A week of Davao eats

I spent a week in Davao with a simple itinerary: attend the Davao Bloggers Society Christmas Party, co-work, and, most importantly, EAT. We can eat anywhere, of course, but ever since I joined the Davao Food Appreciation Tour in 2010 and 2015, I always want to go back to the city and sample some more. So while is not about an official Davao Food Appreciation Tour, this post is about an almost week-long food trip in Davao. So, close enough.

Many thanks to Mica and Andrew for pushing through with this food trip!

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Where to eat in Asakusa: Sometaro Okonomiyaki Restaurant

I’ve been fascinated with okonomiyaki ever since I saw it in the anime Ranma 1/2 in the early 90’s. It looked and smelled good, even in 2D animation, so I had to try it in real life when I visited Japan.

Okonomiyaki, for those who don’t know, is a Japanese savory pancake. There’s a variety of ingredients that can be used, so it’s really up to you and how you like it (okonomi) and then it’s cooked on a grill (yaki). Okonomiyaki is usually associated with the Kansai region (where Osaka is), but it’s really available throughout the country, and each region’s okonomiyaki does it a little differently than the others. Kind of like how regions do ramen differently, or–going closer to the Filipino’s heart–how each region has a different longganisa, or a different adobo.

The Tokyo okonomiyaki, then, was on my list of things to eat in the city.

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Getting my ramen fix at Ramen Cool West Ave.

Since Japanese food is one of my favorite cuisines, I have a list of my favorite places to get my fix, and Ramen Cool is in it. Their dishes are adjusted for the Filipino palate, but close enough to the authentic Japanese taste to for purists (i.e. me) to enjoy.

I first heard of Ramen Cool from my brother. We visited their branch in Kapitolyo years ago, but failed to write about it. I live far from Kapitolyo, though, so it’s a great thing that Ramen Cool also has a branch in my side of Quezon City!

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Dreaming of #BisayaNaFood

Cebu, Philippines is a place of rich history, beautiful beaches, and wonderful people. One of the capital cities of the Philippines, it is highly significant and one of the most populated in the country.

But, let’s be honest: when I think of anything, I think of food. And Cebu? Cebu is known for its delicious, scrumptious food. Mouthwatering seafood. Sweet, sweet, mangoes. Succulent lechon. Ooh-lala!

This week, my tummy has a date with Cebu. Continue reading

A freelancer’s application for a tourist visa to Japan

When I booked my flight to Japan last year, I was still a regular employee, and the Embassy had just announced that they were relaxing the visa application requirements. I was very confident that I was finally going to be able to fly to my dream destination since I was a child. I mean, who wouldn’t dream of going to Japan? Sushi! Sashimi! Ramen! Okonomiyaki!!! Sign me up for all that.

Fast forward to July 2015, my plans had changed, and instead of working in a new company, I chose to be a freelancer, instead.

Cue panic over my visa application.

Fast forward again to September 2015, and I’m smiling like an idiot while staring at my shiny new visa to Japan, watermarked with Mt. Fuji and pretty cherry blossoms.

Like most people with blogs who successfully obtain a tourist visa to Japan, I am now sharing my experience and the answers to the questions I kept asking people so that others may benefit from it. Continue reading

Happiness in a Cream Cheese Salmon Maki

A layer of vinegar-infused white rice. A sheet of nori. A fresh slice of salmon sashimi. These are some of my favorite things in my favorite cuisine. And when they’re all rolled together with an important addition of cream cheese, it becomes a mouthful of happiness called a Cream Cheese Salmon Maki.

I get giddy just thinking about it.

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The Triple Dark Chocolate Brownies from Annipie are perfect

Everybody loves a brownie. I have literally never met someone who didn’t love a brownie unless they were allergic. The way we like our brownies differ, though.

Some like them sweet or dark; with nuts or without. There are light ones, dense ones, and biscuity ones.

We all have our own definition of a perfect brownie. I, for one, love the rich, chocolate-y, melt-in-your-mouth kind, preferably with no nuts. Unless it’s soft walnut mixed in the brownie, or maybe almond slivers on top, just to add a little crunch, in case there aren’t any chocolate chips on it. It’s one or the other. I don’t want no nuts distracting me from my chocolate.

Because of our different preferences, it’s easy to find a brownie that everyone will like, but it’s a little harder to find a one that everyone will love and enjoy and smile like an idiot about.

I found one such brownie in Davao when I went there in May.

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Waiting for chug-chug-chugging

Before October 2014, I had never ridden a train.

I’m not talking about city subways or bullet trains (although, before October 2014, I had never ridden a bullet train, either). I’m talking about cross-country ones that you ride for hours, where you stay in little cabins with your luggage tucked beside you; ones that seem to make you say “locomotive” instead of “train” in your head.
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Not Just Durian

Almost everyone knows that when you go to Davao, you eat durian. But Davao is a land of good food. Really, really, really good food that people who usually take photos of their food before eating might just put their camera aside so they can dig in. I know I did. As evidenced in this post’s photo, I was so excited to eat at Mam Beb’s that I just stuffed my plate—who cares about presentation?

Every year since 2008, the Davao bloggers organize the Davao Food Appreciation Tour so they can, as the event name suggests, tour bloggers around Davao and sample the city’s best food. I joined DFAT 2010, where I learned that Davao eats and eats well in the wide variety of restaurants that they have—I don’t think I ate in two similar restaurants while I was there. I also got to try snacks and desserts in Davao and love, love, loved it! My mouth still waters just thinking about them. Good Davao food isn’t just durian. There’s salad and steak and ribs and pasta and tapsilog and pancit and mango squares and, okay, durian coffee and durian cheesecake.

The Davao Food Appreciation Tour 2014 is happening on May 16-19. If you’re planning to go to Davao someday soon (which you should), or if you’re already in the city and looking for new good food to eat,  take notes from the official DFAT FAcebook Page or follow the tumblog.