Disclaimer: This is the full feature from my The Royal Chef column on Edge Davao.
The silence in the air felt like my soul froze. No, this is not a prose.. or maybe it is. Honestly, I got this from a song (Middle by DJ Snake). A song that has been on repeat on my phone. Why, you might ask? Why not, I might reply.
Sometimes, we need to step out of our comfort zones and experience the world in its barest form. Be in touch with nature and embrace that life, despite its perfection, will never be perfect. Not being nega or what, but instead of dvelving into unchartered water, why not do what makes you happy. Just like Iko’s Garden Davao. While everyone craves for the spotlight, they opt to keep quiet and make those who believe in them satisfied with their food, service and overall ambiance.
Iko’s Garden begun as an idea and is now a reputable dining establishment somewhere north of the city. It’s just 200 meters away from the exit gate of the airport. The convenience, especially for those who live and work around, verily enables them to establish themselves and introduce to the public what they can offer.
At Iko’s Garden (which was named after Sir Ferdinand’s bunso, Iko), you’d feel right at the comforts of your home. Though a cliché for restaurants, it’s different at Iko’s. It’s very homey especially if you opt to dine al fresco. Now, that’s one big landscaped backyard for you.
Not just that. At Iko’s, everyone is in a festive and celebratory mood. They are every welcoming and friendly that you’d not feel intimidated at all. You’d feel the bond between and amongst everyone. If that is what would welcome you, then you’d surely would like to stay long.
What’s best at Iko’s Garden? Everything. Yes. Everything. Menu wise, you’d love that they have a plethora of local cuisines cooked according to how you like it. Not salty, not bland. Just right. What’s more, they use fresh locally grown and produced ingredients. That’s dedication right there. From the minutest of herbs to the meats used for their best-sellers, you’d love that this restaurant not only produces some of the best dishes in town, but more so, support local farmers.
Their crispy fried Tinibook na Manok (whole chicken) is very delectable. With a crispy exterior, you’d not expect the meat inside to be juicy…but it is. With or without a dip, you’d be chewing on this in an instant. Still, go ahead and try this with their in-house spiced vinegar, exquisite food combo right there.
Craving for a bowl of hot soup? Their Native na Tinolang Manok is one pot of Pinoy goodness on any given day…or night. The chicken, though native, is very fork tender. But the highlight of the dish is the broth. Theirs is flavorful yet not at all salty. Now that’s something you’d want to try.
Meat lover? Go ahead and indulge with a bowl of their Bulalo. Like their tinolang manok, the meat is exquisitely tender and juicy – an indication that the meat has absorbed the flavours and broth – making it easy to enjoy. Again, their broth is unlike any other. It’s potently meaty but not salty. It reeks of rich taste that’s not nakakaumay.
On a fish binge? Their savory Steamed Pompano is a dish you’d surely need to try. Not at all fishy, the best thing about this is you can enjoy it even without rice. The fish meat is tender and flavorful but not at all flaky.
Iko’s Garden is located Along Diversion Road, between Davao Airport and Panacan, Davao City
Operating Hours:Mondays to Saturdays 9:00am to 11:00pm
Sundays 11:00am to 10:00pm
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