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Food Odyssey

Good Eats with Mel Pangan's Davao Food Tour Aug 26, 2016

Good Eats with Mel Pangan's Davao Food Tour

GPS waypoint: 7°03'57.6"N 125°36'28.3"E
Location: Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines

Food Tour?
Anyone can do a food tour...just read up on food on a destination, connect the dots and do the leg work. As a DIY budget backpacker, that's how I do it. I could get lost, maybe get scammed, maybe the place closed down, or just couldn't find the place. There are no guarantees. However, I got the chance to actually participate in an organized food tour of Davao by Mel Pangan. Big difference!

Good Eats with Mel Pangan's Davao Food Tour
kinilaw, grilled tuna tail, deep fried pork rinds (crunchy chicharon) and Filipino Ratatouie (pinakbet) for a sumptuous lunch!

Mel
Mel is a local who knows Davao like the back of her hand and can articulate on the why, hows and who of Davao's rich history and current on-goings. More importantly, she has a knack for planning and logistics which immeasurably help in her food tours. Her family comes from a long line of prominent Dabawenyos including her mother, Dr. Rizalina M. Pangan who is a 2006 Datu Bago awardee. They run a quaint family hotel, Bahay ni Tuding, that is centrally located in the heart of Davao. The tour meeting place is at the hotel - best to check-in here if you're visiting Davao.

3 Foodies
There was another one in the group - Noelle, a doctor visiting Davao for the first time. It would be the three of us from 8am to to 3pm - Mel, Noelle and myself. The tour itself was good bonding for all of us. At the end of it, we were not only full, but blessed to meet such kindred souls.

Bankerohan Market
First we went to Bankerohan by cab to try the kinutil and puto-maya. Kinutil is a local hard-to-place morning health drink - a blend of hand-whisked chocolate drink, egg, fermented coconut juice (tuba) and milk. Can you imagine the taste of it? You can't! You simply have to experience it. Puto maya is a popular sticky rice offering either in purple, brown or white. There are many stalls offering the breakfast combo, but Mel seems to have selected the best and cleanest stall of the lot.

Museo Dabawenyo
Not necessarily a food destination, but an essential stop to any tourist who wants a deeper understanding of Davao. The place gives a historical backdrop of the city using artifacts, preserved pictures, old maps, etc. This is where Mel stood out. She explained many things why Davao came to be, adding more to what the museum tour guide was saying. The museum tour guide said Davao became a city in October 16, 1936. So what? Met added dimension to that event by explaining why it became imperative for Davao to become a chartered city - a clever political maneuvering to keep the power of the dominant Japanese in check. The Japanese that time, before the WWII, enjoyed an overwhelming dominance of Davao. In fact, Davao was called Little Tokyo.

Aldevinco
Most of the products of the Lumads (indigenous local tribes) can be found here from wood carvings, sarongs, t-shirts, malongs, etc. It's also the place for souvenirs and Davao memorabilia. We didn't stay long but it was a good stop to check things out.

Lunch
Davao prides itself in serving the best tuna dishes from kinilaw to panga ng bariles, to tuna tail. Yes, they are all good. But where do you go to savor the best? Again, Mel seems to have nailed that one down. We went to this unpretentious but decent restaurant serving Davao's staple - kinilaw, grilled tuna tail, deep fried pork rinds (crunchy chicharon) and Filipino Ratatouie (pinakbet). It was one of the best meals I've had in Davao. I couldn't pick on a better dish...they were all good and cooked fresh!

Malagos Farm
Prominent on Davao's tourism map is Malagos Farmhouse - they make their own artisan European cheese and they produce their own chocolate which have won in international competitions. Everything about Malagos is a culinary level-up from the usual local offerings. We helped ourselves to cheese on crackers and washed it down with their very own iced chocolate drink.

Durian and Marang
Magsaysay Park is the default place for durian. They get the first pick from the freshest harvest. Yes, you pay a premium but you have the assurance you get the best durian in the city. The thing about durian is that you either hate it or love it. It was Noelle's first ever. Tasting the D101 variety, which is probably the most benign, she still couldn't take it in. After 2 seeds, she threw-in the white towel. Good for me! I devoured the rest. The marang we had was perfectly in its peak - juicy ripe and sweet without the tarty after taste.

Durian Ice Cream
We went back to Bahay ni Tuding for our last indulgence - durian ice cream poured with local liqueur. Voila! It tasted like a frozen cocktail drink - very refreshing in this humid and hot climate.

Ending Thoughts
I can only burp in satisfaction while writing this. This is one heavy dose of gastromic indulgence. I felt like a king feasting on food fit for a king. Thank you Mel! This is one highlight for me!

--- TheLoneRider

ps - If you want me to objectively cover your food tour or food event for this website (openings, food tasting, menu launch, etc.), email me.

meeting up at Bahay ni Tuding Inn and Resto first stop, the pineapple samurai. With a continuous flick of the knife, pineapple chunks come out of the whole fruit comfy cab ride en route to the food destinations at Bankerohan where chocolate drink is  hand whisked
Noelle gives it  a try kinutil !!! puto maya followed after ginamos...on a stroll by the market at the fruit section
orientation at Museo Dabawenyo Muslims, Christians and Lumads depicted on a triptych art Noelle at Aldevinco sumptuous lunch - pinakbet, kinilaw, chicharon and tuna tail
bon appetite! at Malagos Farmhouse with cheese artisan, Olive Puentespina artisan European-style cheese at Malagos Farmhouse iced chocolate drink...using their multi awarded cocoa
with a 10k cheese wheel at Magsaysay Park eating Marang and Durian the Marang was just perfect...juicy, super sweet without the tarty aftertaste as a finale, durian ice cream with poured-on liqueur
Mel's Davao Food Tour

Mel's Davao Food Tour Mel's Davao Food Tour location

Location: Bahay ni Tuding Inn & Resto, San Pedro Street, 8000 Davao City, Philippines
Tel: 0947 361 3544
website: Mel's Davao Food Tour
GPS: 7°03'57.6"N 125°36'28.3"E

Davao Food Blogs


Facebook Users
Aug 26, 2016

Google Map Davao City, Philippines

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  • Apollo Van Rental Apollo Van Rental - Davao City tour, Samal Island tour, airport transfer
    0925.500.3211 | suki_tac@yahoo.com
yoga in Davao City yoga | health | fitness food tour in Davao City tour food in Davao City resto | cafes in Davao City cafe autism in Davao City advocacy

Great Things Going for Davao City

  • one of the cleanest potable water in the country
  • smoking is banned from commercial establishments
  • pineapple samurais are endemic here and nowhere else in the country (pineapple vendors who cut-up whole pineapples into chunks with just a few strokes of their carving knives)
  • public utility drivers conspicuously display their IDs
  • durian Mecca of the Philippines (not to mention Marang, Mangosteen and Sweet Pomelo)
  • you want to add some more? please submit on the form below

Not So Great Things Going Against Davao City

  • the weighing scale of fruit vendors specially the durian push cart vendors are a blatant cheat - showing almost twice the actual weight

Davao Related Articles

Davao City Travel Information



»» next story: Conducting a Power Yoga Class at Yoga Davao
»» next Food Odyssey story: Celebrating Davao's King of Fruits - Durian!
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