Mention Davao to a life-long foodie, and a few things will come up more often than others. First, durian: that odoriferously delicious fruit grown in the farms around Davao City. Second, kinilaw: the tasty raw-tuna dish that pairs very well with beer. Third, tuna: Davao diners’ favorite fish from General Santos City’s fish ports.
If you’re visiting Davao with plans to gorge yourself silly on local fare, then this one’s for you. Do a whole day’s worth of traveling and eating through Mindanao’s premier city.
Breakfast: Sinangag at Taps
Taps has long been synonymous with quick, hearty fried rice breakfasts for as long as your correspondent can remember. Its eponymous and inexpensive tapsilog aside, Taps serves plenty of other creatively named meat-rice-egg team-ups, including bellybangsilog (bangus belly), hulongsilog (hubad or skinless longganisa) and primasilog (pritong manok or fried chicken).
Most Taps branches are open 24 hours a day. Try one of its newer branches at Damosa Gateway, JP Laurel Avenue cor. Mamay Road.
Morning Coffee: Durian-flavored coffee at BluGre Cafe
The much-maligned durian is surprisingly good friends with milk; pastillas and ice cream do very well when flavored with durian. So does that coffee shop favorite: cappuccino.
Enter Davao’s BluGre Coffee and its durian “gatchpuccino”, or hot durian-flavored cappuccino. (The “gatch” in the name refers to BluGre’s proprietor, “Gatchie” Gatchalian; the cold cappuccino is named the “larcepuccino” after Gatchy’s wife Larcy.)
Visit the BluGre branch at LandCo Corporate Center on JP Laurel Avenue across from Victoria Plaza, down the street from Taps.
Lunch: Kinilaw at Marina Tuna Restaurant
To experience tuna at its most versatile, you’ll need to travel north up the old airport road to a unique fish restaurant. Marina Tuna boasts of serving different versions of tuna—from the usual ways (tuna sashimi, grilled tuna jaw, grilled tuna belly) to unusual adaptations (tuna kare-kare, crispy tuna tail) to the positively exotic (tuna eye soup, sizzling tuna pancreas, tuna roe, tuna tendon).
Marina Tuna also serves its very own tuna kinilaw, made from fresh, raw tuna soaked in vinegar and served with chopped vegetables and chilies. Who knew tuna had so much personality?
To get to Marina Tuna Restaurant, go up Km. 8 Barrio Pampanga in Sasa.
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