KADAYAWAN season means bountiful harvest This year though, the fruits are arriving late, but the rest of the “festival ingredients” is flowing, like the food.
Pretty much like December, August is one of the months on the Davao calendar that should bear the “No Diet Month” sub-title. In my case, it’s breaking away from the no-meat diet “because I have to”. There will always be a dish you’d be tempted to try and say, “Just this once” (or JTO).
JTO, for me, opened a Pandora’s Box. All it took was one bite of red meat because I had to sample a dish on a food-tasting event. Then came more food tasting events and another.
Week 2 of the festival month came two more of those events at Rekado’s and RBG.
I have my favorites on the Rekado menu — the Tofu Sisig with Mushrooms, Gising-gising and the Rekado Chicken are my regular orders.
Just as I thought nothing would top the chicken house specialty, Chef Pauline serves another winner—the Chicken Adobo sa Gata.
I love adobo and I love coconut milk, together it’s a fabulous! The classic adobo is made creamy with the distinctive natural sweetness of the coconut. How tasty? Let’s just say extra rice(s) is definitely in order.
On the JTO moment at Rekado, highly recommended is the Crispy Dinuguan with Chicharon and Burong Mangga. This is a dish that will remind you of how mom cooks her dinuguan except that the consistency is denser, no innards as ingredients and Rekado topped it with crispy fried pork. You get that crunch with spoonful of the rich stew. To balance the richness of the dish with a sweet and sour flavor, a topping of homemade burong manga does the trick.
Along with the two, four other dishes join the new dishes on the menu: the Oyster Dinakdakan, deep-fried oyster meat tossed in a seasoned creamy dressing with onions and chilis dressing; Corned Beef and Bone Marrow Bulalo with the broth of simmered for hours with aromatics and flavorful beef cuts, and served with a cut of bone marrow, which is seasoned finely and oven baked; Inihaw na Liempo; and the Davao Seafood Platter with tuna panga, bagaybay, bihod and imbao, all marinated in a spice paste and barbecued with a special marinade.
All the new dishes will be part of the regular menu.
Meanwhile at RBG, Park Inn, the third installment of the Boodle Fight since 2015 will be served from August 15 to 30, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
It’s a boodle fight, so expect the Pinoy favorites on the spread. No fancy preparations, jut well-cooked selections: Nilagpang na Bangus, Lato Salad with Salted Eggs, Crispy Pork Belly, Hang Dried Chicken, Fried Tilapia, Grilled Tuna Tail, Longganisa, Pancit Canton, Camote Float, Ube Turon, and served with rice and one pitcher of Samalamig drink. (P2,999 net only).
The spread that can feed a bunch of 8-10 hungry media personalities or an entire basketball team of 8 to 10 members, both of which are represented in the food tasting event.
For me, the chicken stood out from the rest (literally and figuratively). The perfectly baked, crispy skin on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside stood tall at the center of the spread. Quite a fitting place for a winning dish.
The JTO moment? Ate a couple of favorites I missed- chorizos.
There are more establishments serving more of their Kadayawan dishes in the coming days. Expect more JTO episodes.
August is far from over and the Pandora Box will remain open.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on August 13, 2017.
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