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Food Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Lunch & Dessert with Friends at Tiny Kitchen

Tiny Kitchen Davao

I’m actually on a diet but last Saturday, I just had to have a cheat day.

(I am not even losing weight yet and I already had a cheat day. Something’s not right lol!)

Anyway, the reason behind the obligatory cheat day was a pre-planned lunch date with my work colleagues. I would say we felt like catching up but, really, we were just craving for cheesecake. Yummy, creamy, delicious cheesecake. Yikes!

Photo grabbed from Jona

Photo grabbed from Jona

Two things to notice: first, Yuri’s photobombing face, and second, my round face. Ugh.

Because we wanted cheesecake, it was obvious that we would go for Tiny Kitchen. And here’s what we ordered:

Tiny Kitchen Davao

Strawberry Blush (P120)

Tiny Kitchen Davao

Yuri’s Frito *rolls eyes* (P175)

Tiny Kitchen Davao

Sarah’s Chorizo y Tomate (P230)

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Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Dinner At Rustic Kitchen Restaurant

Rustic Kitchen Davao

A new restaurant has opened just 5 minutes away from home!

Technically, it’s not new-new because it’s been there for just over a year now, but it’s still an awesome new addition to our “small-town-feels” barangay. I love where I live (the highlands of Cabantian, Davao City!), but I must admit that the lack of good dining options (that is not Dexter’s or Santino’s Pizza or short order food counters) can be depressing sometimes. So when I saw Rustic Kitchen, I knew I should try it!

Rustic Kitchen Davao

We were finally able to try their dishes a month ago, during Mother’s Day.

I wanted my future house to be all white and minimalist, with clean lines and natural light coming in. I was conflicted when I entered Rustic Kitchen. I want a country-style cabin, too! Perhaps I should reserve the latter for a vacation house in the province. #librelangmangarap #becausewhynotchocnut

Here are pictures of the charming interior:

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Food Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Food Trip at Red Corner Burger Cafe and Tiny Kitchen (Dulce Vida)

Red Corner Davao

I still get random cravings for Red Corner’s Pacman burger and TK’s red velvet cheesecake.

Which is quite unfortunate because I’m trying, trying, to lose weight. 🙁

Well, anyway, for those of you who can afford to eat burgers and cheesecakes without worrying about their figures (let’s switch lives? no? okay), especially if you’re planning to grace Davao City with your presence, you need to visit both Red Corner and Tiny Kitchen.

Ready for food trippin'!

Ready for food trippin’!

Red Corner Burger Cafe

Red Corner is a small ~ actually it’s tiny ~ boxing-themed burger place in downtown Davao. If you’re not careful, you can easily miss it. But it’s worth the trip.

Via Trip Advisor

Via Trip Advisor

Red Corner Burger Cafe Davao

The place is not the only thing that is boxing-themed; their burgers are, too. I don’t know a lot about boxing — heck I don’t even always watch Manny’s fights — so let’s leave that detail out shall we lol. Let’s talk about the food instead.

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Sarah and Jona, my work colleagues, including Sarah’s hubby, Xandy, have already been there before and they recommended two burgers to me: Pacman and El Terible. Since I am only one person and can eat just one burger at a time (Yuri was there but cannot eat an entire burger on his own), I opted to buy a Pacman for dine in and order an El Terible, to go. Continue Reading

Food Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Family Dinner at Kuya J

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

I’ve been writing about restaurants since last week (and I still have two more in my drafts plus a couple of travel posts!). Bear with me — I’m just trying to clear my overdue drafts and I’ll be back in regular programming.

A couple of months ago, we had dinner at Kuya J. I’ve been hearing and reading about Kuya J on my social media fans that I just couldn’t resist trying it! The good news? It was so worth it — we had a hearty meal at an affordable price. Read on!

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

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Food Friends Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Brunch with Girlfriends at Dong Juan

Dong Juan Davao Abreeza

More than a month ago, I think a couple of weeks after Yuri’s birthday, I met up with my girlfriends, Hazel and George, to watch the movie, Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis.

Well, it was supposed to be Hele. Until a series of unfortunate events (conflicting schedules, conflicting mall locations, et cetera) led us to cancel Hele. Instead, we ended up watching Batman Vs. Superman. Wut. It was waaay waaay below Hele standard, but hey, at least we were entertained for almost 3 hours.

Because Hazel and I were there at 11 and the movie didn’t start until 2:30, we started to eat an early lunch. We looked for a restaurant that none of us have ever tried before, thus Dong Juan.

Dong Juan Davao Abreeza

Hi, Hazel!

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Food Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

A Simple Birthday Lunch at Yellow Fin

Yellow Fin Restaurant Davao

Yuri turned 4 almost a couple of months ago. Ergo, this is a late post. Tee hee.

Yuri’s birthday celebration was a very simple one because it coincided with this year’s Black Saturday. Many establishments were closed the day before so I couldn’t really plan a day-out. Also, it was expected that people would be flocking to the resorts so that idea was scrapped as well.

Instead, we just went to Yellow Fin, one of the best restaurants in the city, bought a birthday cake at Bistro Rosario and grabbed a tub of ice cream, and went home. Simple as can be yet the little boy had fun!

Lit it up with the prettiest candles which we've had for more than a year now! And some ice cream (background)

And we had a very happy little boy with a full tummy. Happy birthday!

I couldn’t believe I haven’t blogged about Yellow Fin yet. Along with Tiny Kitchen and Lachi’s (both of which I believe I haven’t blogged about yet, too!), Yellow Fin Seafood Restaurant is one of the must-visit restaurants in Davao City. So let’s talk about Yellow Fin!

There are currently 4 branches in the city (at least that I know of) — the original one in Sandawa, one in Torres, one fronting SM Lanang Premier, and another one in Lanang in front of Guadalupe Village (where we used to leave). The last one is the branch nearest to our house so we went there.

It’s a very simple looking-restaurant but I like that it’s spacious, clean, and cool. Here are the interiors:

Yellow Fin Restaurant Davao

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Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Celebrating My Friend’s Pregnancy at Vikings

Vikings Davao

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

Ideally, the reason why my colleagues Jona and Sarah and I went to Vikings a couple of weeks ago is to celebrate Sarah’s pregnancy.

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That’s what we’d like to think. Truth is, the lunch at Viking’s had been planned because Sarah had a 50% discount thanks to her credit card. When she asked us if we’d like to go, of course we said yes. We never say no to food and we’re notorious for being eating machines.

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Let’s just assume we were celebrating this lady’s pregnancy…

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Me, Jona, Sarah

Then a day before our Vikings date, Sarah found out that she’s having a baby girl. Wee! So it made perfect sense to tell people that we’re going on a trip to food-coma-land to celebrate.

And not because of the 50% discount.

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Food Restaurant Review

Pizza Afternoon at Picobello!

Picobello Davao

Woot thank God it’s Friday!

(Except it’s not really the start of the weekend in my case since I have to attend a CPD session tomorrow and on Saturday. CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development, which is a requirement for PRC professionals. Oh well, that’s life!)

I’m keen on going through all of my backlog before mid-February so here’s another one. My college friends and I always get together every year for a little Christmas luncheon and gift exchange. Last year’s venue was Belito’s Vineyard while this year’s was Picobello.

If you’re from Davao, surely you’ve heard of the iconic Picobello, an authentic Italian restaurant that serves the best pizzas ever. It used to be located at Gaisano South Mall and then it closed (much to the dismay of perhaps every Davaoeño who loves pizza). Just recently, it reopened in another location at The Shoppes at Woodlane. Upon hearing this wonderful news, of course, we just had to visit it.

Here are what we ordered:

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Food Restaurant Review

An Afternoon at Cafe Annabelle’s

Cafe Annabelles'

You have been redirected from my review of Cafe Annabelle’s on DavaoMommy.com.

I’ve been noticing Cafe Annabelle’s for a while now. It’s this quaint and dainty cafe right in front of Ayala Abreeza mall’s Robinsons grocery; it’s hard to miss it in its pink and white glory!

I’m not sure when it opened exactly since I rarely grocery-shop at Abreeza, but the first time I saw the cafe, I knew I had to try it sometime! You know naman, anything cute and pretty with food thrown into the mix piques my curiosity. 🙂

Finally, I was able to try Cafe Annabelle’s last Sunday with my super-friends.

First Impressions

I already knew it would be a convenient choice since it was inside a mall and had a small play-area. However, I did think that the cafe itself would be cramped. Upon entering, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the cafe was actually spacious!

I also super love the decor. I couldn’t leave our table to take photos of the details (dalang dala sa chismisan), but I keenly observed the little things they included to build a relaxing (and kikay) atmosphere. You can take a lot of Instagram-worthy photos here!

Seating

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Food Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Lunch at Sea Green Cafe and Lifestyle Shop

Sea Green Cafe and Lifestyle Shop

You’ve been re-directed from my review of Sea Green Café and Lifestyle Shop on DavaoMommy.com.

Sea Green cafe is only the hippest healthy restaurant in Davao City. Or so I heard. So from the first time I came to know about it, I knew I should try it.
After months of craving, I was finally able to eat at Sea Green last Sunday. I was one happy gal!

Sea Green is this quaint little restaurant in the middle of the city that gives off strong country vibes. It’s popular for serving only fish and vegetables and only fresh ingredients. Thus, Sea + Green. Love! Also, I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s tucked in somewhere in the middle of the city. We almost got lost because we’re from the north and not very familiar with Torres-Marfori area. (Just go to Mercury Drug Garcia Heights and make a right. Or left, depending on where you are from. Ang labo ko lang.)

I wasn’t kidding when I said it was little, too. There were only a few tables inside. I tried to take many photos of their charming interior but I could not move so much because the table next to ours was occupied. But here are what I was able to get:

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Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

An Afternoon at Ice Giants

Ice Giants Review

One sunny afternoon last summer (way before my dad had his blood tested for various illnesses), we were all craving for ice cream. Since we wanted to try something new, we decided to go to the nearest Ice Giants to eat what else but a giant sundae!

Before that, we ordered some “real food” because we haven’t had lunch yet. Since we’re going to be eating a giant sundae, we stayed away from rice meals. But the dishes we ordered were still calorie-laden so I don’t understand my point. Here they are:

Ice Giants Review

I forgot the exact price, but it should range from P250 to P300

Ice Giants Review

This was just a small serving of lasagna – P120

Who knew Ice Giants served savoury dishes? I didn’t! While we were eating, we ordered our giant sundae to be served later. We wanted either the mango or the halo-halo flavoured ones, but the young’uns really wanted chocolate so chocolate it is. Lo and behold, the chocolate giant sundae.

Ice Giants Review

Why does my 3-year old look so binata here?

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Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Lunch with Friends at Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar

Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar Davao

I had a great time last Sunday! Well, I always have a great time whenever I find myself spending the day with my friends since college. Last Sunday was another of the days (although one of our friends, Christine, was sorely missed because she’s now living in Japan!).

We wanted to try the new Picobello at first, but on Saturday, we decided to try Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar instead. We’ve heard a lot of great reviews about it, and upon checking out their menu, we couldn’t wait to try their Filipino dishes with a twist.

But first – OOTD! I didn’t want one taken because I was feeling fat that day (yet I ate to my heart’s delight), but Hazel insisted, so here it is 😀

Midi dress – bought online | Denim bolero – Mags, given by George | Sandals – Gibi | Bag – Aldo, gift
On Yuri: Shirt – Garanimals | Shorts – Mothercare | Shoes – Nike | Bag – Disney

I had a crisis that morning because none of my clothes fit me. I hope I’m only kidding but I’m not. I’m so sad. How do you lose weight? Huhu.

Okay, back to Perch. I only have phone pictures here; I can’t believe I forgot to bring my camera! It was just lying beside my bag, but I grabbed my bag without putting the camera in. Blame it on my weight crisis (or is it the anaesthesia?).

Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar

Freaky picture – the upper side looks cropped diagonally but it’s not

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Food Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Bon Appetit

Bon Appetit La Boutique Davao

Disclaimer: I apologise for the quality of the pictures – my Samsung WB150F doesn’t do very well in low-light settings. Perhaps it’s time to invest in another camera? Haha.

Hi, everyone!

Whew, what a busy week. I’ve done a couple of overtime work this week – good thing I actually enjoy doing my job – and there were a handful of power interruptions. The longest one happened last Thursday, where we had a 3-hour brownout. Coincidentally, that was also the evening when a Payoneer event I was invited to attend was scheduled.

Payoneer in Bon Appetit La Boutique Davao

It wasn’t technically a blogger event, but this was the first event I attended ever since I started blogging here in A Joyful Mess. Also, I think I was the only one there who wasn’t technically a freelancer and didn’t have a Payoneer account yet… Hehe. The guys from Payoneer hosted the dinner as a way to give thanks and/or introduce themselves to the online workers and freelancers (more on freelancers) in Davao City. As it wasn’t really a blogger event, let me just tell you about the restaurant where we had dinner: Bon Appétit La Boutique.

A quick research about this restaurant reveals that it’s Davao City’s number 1 restaurant, according to Trip Advisor. I was super thrilled to go to that dinner and discover why it’s #1.

Owned by a French man and his wife, Bon Appetit La Boutique is a really tiny, tiny place tucked into the inner corner of a restaurant compound in the heart of Davao City. When they said it’s a hidden gem, they really weren’t kidding. It actually reminds me of Belito’s Vineyard, another secret gem tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Anyway, back to Bon Appetit.  It looks unassuming when you see it from the outside, but wait until you get a taste of their dishes.

Here are the dishes served in our dinner:

Complimentary Side Dish

Bon Appetit La Boutique Davao

Freshly-baked bread with Black Olive spread

This picture was taken when the power was still out. This explains the candle hehe. It was my first time to eat black olive spread, and I liked it!

Appetizer

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Food Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Lunch at Zabs Buffet

Zabs Buffet review

You’ve been re-directed from my review of Zabs Buffet on DavaoMommy.com.

The original plan was to celebrate my birthday at Vikings. However, we had already tried it, and while we had a pleasant experience, I didn’t get to enjoy it fully because I was busy running after Yuri. Vikings is big, and my toddler was all over the place!

So I decided to look for another restaurant that is a lot smaller. I am willing to sacrifice the amount of food to save my sanity. Hahaha!

Another thing: being the big eaters that we are, it needs to be a buffet.

We have already tried most known buffet restaurants and hotels in the city. We haven’t tried Yakimix yet, but it’s out of the question, since the folks are not fans of Japanese food. However, during my preggy and newborn-mom days, a buffet restaurant opened and was popular among students and yuppies. I didn’t get to try it then, so we decided to try it now.

The place is not easy to miss. It’s just along Roxas Avenue and very near Aldevinco in front of Ateneo. The signage is also big, in-your-face-ish.

Zabs Buffet is a small restaurant; thus, do not expect to see a large variety of food. You will see the usual: salads, rice cooked differently, savory dishes, soup, lechon kawali (my and dad’s favorite haha), raw meat and fish that you can request to be cooked, and lots of dessert. In the center, near where we were seated, was the counter where food was cooked. There was a pizza station, crepe station, and takoyaki station (that’s what I remember).

My first plate (noodles, salad, and veggies). I didn’t post the photos of my other plates because they were too badly taken. I changed my camera settings and didn’t realize the resulting photos were poor. (And that is not my hand. That’s a toddler’s hand.)
Some of the desserts
Poor photo of the crepe station – thowee!
 

To “review” the restaurant, let’s begin with the cons because I think naman the pros can make up for them. Here we go:

CONS

Size

Like what I mentioned, the place is small. Therefore, do not expect couch seating. The seats, while comfortable, are plain and made for eating, not lounging.

Food Selection
Again, there is no “huge” selection of food. Given its price, it is acceptable. However, I also noticed there is little variety of dishes. For example, there were almost no fish-based dishes. Also no pasta. I was almost sad.

Air-conditioning
During the time we were there, we felt just a little of the air-conditioning. Okay, that’s putting it mildly. We weren’t sweating naman; it only felt as if we were just at home. Or maybe it’s because we were so near the cooking area.

PROS

Food Taste and Quality
While the food selection is not huge, I’m proud to report that there was not a morsel that I didn’t like. I really loved the lechon kawali (sorry to those who don’t eat pork), the pizza (even though I’m not fond of thin crust), and the spring rolls (lumpia). Every meat dish was soft and tender. Yuri and I loved the pomelo salad!

My final while-they’re-talking plate

Location
Again, it’s not hard to locate the place. It would be really stupid to get lost trying to find it.

My vet cousin

Ambiance
The place, even though it’s small and the tables are full, don’t fill crowded. Maybe it’s because of how the entire place is bright and well-lit.

What happens to tweens when they get overly full
 

Price
Next, it’s also very affordable. At only P329 per head (exclusive of drinks), it’s hard to complain!

Service!
And last but definitely not the least, service is impeccable. Waiters and servers welcome you with a smile. The chef and the cooks are also friendly and pleasant. Most of all, you don’t have to call anyone to serve you. The main waiter (or is it supervisor?) always looks at each table and knows what you need even before you make a pip. Waiters in other restaurants, in comparison, need to be called (twice and thrice) and still dawdle! None of this happened when we were there; everyone was just so pleasant and friendly. Now that’s what I call service!

………………………

And the biggest pro of all, Yuri enjoyed the experience, too, and didn’t run all over the place. For the first time in forever, I really got to eat!

Yuri’s OOTD
Doomagic Tuxedo Rompers used as top
Red jeans from H&M
Rubber shoes from Oshkosh

So, in summary, if you want a full gustatory experience, do not go to Zabs. But if you simply want to relax, hang out with friends, eat, and do all these without spending too much, by all means, try Zabs!

Zabs Buffet is at Paseo de Roxas Bldg., Roxas Avenue, Davao City
Store opens from Tuesday to Sunday (11:00 am – 2:00 pm and 6:00pm to 9:00 pm)
For reservations, call 221-4643 or 0939-9191672

I am not, in any way, compensated for this review.

Food Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Lunch at Bistro Selera

Bistro Selera review

You’ve been redirected from my Bistro Selera review on DavaoMommy.com.

Bistro Selera review
My sister celebrated her birthday last Sunday and we made a reservation for lunch at Yakimix. We didn’t go to Abreeza right away, though, because we had a couple of errands to do at SM Lanang.

However, after staying in SM for a while, we decided na nakakatamad na to have to go to Abreeza to eat (then back again to SM for groceries). So we cancelled our reservation at Yakimix and decided to just eat at Vikings.

However ulit, when we went to Vikings (it was just around 10), there were already several people in line. We asked the staff if there’s an available table, and he said wala na. Everyone without a reservation is waitlisted and for a table pa talaga outside.

No thanks!

So we went to look for another restaurant since my sister and I were already hungry (#boa). Long story short, we decided to try Bistro Selera.

Since we were there early, they were actually still closed when we got there. The waiter immediately flipped the Closed sign upon noticing us though!

I was surprised at the smallness of the area but the interior design was cozy so everything worked. I also liked the touch of art on the walls.
Bistro Selera review Bistro Selera reviewBistro Selera review Bistro Selera reviewBistro Selera reviewBistro Selera

Since we were the first customers, it didn’t take long before our food was served. (Later, I would eat the best karekare I have ever eaten so far!) Here are what we ordered:

Bistro Selera Kinilaw

I haven’t eaten the kinilaw because I’m not a big fan of fish, but they said it tasted really great daw. The fish used is Malasugui (swordfish) if I’m not mistaken. I think this was Papa’s favorite dish among everything we ordered!

Bistro Selera Crispy Pata
This is Bistro Selera’s bestseller, which is Crispy Pata. I loved that the skin was crunchy and the meat was very tender. I just didn’t like the huge chops because they can be difficult to eat! #poiseproblems
Bistro Selera Karekare
In the photo, the dish looks bland but only because I took the photo before the stew was mixed.

This was the winner, in my opinion. I seem to always order karekare when it’s on the menu because it’s interesting how restaurants cook it differently.

But this karekare is hands-down the best one I’ve ever tried yet. The sauce was thick and very tasty. I like that it wasn’t sweet because dishes in other restaurants just taste like peanut butter. This was different because it was really savory.

I also loved the very tender meat (although I didn’t eat the other parts like the tripe). Also, unlike other dishes where the vegetables are mushy, the vegetables in this dish are crisp!

VERDICT:

FOOD: Yummy!!! I can’t wait to try their other dishes next time!

SERVICE: I can’t say anything bad about the service. Waitstaff was really attentive and observant of our needs. Friendly, too!

PRICE: Price is surprisingly affordable! We paid only around P1200 for the meal because the waiter recommended a Fiesta combo meal (Crispy Pata + Karekare + Iced Tea + Rice) for just P900.

I was really pleased with my dining experience at Bistro Selera and would surely go back to eat it again!

(Just writing about that karekare made me hungry. Grr!)

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. 🙂

Bistro Selera Menu
Bistro Selera Menu
Bistro Selera Menu