Disclaimer: This is the full feature from The Royal Chef column on Edge Davao
Seldom do I have favourites. Why? I’m as fickle minded as the word if defined; I change my mind on things on a regular basis. It’s not that I don’t have preferences, just like you, I do, it’s just that I also like an adventure especially on food.
Whenever I’m asked of food faves, I always, always ask them first. Why? So I’d know what to recommend. Not that I’m an expert, I am too a novice at this, but knowing their preference would give me an idea on where to lead them.
Welcome to CENA Modern Bistro, Home Crest Hotel’s very own delicious in-house restaurant. Serving you an array of American-Italian dishes, Cena is undeniably one of the newest gastro dining hubs in the city that you must visit. Located not in the heart of the city, Cena is one of the many best reasons to explore Davao’s south side.
At Cena, expect a gastro adventure. Their menu is not complicated but is packed with dishes that you’d surely would want to try. Personally, I love that their dishes are dissected and described – making your mind wander in an instant.
Of the many times I’ve visited the place, I can say that I have grown to love some of their dishes. Some of which are now on my must-have list that I recommend to family and friends. Serving size wise, you’d love that every dish is perfect for sharing.
Nachos and Cheese
This is a regular on my fave list. Whenever I’m at a restaurant, this is the first thing I look for. Mind you, I think I’ve tasted the many versions of nachos in town. But theirs is one of the many that I’d love to have anytime of any day. Every bite is an exploration and explosion of textures. Aside from that, I love the crunch that makes me lit in delight. Oh and the oozing cheese is also another reason to order a bowl – or two – of this.
I love mine fresh and hot off the oven. Though I’m not a big pizza fan, I like that theirs is not as commercialised as the others. The smell alone is invigorating and the taste is, like their other dishes, flavourful and textured. Just have a slice while it’s hot and you’ll thank me later.
The issue with me and a plate of carbonara is the bacon. I don’t eat bacon – I’m on a no pork diet since birth so I need to inform the staff that, if I’m having carbonara, the bacon is a no-no. Luckily, there are restaurants that allow the separation of the creamy pasta and the bacon. My friends rave that it’s the bacon that makes for a great carbonara dish. Maybe, yes, but Cena’s carbonara – even without the bacon – is also a knockout.
Fish and fries
This, like the nachos, is a regular on my list of faves. Ask my friends, I always end with a plate of this just because I can and I want to. I like my fish and fries crunchy but juicy on the inside. I like mine seasoned but not overly seasoned that I can still taste the sea and the root of which the potato is from. Yup, that’s the beauty of being a foodie — the mind wanders without you knowing. Hence, Cena’s Fish and Fries is a must try.
For the salmon lovers, this is a treat. Grilled salmon, personally, highlights the salmon even more. Their plate of grilled salmon is a delight that you’ll love. It’s grilled, yes, but the flavour of the salmon is not overpowered by the smokiness you’d expect of any grilled dish. More so, it remains intact yet flaky with a hint of sea in every bite. It’s also best for sharing.
I love this. I love that the chicken is tender and juicy and the pairing with chimichuri is one of a palate adventure in an instant. The texture and flavours elevate this dish without giving off that umay taste. With or without rice, you’d have a great time munching on this.
Cena Modern Bistro is located at Walnut Avenue, Corner Tulip drive, Ecoland Subdivsion, Davao City
For inquiries and reservations, you may call them at (082) 297 7777
Want to know my latest food finds? Follow me on Instagram @iamleebai and I’ll make you hungry in a snap. For missed features, you can read them on my blog theroyalchefeats.wordpress.com.
Happy munching, #royalistas!