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Exploring Tulip Drive Food Strip

Disclaimer: This is the full feature from The Royal Chef column on Edge Davao.

True, it’s not about ‘having’ time; it’s about ‘making’ time. Admittedly, I am not good at keeping a clean calendar and making appointments. At times, I appreciate taking the bullet and making things happen. Other times, I need to consult my calendar (that includes my phone calendar and my planner — hooray for planners!). However, when the tummy grumbles, all hell breaks loose and yes, I eat. Oh wait, I eat and eat.

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Being in the South side of the city is both a blessing and a curse. For a foodie, the selection is limited hence it being a curse. Nevertheless, because of the limitation, you also get to enjoy the full menu of dining establishments and in the process, develop a more personal bond with the owners.

One of my recent faves in the South is the growing food strip over at Tulip Drive. The once vacant strip of land is now slowly becoming a most delicious strip of food finds in the city. Not as packed as the rest, it has since been a favourite meeting place for people who has no time to travel north, wait for their meals and travel back south. What the food strip basically offers is comfort and convenience without having to spend more time on the road than in front of the dining table.

At present, there’s Coco’s South Bistro, on the corner most of Tulip Drive, together with company co-owned Buffet Palace for that much needed buffet cravings. Down the road, you’d see the pinkest house that happens to be a beauty salon and has a quaint shoppe on the side (have a go at their shakes and rice meals; affordable too). Beside it is a rustic Filipino restaurant that has slowly becoming packed with diners especially on evenings.

Also found in the strip is a restaurant that satisfies all your lechon cravings, Davao’s best burger place – Red Corner – is also very visible and very packed and Steak ni Juan down on the further side has no competition as to space, that is. What I am most excited about is the addition of Tadakuma and Lachi’s on the strip.

Yes, considered as two of the city’s most frequented dining places, Tadakuma is a Japanese foodie place while Lachi’s is known for their Sans Rival and other sweet pastries. Both have existing restaurants downtown, their addition to the growing South food gems is a most welcome one – especially for us, right.
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Tadakuma has since evolved into a full-on sit-down dining place that enables its loyal customers to enjoy every meal any day of the week. Though not everyone agrees as to the taste of their dishes, Tadakuma remains my favourite go to place for their plate of hot off the pan Beef Ramen and Kakeage.

Their Beef Ramen (with the beef broth), specially on a cold, rainy day, is a perfect de-stress dish. I love that it’s savoury, deep and textured. This I pair with their Kakeage or tofu (minus the minced pork). I also love their maki’s and Gyudon. As much as I would like to explore the many other dishes, it’s kind of difficult to request for a plate of chicken gyoza given my food restrictions. Still, Tadakuma is and will remain a favourite dining place for me.

Sweets in Davao is either a fresh durian fruit or a slice of cake from Lachi’s. Correct, right? Lachi’s’ many sweet cakes enables one to abandon his diet and go on a sweet fest in a snap. Of their many offerings, their Sans Rival (but of course) is always a go-to piece when dining here. Aside from that, their mud pie and warm apple pie also hits the spot. Their carrot cake is also one for the books.
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With their selection, you can always stick to your guns or explore the perimeter by having something new every time you visit. One thing though, at the Lachi’s Tulip Drive branch, you’d only be served with their cakes and pastries (and drinks). They do not have their full-on menu. But that’s okay, with the other savoury restaurants around, you’d surely only have room for dessert.

Want to know my latest food finds? Follow me on Instagram @iamleebai and my blog theroyalchefeats.wordpress.com.
Happy munching, #royalistas!

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