Hands on, absolutely

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Saturday, January 18, 2014


THERE are places where cutlery seem to border the plates to no end and coat and tie will be the dress code, and there are those joints where spoons, forks and knives are absent (unless requested) and a bib over your swanky (or not) garb will be in order. What is your dining preference?

To enjoy food is an adventure. There is excitement in discovering new tastes or searching for a better tasting dish and perhaps in the process on how to enjoy the cuisine that is spread right before you. When was your last “hands on” dining experience? Or should I ask, when was the last time you had have eaten with your hands? (Memories of childhood flooding my mind—freshly cooked rice and grilled goodies over banana leaves on the table the beach, lola’s farm in the province, even at home. Yum!)

Eating with hands (it’s not exclusive to us Pinoys, by the way, there are other races that partake their sustenance the same way) is fun especially with family or friends around the table. These fun moments, lately, I have been reliving around Davao, in public (gasp!). Here are two of my favorite restaurants where food will be enjoyed to the maximum when eaten with hands.

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Conchings Native Chicken & Fastfood. Araullo-Mabini Streets. (082) 221-4448. How else should barbecue chicken be eaten? With your fingers of course. The roasted native chicken is just delicious and the puso (white or brown rice cooked in woven diamond shaped palm leaves) makes a perfect pair (no compacting with fingers necessary).

Dig in on your other food order. Try the inihaw na panga (grilled tuna jaw) smothered with garlic (it’s heavenly and a favorite of mine) and very tender Grilled Squid. Of to be missed are the rest of the offering in the fastfood section—the Kinilaw in coconut milk, the Guso (seaweed salad).

Blueposts Boiling Crabs & Shrimps. J.P. Laurel Avenue. (082) 221-8360. If you love shellfish, then this is the place to go. Here is a joint where the crabs, good-sized shrimps and large mussels are boiled in a secret sauce and spiced according to your taste—mild, medium or very hot. These house specialties are served in clear bags and can include sweet corn, potatoes and sausages.

Maybe you can start with the Fish Fingers (breaded and fried fish fingers), dive into the trio of goodness (the crabs, shrimps and mussels) and maybe take your seafood experience further by trying the deep fried Tuna Belly (very tender and tasty) topped with fried garlic.

Although eating with the hands can be fun there is a downside to it. I, for one, believe it’s a bad idea, a very bad one, since I am trying to count my calorie intake. There is a big chance that I will partake with the feast with gusto and eat more than I should. But then again, I may have lost the battle by throwing caution to the wind, giving in to the temptation and gobbling up, but I won tons of fun and good times. Now that’s priceless!

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For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/ and http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 19, 2014.

Lifestyle

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