Kusina Maria

Food Blog + Food Shop

Posts Tagged ‘salad’

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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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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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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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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