Friday, 16 September 2011

DAVAO EATS PART 1: Food Finds and My Favorite Cheese Cake Ever

I went home to Davao in late August for a brief break from my Korean life, a.k.a. vacation. And although I only stayed for four days, my stay was, as always, marked by food and glorious, mindful eating.


Truly absence makes the heart (or gut) grow fonder. Finally, after months of living on my own in Seoul, I was back to a place where, I could wake up, and wait for the itinerant vendor to pass by and have this for breakfast:

Taho: white, creamy soft tofu swirled with sweet, brown sugar syrup and little tapioca balls of deliciousness. My cousin and I would bring out our mugs, and tease the vendor who would generously fill each mug with taho for only PHP 20.00 each.
Taho, it's just something I've never outgrown. My taho reminds me how something pure and simple can carry you through the day.

Taho = Best Breakfast Food Ever!


If my brother had his way, we'd just eat at Pizza Pamilya. We all love the pasta and pizza from this unassuming restaurant. But Abreeza Mall beckoned and after walking through the restaurants, we settled for Mooon Cafe. As I understand, Mooon Cafe originated from Cebu. The vibe and the feel is that of a Mexican Cantina. They supposedly specialize in mexican favorites ~ burritos, tacos, enchiladas etc. But their menu is really more of a mishmash
of Tex-Mex, US diner and Filipino dishes, which in this case, works pretty well.

My brother ordered a soft taco for his appetizer. I ordered a platter of Onion rings and a jug of their Fresh Fruits Cooler to share among the four of us. I suspect that the cooler was of the powdered kind (perhaps Dalandan flavored) and was just spruced up with slices of citruses to make it a bit posh.

The onion rings get points for awesome presentation! Sadly, these didn't taste as good as they look. The rings were covered in heavy, pancake-like batter. Blech! Not good at all :-( I wish they'd either scrap this from their menu altogether or change the batter, because it was so thick I couldn't even taste the onions.

We ordered two pizzas: The all-meat variant, and the garden veggie variant.

Both were good. The pizza crusts were of the cracker thin variety. Thin and crisp. We loved the meat pizza! It had just enough toppings and there was aherb-y aftertaste to it which we liked (Was thinking if they added sage to their pizza sauce).

But the one dish that would make me go back to Mooon Cafe was the Baby Back Ribs.

Tender, flavorful ribs that are super duper soft! A "single" serving of the ribs (with veggies and rice) costs only 225.00 and it was big enough for two persons. It is truly swoon-worthy, and enough to make me gloss over Mooon Cafe's mediocre onion rings.


Coming to Davao is incomplete without a trip to Lachi's. After a full lunch, and a bit of roaming around Abreeza, we hied off to Marfori heights for our Lachi's fix. My brother ordered his usual Apple Pie and Dark Choco Cake, Brad ordered the Regal Chocolate Torte. And I, well, I ordered my favorite cheesecake in the world ---Lachi's Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, and paired it with a mug of their steaming hot choco.

What is it about Lachi's that we love? It's the unpretentiousness of the shop -- you don't come here for the ambiance, you come here for nothing but great, sinful treats at prices which might surprise you. These are very affordable sweets! I peg most desserts I've tried in Manila in comparison to Lachi's. While some are pretty good (Cake Planet's Banoffee Pie, Conti's Mango Bravo), these are pretty expensive, with cakes costing more than a hundred bucks each, whereas in Lachi's, our meal of one Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, one Dark Chocolate Cake, one Apple Pie, one Regal Chocolate Torte, one hot choco, two C2 iced tea and one brewed coffee costs us only a little over 300 pesos. Really, nothing beats the good price + great food combination of Lachi's. :-) Plus it still serves what for me is the best cheesecake ever!

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