Dampa: Newest food destination

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

FOR a restaurant to be good, there should be at least one or two specialty dishes that are synonymous to the name of the restaurant itself. That simply how it gains popularity.

But what if it offers more than just two specialty dishes? The results maybe unimaginable as they give diners more reasons to return.

This is what Dampa Davao, a newly opened restaurant on Tionko Street, intends to do, with its wide array of fresh seafood choices that can be served right out of the grill, if you want them barbecued.

Jon Christopher Gotamco, one of the restaurant owners, said the idea of the restaurant is taken from that of a street food concept, only that what is being offered are the dishes popular in different regions in Mindanao, which are made available all under one roof.

With the growing number of restaurants that go with the ever-growing community of food lovers here, how sure are you that you've gotten your fill of every specialty dish there is to every region in Mindanao?

Gotamco said Dampa has rounded up all the native dishes of the many places they've been to in their travels in cities and provinces across the island.

"Every place has a specialty dish," he said. He added that they brought in some of them at Dampa in hope to have Dabawenyos get a taste on the diversified cuisines of the Mindanaoans as well.

For instance, their chicharong tilapia, sourced fresh from Lake Sebu, is fried to a delicious crisp that even its bone can be eaten up, too.

The tilapia is not only limited to this one dish, but also it is up to the customers how they want it to be prepared, be it steamed or grilled.

They can even opt to choose the famous dish in General Santos City, which is "pinaputukang tilapia," a dish prepared with a dollop of butter plus a handful of herbs.

There's one thing unique about this dish since it takes a two-way process for cooking. First, the tilapia, wrapped in a foil with butter and herbs is grilled, and then the steam coming from the inside cooks the fish.

When it's ready, just break the foil at the middle so that the steam of the butter can waft out, leaving just about everybody close by wanting to eat.

"Our tilapia is srouced from Lake Sebu because it doesn't have a muddy taste unlike other tilapia sourced from other areas," said Allen Abas, a co-owner of Dampa Davao.

The restaurant also boasted of its chicken barbecue, with its succulent meat infused with just the right amount of herbs.

Also, Dampa has two chefs who specialize in different native diversified dishes of Mindanao, ensuring diners that quality is a top priority.

He said they want to position Dampa as a destination in the city where families can go and enjoy the dishes that are truly Filipinos.

The entire place of Dampa has a spacious area of 722 square meters, which can hold about 100 diners at a time.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 23, 2013.


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