Disclaimer: This is the full feature from The Royal Chef column on Edge Davao.
Home. Place your feet may leave but your heart will always be.
A bit melodramatic, yes, but with substantial truth. That anybody can relate to. Specially those who live away from home but calls another home, home.
Proud Cotabateῆo. Born and raised in one of Mindanao’s rich, multi-ethnic city, Cotabato is my home away from home. Though living in two different zip codes, it is at Cotabato that I find solitude and happiness and where my family is at. Like so in Davao. Of which I also call home.
Aside from the obvious, Cotabato City is also booming with cafes, restaurants and food finds. Old and new, at every nook and corner, a gastro adventure awaits. Despite the size, you’d be surprised of the many hidden gems all over the city.
Location: Gonzalo Javier St. RH 7, Cotabato City
This is the pinnacle of good food in the city. I grew up with their dishes and until now, am always craving for any of their dishes whenever I’m home. Theirs is comfort food beyond your comfort zone. Known for their crabs (crabs buffet in Davao), what I love is their local dishes prepared and cooked according to your taste. They always get it. Always the right seasoning, crunch and everything else you can think of.
My fave? Everything. Thank you, Glamour for always making me busog when I’m home.
Location: N.Herrera Bldg., Pob, Quezon Ave, Cotabato City
I’d be biased — this is a fave resto in Cotabato. Located downtown, I love that this resto is cozy and homey at the same time. Food wise, their dishes are simple, cooked well and of course, seasoned just right. I love their big bowl of Arroz Caldo and feast on their Seafood Platter with my Dad and Mama. Their Fresh Lumpia tastes nice too.
Best way to enjoy a gastro feast at Reese is with family and friends. And, no, don’t limit your palate on dishes you’ve already tried. Have fun and discover the rich flavours of their menu every time you visit. You’d thank me later.
Sugar Rush Empanachos
Contact details: Contact Nina thru fb: firstname.lastname@example.org or text her at 09298270464.
My cousin recommended this — and boy, was she right. It’s an empanada and nachos in one. All you need is salsa and you’ll be in Mexico wonderland. Sugar Rush is an online store that sells sweet and savory nibbles. Nina, the owner and co-alma mater alumni (Albert Einstein School) makes Halal empanachos – made of pure beef, spices, egg, cheese and raisins. Perfect on the go snack or even as an ulam, I adore these empanachos that you can order fried or frozen (P150/dozen for frozen and P15 each fried).
On how she started with this addictive triangles, she said: “A close friend called me if I know how to make empanadas. I vaguely recall that I can make empanadas but gutsy that I was, I said yes. 🙂 I thought that if I came up with a Mexican-inspired empanada then that could be a big hit. I started tasting Mexican food like enchiladas, nachos and burritos and took it from there. The biggest challenge was the wrapper because empanadas are fried and I only knew pastry doughs. It took me 5 wrapper recipes to finally perfect the combination of it being salty, sweet, savoury, and a bit spicy to satisfy all your taste buds.”
Simply Sweet by Iris Belle Cheese Bars
Location: c/o Beng’s Store, #2 INT. A Mabini Street, Brgy. Bagua 2 Cotabato City
First bite was the sweetest. Not exaggerating. This box of soft, chewy and not too sweet cheese bars always hits the spot. Every so often, when I am home, my tita’s would spoil me and give me a box of this to take back to Davao. And I love it every single time. PS I am yet to try something else from their repertoire of sweet treats.
There are other gastro food finds in the city. Many are raving of ChefMel’s Resto, Cheraf’s (delicious pasta dishes), Sugarpappi (cake overload) and Hashy’s (love the kare-kare).
What’s your Cotabato food find story?
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!