Kusina Maria

Food Blog + Food Shop

Discover #DavaoFood the #SMARTLife Way

Chicken in Coconut Milk cooked in a Bamboo

Nilulot na Manok sa Gata by the Bagobo Tribe of Davao Region

“What is Davao Food?”

For ten years now, I have been blogging and sharing about Davao Food. And that is the question that people often ask me. Truth is, aside from indigenous dishes by the Davao tribes, kinilaw (ceviche), and grilled seafood, I still can’t define what Davao Food really is. Davao Food is a reflection of our “melting pot” culture. Melting pot is a term used to describe the various peoples of Davao. Davao is a proud home to its tri-people, a place where Christian, Muslims, and lumads (indigenous peoples) live and thrive peacefully. Add to that expats, international students, and other visitors from other nations. The Christians in Davao are mostly migrants from other regions of the Philippines. We have a good mix of Tagalogs, Bicolanos, Pangasinenses, Pampanguenos, Cebuanos, Warays, Boholanons, Ilonggos, and Filipinos from other regions. This mix of people is reflected in our cuisine.

Ceviche by Park Inn Davao RBG

Ceviche by Park Inn Davao RBG

Davao Food highlights the fresh produce — various meats, poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables — of Davao Region, prepared, cooked, and presented in various regional and international cuisines. It’s not unusual to find a Filipino restaurant alongside a Japanese Restaurant, a Chinese Restaurant, an Italian Restaurant, and a Korean Restaurant all in the same street. And yes, we have restaurants specializing in Ilocano food, Halal food, Indigenous Davao food, Kagay-anon food, and other regional specialties. And there’s comfort food everywhere.

Kushiyaki Platter by The White House Fusion Cuisine

Kushiyaki Platter by The White House Fusion Cuisine

This can be overwhelming for Davao tourists. Even locals face a conundrum when choosing an establishment to visit. When people ask me where they should eat, I always ask them back several questions: “What cuisine are you looking for?,” “What’s your preferred price range?,” “Are you looking for a specific dish?”

With the advent of blogs, social media, and mobile internet, food tripping has become more convenient and, to a certain extent, entertaining. You see people post food on Facebook and on Instagram from dusk til dawn. But how exactly can you pick from all these crowd sourced information?

Start off, by doing a bit of research. Just because you saw a restaurant or a dish posted, it does not follow that the one who posted it liked or enjoyed what they posted. Don’t hesitate to ask by commenting on the post or by sending a private (or direct) message. Better yet, take time to research.
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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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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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Tomato Mozzarella Penne by Sea Green Cafe

Tomato Mozarella Penne by Sea Green Cafe

Tomato Mozarella Penne by Sea Green Cafe

If you’re looking for a delectable pasta dish, look no further. Sea Green Cafe‘s Tomato Mozzarella Penne is a simple, no-frills pasta dish that will satisfy anybody’s pasta cravings. Well-cooked penne in fresh homemade tomato sauce that’s tangy with a hint of sweet and spicy. The dish is sprinkled with basil leaves which adds a fresh, savory flavor to the pasta.
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Prism Lounge at Widus Clark Hotel and Casino

LED Cocktails Red Riding Hood and Blue Lagoon by the Prism Lounge at Widus Clark Hotel and Casino

LED Cocktails Red Riding Hood and Blue Lagoon by the Prism Lounge at Widus Hotel and Casino Clark

Whether you’re in Clark, Angeles, Pampanga for business or for pleasure, make sure to reserve a night for chillaxing at Prism Lounge at Widus Hotel and Casino Clark.

To start your night of drinks and bonding with friends and colleagues, have a sip of their Signature LED Cocktail Drinks. Look!

LED Cocktails RedLED Cocktails Red Riding Hood, Blood Orange, Bahama-mama, Aloe Vera, Blue Lagoon, Purple Planet, and Indiana Jones by the Prism Lounge at Widus Clark Hotel and Casino Riding Hood and Blue Lagoon by the Prism Lounge at Widus Clark Hotel and Casino

LED Cocktails Red Riding Hood, Blood Orange, Bahama-mama, Aloe Vera, Blue Lagoon, Purple Planet, and Indiana Jones by the Prism Lounge at Widus Hotel and Casino Clark

These pretty glasses of alcohol infused drinks are not just pretty to look at but also quaffable to drink. Whether you’re a seasoned drinker or only drink occasionally, there’s a Prism LED Cocktail for you. Taste one and you’ll surely want to try the LED Cocktails.

For those who want something stronger, you can ask the bartender for a double shot in your cocktail or you can order your hard liquor or wine of choice. They also have a selection of local and imported beers for beer aficionados.

And to complete your night out, order one of their appetizers and pizzas which are perfectly savory, the right complement to their cocktail drinks.

Nachos by the Prism Lounge

Nachos by the Prism Lounge

I highly recommend their generous heap of Nachos topped with veggies, ground meat, and velvety melted cheese, and served with creamy guacamole, tangy salsa, and a crowd-pleasing cheese sauce.
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