Cheese, lotsa cheese

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Saturday, March 1, 2014


COFFEE lady Chit Juan was in town and we had some time to spare to hang out before I fly out and she stays; and thus we did what many Davao visitors should be doing: taste Davao cheese.

Leon’s Lounge opened sometime in November, but I had another function to attend and thus earned the tag “Indyanera” from cheesemaker Olive.

There wasn’t any other time to lounge around as the cheese purchases after that would be quick trips with taxi waiting, or a look-see and flee.

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Until this afternoon with Chit and her friends Reena, Noellee, and Sarah.

We dragged in Miggy as well. The more the merrier.

Olive was waiting for us with a row of fresh and aged cheeses, and an aged cheese cooking on flame at that. It was a yum night (for cheese lovers, that is, those who jump in joy when seeing molds).

The aglio olio was just superb. But the melted rustica was just as good, and the herbed chevre, and… darn.

Yes. I love cheese. I am biased.

Top that with Olive’s Farmhouse rilette made from her organically raised ducks served with guava membrillo and a wine reduction. Inside the air-conditioned interior of the longue, where the glass are tinted you won’t see what’s outside, you could easily imagine you are not in the Philippines.

It’s really worth a visit, especially if you’re trying to impress a guest. It’s a place every Dabawenyo can be proud of. Chic yet homegrown, and can easily give imported cheese a run for their money.

You can just drop by Leon’s Lounge inside the Puentespina Garden along Bolcan Street in Agdao (either take Tancontian Street from R. Castillo and land right smack on its green gates or take the Bolcan Street – kanto Assumption College of Davao until the first kanto at the right, the green gates are on the left), buy some cheese and tell the attendant that you want to eat it there. You can bring your own bottle or bottles of wine if you like although Leon’s Lounge has a good selection you can choose from.

Or, you can book for a cheese treat with the cheesemaker herself at P300 per person minimum of six persons. Again, you can bring your own wine or select from Olive’s stock at P600 per bottle. We brought ours. A bottle of Malbec.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 02, 2014.

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