisan Chocolates uses Tequila Rose to make a Tequila Rose cream pastry, mixed with a bit of white chocolate (I think). It is then rolled in dark chocolate and dusted with rich dark chocolate powder. The result is a fruity, sweet, rich filling contrasted with a luscious dark chocolate cover. The flavors are contrasting but the texture of both the filling and the coating is melds together to be uniformly rich and creamy.

Each bite of this Tequila Rose Truffle is heavenly. The decadence of one piece is more than enough to satisfy your chocolate craving.

Kai Artisan Chocolates

Kai Artisan Chocolates

Kai Artisan Chocolates are only available seasonally. Other highly recommended flavors are Rhum Truffles, Salted Caramel Praline, and Hazelnut Praline. For special occasions, order their Chocolate Dipped Strawberries.
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Davao Gourmet Collective

Jam Foods USDA Tapa at the Davao Gourmet Collective at SM Lanang Premier

Jam Foods USDA Tapa at the Davao Gourmet Collective at SM Lanang Premier

There is no better way to celebrate Kadayawan than with food. And the best place to do exactly that is at the Davao Gourmet Collective (DGC). For Kadayawan Festival 2015, DGC will be presenting a unique Kadayawan Food and Music Fair.

I had the privilege of attending the sneak preview of the Davao Gourmet Collective and here are my highly recommended picks of must-try dishes at the Kadayawan Food and Music Fair.

SOUL Kitchen Co

Soul Kitchen Co at the Davao Gourmet Collective at SM Lanang Premier

Soul Kitchen Co at the Davao Gourmet Collective at SM Lanang Premier


Being healthy is the en vogue to do right now. And the best way to be healthy is with fresh, wholesome food. Grab a salad or a wrap from Soul Kitchen Co for a healthy start to your Davao Gourmet Collective food trip.

Alibaba Shawarma

Alibaba Shawarma at the Davao Gourmet Collective at SM Lanang Premier

Alibaba Shawarma at the Davao Gourmet Collective at SM Lanang Premier


Try their Shawarma Wraps and Shawarma Pockets all made from scratch.

JAM Foods

Jam Foods USDA Tapa at the Davao Gourmet Collective at SM Lanang Premier

Jam Foods USDA Tapa at the Davao Gourmet Collective at SM Lanang Premier


Their Tapa made with USDA Certified Beef is probably the best tapa. It is perfectly salty and a bit sweet with a whole lot of beefy taste.

The Crazy Cook

Satay by The Crazy Cook at the Davao Gourmet Collective at SM Lanang Premier

Satay by The Crazy Cook at the Davao Gourmet Collective at SM Lanang Premier


Satay is a popular Malay dish. It’s spicy and tasty. And the dipping sauce is wonderful.
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