Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chef Gene's recommended must EATS in Davao City!

Eugenio R. Gonzalez, popularly known as Chef Gene, is a Filipino Chef, Restauranteur, Educator, Management Consultant, and Author.

He is the founder and president of the Center for Asian Culinary Studies.

During his visit here sometime during the Kadayawan Festival he tried and recommended these restaurants/establishments a must visit/eat in Davao City.

Beko’s Biik – located on Guerreros Street, Beko’s offers one of the best lechon de leche in town at an absolutely reasonable price. In fact, I usually take home one lechon to Manila every time I go to Davao. If you are brave enough, you may opt to order the super spicy where a kilo of siling labuyo, garlic, leeks and lemon grass are stuffed into the belly of the suckling pig. I would take this stuffing out – the chilis, garlic, onions, leeks and the tender part of the lemon grass and put them in the blender and make deliciously, devilish sambal. Many of the exam panel and CACS chefs are converts of Beko’s. You might want to be one; call telephone numbers (082) 227 2445 and 286 3445.

Tito’s Durian – Ankol or Tito is the man wearing a white sando cutting the durians every afternoon in his parked van on Torres Street in front of Bistro Rosario. Although he has another store in Magsaysay St., he usually spends a lot of time on this street corner selling his harvests. On peak season, he would have as many as 10 durian varieties from his farm for durian connoisseurs to try. The “King of Durian” will give you sound advice on your taste and texture preference; he will open it and let you sample the durian. If you don’t like it, he will offer you another.

BakBak – Located in the Pryce area near the corner of Torres St., BakBak specializes in ice cold beers and pulutans such as the mini barbeque. A recent discovery while drinking and dining with Helen and Arnie del Rosario was the fried native chicken. Though a little tougher and stringier than the mass-bred chicken, the tastier, smaller chicken with its garlicky lemon grass marinade gives fried chicken a new and native dimension without the usual thick and bready coatings.

Luna’s – This is a well-known, old carinderia puwesto in Agdao Market. I like going here with the chefs for an early morning breakfast. One gets a steamy bowl of bulalo with a whole shank of freshly slaughtered beef, still pink (sign of freshly slaughtered meat) or some balbacua (calf’s foot) soup that is thick and gelatinous. Also worth ordering is their freshly prepared fried chicken marinated in spices and lots of lemon grass.

Gorio’s – This is another panciteria related to Dencia’s operating in front of the San Pedro hospital. Lugao and noodle dishes are worth the try at very reasonable prices. I also fancy the Torta de Cangrejo or crab omelet, a large omelette mound of egg and crab swimming in tasty, medium brown gravy.

Papa Chings – located along Lacson Street or Camuf Street, Papa Chings offers a Davao favorite known as greaseless fried chicken. A 15 to 20 minute wait is de riguer because the chicken is “slow-fried” with a very thin coating which gives it a delicate crisp and less oily crust.

Eugenio R. Gonzalez, popularly known as Chef Gene, is a Filipino Chef, Restauranteur, Educator, Management Consultant, and Author.

He is the founder and president of the Center for Asian Culinary Studies.

Ferrazzini’s – This house is along Bacaca Road and is famous for its Black Paella, a delicious home-cooked version of the dish. The place has built quite a reputation for its recipes. One must reserve beforehand to enjoy a whole garden setup dining experience.

Tai-Pan – This is located at the downtown area where they have three items worth going to. The cheapest lomi which is a giant punch bowl good for six people (about P65); fried crispy pugo, a treat with seasoned salt and black pepper dip and some fresh calamansi squeeze and Kasili (sea eel) that is stewed in tomato sauce. This dish is rich, fatty and melts in the mouth because it is cooked until the eel meat is tender and falls off the bone.

Bulca Chong – Located along Gen. Luna Street, this place is a haunt for an after drinking crowd. The soup is well-simmered and well-flavored and is reputedly cooked with rich and thick carabao meat. Redolent of ginger, chili, lemon grass, leeks, galangal and other condiments, this tasty concoction is created to wake up the inebriated soul. Other variations such as the sizzling and crispy Bulca-Chong are now being offered but the original flavorful soup stew is still worth the trip, with or without alcohol in your blood stream.



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