Kusina Maria

Food Blog + Food Shop

Category : Starters

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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Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad by Chez Nous

Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad by Chef Chino San Jose of Chez Nous

Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad by Chez Nous

I believe that good food (really good food… not just yummy or delicious) is one that changes the way I see food. And that is exactly how I would describe the Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad by Chez Nous.

Nicoise Salad, or Salade Niçoise as the French call it, is a composed salad. It is pronounced as “niˈswaz.” Various sources describe traditional Nicoise Salad in different ways. Some sources describe it as having potatoes and beans in equal parts. Different sources list various ingredients as traditional ingredients of the salad. If there’s one thing all sources agree on, it is that it is dressed with a vinaigrette.

Most of the Nicoise Salad that we see in restaurants, modern recipe books, and even on blogs seem to be based from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” The book calls it a Mediterranean Combination Salad. It lists the usual ingredients in the salad.

Tuna, anchovies, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, and lettuce are the usual elements for this appetizing combination, and you may arrange the salad in any manner you wish.*

Do a Google image search for Nicoise Salad and you’ll know what I mean.

Most restaurants use canned tuna for it and I am not fond of uncooked canned tuna. Needless to say, Nicoise Salad does not interest me. And I usually love salads.

I have heard of Chez Nous’ Nicoise Salad and it made me curious. Seeing it’s description on the menu made me excited. It is listed as “Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad” and described as “Seared Sesame Tuna, Lettuce, French Beans, Honey-Lemon Dressing, Deep Fried Anchovy.” Whew! The Seared Sesame Tuna is enough to make me happy.

When I saw the salad, I was not just excited but really . It is nothing like other Nicoise Salads I have seen or tried. If I sound like I am exaggerating or medyo OA, I offer no apologies. It was as if the Chef knew exactly everything I love and put them all together. LOOK!

Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad by Chef Chino San Jose of Chez Nous

Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad by Chez Nous

Where do I begin? Perfectly cooked fried egg and deep fried anchovy over a bed of fresh greens. I am a sucker for a perfectly cooked fried egg with a runny yolk. It is a pleasant combination of textures and flavors that will make any good dish, even better. I mean… serve me a perfectly cooked fried egg any time of the day and I will be happy. When eating this Nicoise Salad, break the egg, chop it up, and make sure to have a bit of egg in every bite.
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Chicken Skin by Espetada

Chicken Skin by Espetada the House of Hanging Chicken

Chicken Skin by Espetada: House of the Hanging Chicken

A few months ago, Espetada: House of the Hanging Chicken created a buzz on social media. After two trips to this trending foodie destination, I can conclude it’s a quaint foodie experience in Davao. And super cheap, too.

On my second trip to Espetada, I saw something on their menu that made me excited. There, in the Extras section of the Menu was listed Chicken Skin. I ordered 1 serving to satisfy my curiosity and I was pleasantly surprised.
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Vikings Luxury Buffet features Street Foods of the World

Pork Satay (Indonesian Spiced Skewers) by Vikings Luxury Buffet - Street Foods of the World

Pork Satay by Vikings Luxury Buffet – Street Foods of the World

There is a saying for travelers that goes: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

When visiting a city or country, you can find their best kept culinary secrets, not in high end restaurants, but in street food sold by ambulant vendors. Street food represent a part of a locality’s culture and is usually prepared and made from abundant ingredients in that area.

Now, you do not need to go to Rome to do as the Romans do. Take a culinary trip around the world this August at Vikings Luxury Buffet. Street foods from around the world take the centerstage at all Vikings Luxury Buffet branches.

From Southeast Asia to Europe and the Americas, your palate will be tickled by hometown favorites of various countries.

Start off your journey with a street food popular in Rome and in the rest of Italy.

Suppli (Italian Rice Balls) by Vikings Luxury Buffet - Street Foods of the World

Suppli by Vikings Luxury Buffet – Street Foods of the World

Suppli comes from the Italian word “sopresa” that means “surprise.” And it lives up to its name. It looks like an ubiquitous meatball. It is actually a ball of risotto (Italian short-grained rice) mixed with eggs, tomato sauce, meat, and mozzarella cheese. Each ball is dredged in bread crumbs and deep fried.

The result is a crunchy ball with a soft, savory center with a hint of salty, sour, and sweet. The rice has a bit of bite that makes the ball more interesting. It is typically eaten as a snack or as an appetizer. Vikings’ Suppli is so delightfully tasty that you will be addicted to it. It looks and sounds a bit weird but it will certainly please you.

From Rome, cross the Atlantic Ocean and visit the Americas with these skewers from Brazil called Espetinho.

Espetinho (Brazilian Kebabs) by Vikings Luxury Buffet - Street Foods of the World

Espetinho by Vikings Luxury Buffet – Street Foods of the World

“Espetinho” is a Portugese word meaning “little skewer.” It also pertains to a popular kebab dish that is made from diced spiced meat. It can be made of beef, chicken, sausages, fish, and shrimps. Vikings version of this is made of shrimps, fish, and mushrooms. It is served with a sweet, sticky sauce with a hint of saltiness. The sauce complements the spiced kebabs well. It’s awesome when eaten with rice.
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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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Quinoa Salad by Polo Bistro at Marco Polo Davao

Quinoa Salad with Smoked Salmon and Green Asparagus by Polo Bistro at Marco Polo Davao

Quinoa Salad with Smoked Salmon and Green Asparagus by Polo Bistro at Marco Polo Davao

Want to feel super? Eat a superfood!

This has been the battlecry of many health buffs lately. What exactly is a superfood? A superfood is a nutrient-rich food that has multiple health benefits. Superfoods are popular for dieters and the health-conscious crowd. One of these superfoods that has become more popular in recent years is quinoa. Quinoa is a species of grain crops, the seeds of which are considered as a pseudo-cereal. It is used as a gluten-free substitute for starchy grains and as a healthy source of proteins.

Quinoa is usually served in salads. It adds more nutritional value to all kinds of salads. Plus it has a unique nutty taste that provides a unique layer of flavor and texture that makes any salad more exciting.

Along with the popularity of superfoods and healthy living, healthy dishes have also become more enticing. Gone are the days of bland and boring healthy food. Just take a look at this…

Quinoa Salad with Smoked Salmon and Green Asparagus by Polo Bistro at Marco Polo Davao

Quinoa Salad with Smoked Salmon and Green Asparagus by Polo Bistro at Marco Polo Davao

Beautiful, right? And it tastes even better than it looks. This gorgeous plate is Quinoa Salad with Smoked Salmon and Green Asparagus by Polo Bistro at Marco Polo Davao.
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