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Tommy T.

Food and Restaurants in Davao

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@JDDavao

I am a bit busy this morning, but later I will be glad to share some restaurant experiences with you.

Of course, comments from others are most welcome too!

Edited by Tommy T.

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I'll throw out a few, then. 

Azon's Boneless Lechon (in Bangkal or Matina, depending on who you talk to) is very good. We have eaten there twice before heading to Savmore across the street. We most recently had the "Uno" platter of lechon, grilled chicken, some nice breaded white fish fingers, and lumpia filled with mashed potatoes which was weird but tasty. We ordered kinilaw as well and I inhaled it. :smile: 

New Davao Famous Restaurant on MacArthur Highway near S&R (and two other locations). Chinipino food but closer to Chinese in flavor. We ordered the kikiam (sausage) which was the best I've had here, corn soup, Famous Siopao, Satemi noodles, and Heba fried rice. I liked all of it.

Liza's Ihaw-Ihaw on Times Beach in Ecoland is always good. U-pick-it-they-cook-it place. Seating is outdoor.

Edited by JDDavao
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2 hours ago, JDDavao said:

I'll throw out a few, then. 

Ah... thanks! Those are good choices. Davao Famous and Liza's are two standby favourites of ours. Have not tried Azon's for a meal, but been inside for a few meetings and just drinks and snacks so will give it a try.

Famous at their original downtown location is even better than the one by S & R. But they are both great. You know they are good because many Chinese/Filipinos eat at them.

Forget Penong's. We used to go there sometimes but their kinilaw had less and less fish, their pinakbet was swimming in oil and overcooked. Last time we ordered grilled malesuge and it was tough and not good - gave it to the dog and he stuck his nose up at it!

Coco's - on the way to Famous - is very good for steaks and salads and some other things but their try at Mexican is a miserable failure. Pizza not so good either. Many appetizers are average high-carb stuff - pass. But they do make a great seafood chowder served in fresh round bread as the bowl. They know how to cook steaks properly. 

Swiss Deli - almost next to Famous - is also good for European style food and American. They carry some quality frozen meats, have a decent deli with hard to find meats and cheeses and a number of specialty German/Swiss canned and packaged goods too.

Cafe Tavera, near City High School, is a nice restaurant where, like Liza's, you pick your fish and they cook it for you - and it is always cooked perfectly. Great mussels and veggie dishes too - medium priced and good value. It's a nice, family type place that is relatively quiet unless there is a large group party.

Mana restaurant in SM Ecoland Mall has good Korean food at reasonable prices. Bulgogi restaurant is fairly good Korean at a higher price - located in Abreeza, I think?

Marina Tuna is our favourite for seafood but a bit spendier than some other places. They have swordfish! Most of their dishes are good, but it's wise to ask them to cook any fish lightly because they sometimes are a bit heavy handed and overcook.

The first time I met L was at The White House restaurant. Great food with a large menu. It is quite expensive, but you get what you pay for. We shared duck, lamb, beef, veggies and salad and wine and it was about US$100...  But the food was very good and worth the splurge. That's too rich for my blood any more.

Jack's Ridge is a good restaurant for Filipino food and nice views of the city. But it can be noisy and crowded. Salads are good, veggies cooked just right (a bit crispy). Once or twice a year is enough as it is touristy and a bit expensive.

Lachi's is a tiny restaurant and I can find it but not give directions - Google will do that for you. They have good food - mostly Filipino - and really good desserts! Get there early or call in a reservation as there can be a waiting line.

Ahfat Sea Foods is in several locations right at Victoria Mall. Huge portions, average prices, usually fairly good quality.

Yellow Fin is rated highly but we were disappointed because the food was rather average and the place was noisy two times we tried it.

Bon Appetit has good French Food. Not all authentic, but not bad considering where we are. Average prices.

We like Mandarin Tea Garden for smaller meals - they have decent dim sum. It is about the only chain restaurant we go to. Inexpensive.

Pidoks - two branches we know about - avoid! Average food at high prices.

Lyndon's World's Worst Ribs on Roxas has really good bbq ribs (fall off the bone and tasty!) and great chicken too. It's a small, funky place - super casual. Other dishes are good, but the bbq is the best.

There is a Japanese restaurant somewhere near City High that I can't remember the name. I will ask L next time I remember.

Also a really funky little restaurant I will ask about that has great roast beef dinner.

Cecil's is a chain that specializes in fresh and fried lumpia along with palabok - the best I have ever had. It is mainly a snack bar.

TGIFriday's is good if you have a little extra cash and really need a hit of Americana - they make good burgers especially. It's located at SM Lanang, I think.

French Bakery has a cafe and makes good lunch type food in a variety of cuisines and it's good. Their baguettes are just like what you get in Paris and they have great other baked specialties like Pain au Chocolat and croissants. There is one at SM Lanang and another at SM Ecoland.

I can't vouch for cocktails at any of these places because we just have a beer or two and maybe a glass or two of wine.

Edited by Tommy T.
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That's a great list, Tommy! I need to work through my brain to find others and share differences.

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47 minutes ago, JDDavao said:

I need to work through my brain to find others and share differences.

I look forward to it, JD! Always more to learn about. And you may find some we like that will underwhelm you.:cheers:

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On 9/22/2019 at 1:21 PM, JDDavao said:

I need to work through my brain to find others and share differences.

Here's an update for you, JD...

Last night three of us went over to Coco's again for a birthday dinner.

We shared a baked cheese appetizer, Cesar salad and seafood chowder and each had a steak. One New York well done, one tenderloin  medium and one more medium rare. They were all cooked properly and all came with roasted potatoes... 

The cheese didn't do much for me but the salad was okay and the steaks very nice and tender. Still not up to US standards but great for here - and the steaks are all priced within 5 pesos of each other at around 420 each - maybe 6-8 oz with a small pile of potatoes and a gratuitous single green bean (hahaha). We only had a beer and glass of wine but they do have what looks like a small but reasonable stocked bar. Only a few tables occupied at 7:30 pm and those all Filipinos - including a couple of different families of 4-5.

As before, their service is good, friendly and fairly efficient yet not in your face when you want to be left alone. 

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I've been to three decent restaurants in davao cant remember their names right now , one sea food restaurant which was frequented by locals was very good price and quality 

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A few more additions as I wandered around today and jogged my memory a bit:

BC Chicken House specializes in native chicken. We think they are a bit tastier than the commercial chicken and definitely smaller and maybe even a bit tougher? But they aren't loaded with antibiotics or steroids. There are at least two branches - one down the road past SM Ecoland toward the city on the left - about 6 blocks? Another in Mintal. They roast or barbecue and sell other foods too.

Mesa Filipino Food is a chain or sorts - I have only eaten at one in Makiti - the menu looked good so I tried it. I don't remember what I ordered, but just remember that is was very good and moderately priced. There is one located at SM Ecoland in the Annex. I think it is next door to an all-you-can-eat buffet place. Avoid that place next door. Below average selection and quality and they run out of the few good things because people pig-out on them and snatch them all up. Noisy can be crowded - once was too much for us...

Cafe Demitasse is a good restaurant for mostly Filipino food - they make a fairly good carbonara and offer a lot of things on their menu, most of which they do well. Their desserts are really good! It's called cafe, but is really a full service restaurant.

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On 9/25/2019 at 7:42 AM, Tommy T. said:

Here's an update for you, JD...

Last night three of us went over to Coco's again for a birthday dinner.

We shared a baked cheese appetizer, Cesar salad and seafood chowder and each had a steak. One New York well done, one tenderloin  medium and one more medium rare. They were all cooked properly and all came with roasted potatoes... 

The cheese didn't do much for me but the salad was okay and the steaks very nice and tender. Still not up to US standards but great for here - and the steaks are all priced within 5 pesos of each other at around 420 each - maybe 6-8 oz with a small pile of potatoes and a gratuitous single green bean (hahaha). We only had a beer and glass of wine but they do have what looks like a small but reasonable stocked bar. Only a few tables occupied at 7:30 pm and those all Filipinos - including a couple of different families of 4-5.

As before, their service is good, friendly and fairly efficient yet not in your face when you want to be left alone. 

This is the one around the corner from Tiny Kitchen? There is/was one in Matina near the new water company building (near Swiss Deli). There were two signs outside for a long while, a buffet and Coco's. I can't tell which came first.

BTW, Tiny Kitchen is good but can be pricey. They do pastas, salads, and Spanish paella. Their cakes are really good.

Red Corner is good for burgers but I have only had the one version comes without "cheese sauce" as my religion doesn't allow for liquid processed cheese. :unsure: I find that the burgers here like those in Zarks have a texture that doesn't appeal to me. Red Corner is a little better. We've eaten in the one in Bankal, across from Adventist hospital and one set back off MacArthur in the Felcris "compound".

Sumo Sam in the SM Ecoland Annex is ok. They do the new sushi with sauces and mayo and drizzled whatnot. But also sashimi, although spendy. The ramen is passable.

We tried India Spice Restaurant, around the corner from the BI office on Medical School Drive, when we were down for my 13A a few weeks back. It was underwhelming. There are a bunch of little places along the road selling Indian food to the medical students and those at the technical school. I haven't tried them but my suspicion is that it's location over execution for the kids.

There's a new resto on Quimpo heading east just before SM Ecoland. I can't remember the name of it but it took both spaces from G-Cafe and Brother's Burgers. It looks fairly swanky for the area. I really want to try it.

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3 hours ago, Tommy T. said:

BC Chicken House specializes in native chicken. We think they are a bit tastier than the commercial chicken and definitely smaller and maybe even a bit tougher?

Strangely, I'm not a fan of native chicken.  I find the taste too strong and the meat too tough.  Give me a Chooks To Go anyday!  

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