Heading to Davao this Kadayawan Festival?
No trip around the country is ever complete without sampling these local delicacies!
Durian is known as Davao’s signature fruit!
Davao’s rich fertile soil and typhoon-free areas make it suitable for growing tasty Durian. Durian is available all year round but is usually in season starting August to October. We bought ours in July for P180/kilo, but during peak season it can go as low as P50/kilo!
We visited the Magsaysay Fruit Market, where we learned that there were 16 varieties of Durian in the Philippines.
But we only tried two of the popular varieties the Arancillo famed for being the best variety because of its delectable sweet taste and silky texture, and the Puyat which is more fatty, giving it a creamy luscious taste.
Since you can’t bring Durian back to the hotel- do what the locals do! Grab a chair & table and eat in front of a durian stall. It’s better to eat durian in front of your family and friends, so you can see their reaction if they don’t like it.
As a proud durian lover, I know it may smell like hell for most, but it tastes like heaven for me!
As the “Fruit Basket of the Philippines,” Davao is one of the producers for the sweetest fruits in the country. Besides durian, you must also try pomelo, mangosteen, lansones, and rambutan.
Due to its proximity to General Santos City – the Tuna Capital of the Philippines, Davao has a hefty supply of fresh tuna that can be prepared in endless ways.
Marina Tuna is famed for their Ten-Way Tuna, that consists of 10 different parts of a tuna – Tuna Kinilaw (P305), Tuna Belly (P242), Crispy Tuna Tail (P63/ 100g), Tuna Sashimi(P305), Grilled Tuna Jaw, Sinigang Tuna Eye Soup (P305), Tuna Bihod (P231) and Tuna Kare-Kare (P263).
My favorite is still their tuna sashimi and tuna sisig on the menu!
Fun Fact: Did you know Marina Tuna is not only a restaurant but a leading exporter of Tuna?
Besides Marina Tuna, we also liked Yellow Fin.
3. MALAGOS CHOCOLATES & CHEESES
Davao is synonymous in the Philippines for seafood and durian. But internationally award-winning gourmet cheese and chocolate? Yup, they got those too!
For the chocoholics, you’ll love the award-winning, single origin Malagos Chocolate that’s produced in the bountiful foothills of Mt. Talomo, Davao. It’s 100% pure all natural fine flavor chocolate that is truly tree-to-bar.
But what makes their chocolate special? The beans are from the Trinitario hybrid, a cross between Criollo and Forastero varieties that are considered to be the finest cocoa beans in the world.
The bean-to-bar creations are sourced from one particular region giving them a more isolated and distinctive taste.
The chocolate is mildly sweet with a good snap and finishes with a liquor after-taste resembling a deep fruitiness of red wine.
Similar to the French Chèvre, Malagos’ version of the cheese includes different flavors including pesto, pineapples and even mangoes!
My favorite is the Pineapple sublime, a mixture of blended milk from goat and cow with bits of tropical pineapples. I love the tangy, sweet, and creamy goodness!
4. Seda Abreeza Davao (Special Menu)
One of the best meals I had on the trip was in Seda Abreeza Hotel. I loved how they pulled off Davao’s best flavors and incorporated it into their menu for this branch.
Davao Pomelo & Prawn Salad (Seda Kadayawan Buffet)
Pomelo is a popular pasalubong item from Davao, you’ll find boxes of them on the luggage carousel on your flight back at the airport.
Pomelo makes a wonderful salad and especially goes well with Thai flavoring. I love how the Pomelo pulls apart easily and the pulp has a crunchy and popping texture.
Seda Abreeza Tuna Kinilaw (P390 ala carte)
Tuna, native vinegar, coconut milk, herbs & spices topped with tuna crackling
Tuna kinilaw is a popular dish in Davao where tuna is fresh and readily available.
I love the freshness of the fish and acidity of the spicy vinegar marinade.
I love the generous serving of tuna chunks and crispy bits of tuna crackling for texture. A must-try!
Beef Shank Pochero with Saging na Saba (Seda Kadayawan Buffet)
Beef pochero is a Filipino stew that’s made rich by cooking beef shanks and marrow bones for hours. The soup is complemented by the sweetness of the saba banana that is very comforting.
The difference from Davao’s version of pochero is that they take out the tomato in the process.
Crispy Prawns in Mangosteen Chili Sauce (Seda Kadayawan Buffet)
I love the spicy twist to their bestseller with their mangosteen chili sauce.
Pan Seared Red Snapper Fillet with Malagos Goat Cheese Sauce (P880 nett ala carte)
Perfectly cooked red snapper fillet topped with rich creamy goodness from Davao’s renowned Malagos blue goat cheese sauce! Another must-try!
Malagos Dark Chocolate Cheesecake (P300 ala carte)
The dessert may be rich but the sweetness level is perfect!
Other dishes like the Pomelo and Prawn Salad, Beef Pochero with Saging na Saba and Banoffee Tart will be part of the dinner buffet spread this August 16-18, at 880 nett per person. Also, they will be part of the new menu cycle in the near future.
5. BANANA (TADECO)
Many of us Filipinos are more accustomed to the taste of lakatan or saba. But in actuality, the Philippines is the top three producer of the Cavendish banana.
Cavendish bananas are the most widely grown and traded banana in the world. It is the cleanest looking banana, distinct for its blander and mushier texture than its local counterparts.
TADECO Farm is the third biggest exporter of banana in the world, the state of the art facility covers 6,640 hectares of land and produces not less than 31.5 million boxes per year. Exporting the sought after Cavendish banana to Japan, Korea, China, Middle East, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand all the way to Russia.
Since 1971, Tagum Agricultural Development Company Inc. (TADECO) has been growing and producing quality bananas for leading brands in the market such as Del Monte, Dole, and Chiquita.
Fun Fact: Part of TADECO’s program is committed to employing inmates from the Davao Prison.
Live an Awesome Life,
ABI of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: We were media guests of Seda Abreeza. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.