Kusina Selera: Davao City’s best new restaurant

Munchin'

Travelling to Davao City is such a pain for me. I figure I can already go to either Hong Kong or Taipei with the one hour and forty five minutes it would take me to get there. But there was something during my last trip that made me excited to go to Davao again. And the reason is this cozy little new restaurant called Kusina Selera.

In a city filled with seafood and grilled (ihaw-ihaw) places, the new resto comes like a breath of fresh air. It was opened only last May and seeks to specialize in Filipino fusion dishes. It forms part of a compound which includes a newly-opened hotel, a spa, a coffeeshop and a boutique among others.

It helped that we were really hungry when we went to Selera. Heaven was in the form of this pomelo salad (P150) in a sweet tangy vinaigrette. Completing the equation were julienned crisp radish (labanos) and not-so-ripe papaya, and crushed nuts as topping. The salad was a perfect complement to my tall glass of pomelo juice – I could order five of those in one sitting. Hehe


Adding to our roster of appetizers was this serving of gambas (P190), a Spanish-inspired dish of shrimps sauteed in olive oil and browned garlic. The size of the shrimps was rather disappointing, but the abundance of garlic bits saved it. I love garlic!:D

Sigasig (P85) is the house’s own invention of Sitaw, Gabi & Sigarillas in coconut milk.Rather mild in flavor and the gabi proved to be a bit slimy for me.Still, it’s a treat for vegetable lovers who want something new.

Their twice-cooked adobo (P165) was superb. Take note that Pinoys mean different things when they say “twice-cooked.” It’s either all adobo ingredients are simmered first, then fried. In the case of Kusina Selera, the meat is grilled first and then transformed into this delicious adobo.

We asked our server what the house bestsellers were, and he pointed to the boneless crispy chicken, the boneless crispy pata (hocks) and the crispy tadyang ng baka (beef ribs) (P200). We ordered the latter and didn’t regret it one bit. Slivers of beef fat blending well with the tender deep-fried meat. Best eaten with the soy-based dip.

Service was excellent and our order didn’t take longer than 15 minutes. Having ordered five dishes, 3 cups of rice and drinks to go with our meal, our total bill amounted to P910 which wasn’t really much considering how the meal satiated our hunger. In Manila, it would have cost us more. We refrained from ordering dessert because we tried the san rival at Lachi’s.:D

Not trying their desserts (like the buchitaw: buchi + palitaw) was something I regret, and that is why I wanna go back again. This time to try the boneless crispy pata and their sweet treats. The restaurant promises to prepare something new on the menu, in time for the city’s Kadayawan Festival on the third week of August. Don’t know if it’s intentional, but I certainly would like to see more fish and seafood dishes on the menu.

Our gang of food trippers even had the chance to have a photo op with Kusina Selera Chef Anton Abad, who studied in the Culinary Institute of America. Somehow, we couldn’t help but thank him for an almost perfect meal.

Kusina Selera
Doors 9-11, 115 Paseo de Legaspi
P.Pelayo St. Davao City
Tele. No. (082) 221-2695

20 thoughts on “Kusina Selera: Davao City’s best new restaurant”

  1. notty - July 22, 2009 6:14 pm

    sana nag zip line din kayo. that’s the latest hip thing to do in davao.

  2. ajay - July 22, 2009 10:23 pm

    Notty, Zip line is the latest thing to do everywhere, hehe. But I don’t want to do that. I wanna EAT!!!! :D

  3. charles - July 23, 2009 3:11 pm

    Ajay, I am from Davao but I have not tried there yet. Eto ba yung mala[it sa Tata Benitos sa may Ilustre or somewhere there?

    Ma try nga dun. :)

  4. ajay - July 23, 2009 3:32 pm

    Charles, I don’t know where Tata Benitos is. Just try the address I gave :D

  5. mel beckham - July 26, 2009 1:46 pm

    ate ajay, we visited the place this morning with my bestfriends. they only serve breakfast til 10am. ours was not a pleasant experience. eventhough our order was very simple it came an hour later and it was incomplete. hindi exaggeration ang isang oras ha. inorasan ko talaga. i’m having doubts if we’ll come back again. simple nga lang yung inorder namin kasi nga konti lang ang nasa breakfast menu nila and there weren’t too many people, how much more if it’s lunchtime or dinner. i’m so disappointed.

  6. ajay - July 26, 2009 1:58 pm

    Oh no. Sad to hear that Mel. That wasn’t certainly what they showed us when we were there. They were prompt and friendly. I guess the question here is consistency. Nothing kills a place more than bad customer service. Working on a Sunday is not an excuse. Uh huh

  7. Monique - August 2, 2009 12:19 am

    Wow! something to look forward to when I go home…
    Bad yan mel ha… hmmm.. i’ll ask some friends back home kung kamusta itong resto na ito…

    Zipline and beach/ island hopping or go up the mountains ms. ajay. ok din yun na gawin sa davao.

  8. Manila Boy - August 11, 2009 12:15 am

    hmmm.

    who are the two cutie foodies with you in the last pic? “,)

  9. ajay - August 11, 2009 12:21 am

    Hi Spanx. Of course the first cutie foodie is me. And the second cutie foodies are my officemates. LOL :D

  10. Mr Z - August 12, 2009 1:17 pm

    Nice to see you wearing the Life is Good tee, Anna :D

  11. vincent - September 8, 2009 5:03 pm

    good to hear n gusto mo ang mga dishes na ginawa ng mga superior chefs namin.. jan ako nag work as a cook.. kaya lang wala na ako jan kasi ako at ang cold chef namin is planning na mag put up n rin ng samll business.,, ehehe anyways gusto ko pala idagdag na ang mga senior chefs namin ay sina Chef anton abad. and may tatlong magagandang chefs pa sina chef kay yao,wowie alipio and michella cacdac.. hehe sana magtagal pa ang selera till here n lng..^^

  12. rezoi - November 3, 2009 2:57 pm

    Ajay, Wow! im sure sarap mga foods d2 sa pix palang yummy.. expensive nga lang.. im a chef too.. my hiring kaya na hef sa kusina selera? sarap mag work jan ah..

  13. kate - November 23, 2009 8:35 pm

    ate here 6 times ata last week :P

  14. Pingback: Adobo | Kumain.com

  15. melanie - November 28, 2009 6:03 pm

    thanks for this info madam. we are going to try this tonight.

  16. MyFilipinoRecipes.com - December 22, 2009 7:13 am

    Nice place, good foods, and beautiful ladies…..One day we’ll visit this place.

  17. larry - February 2, 2010 9:44 am

    may email address kaya cla.. pasend naman oh

  18. Joy Farochillin - August 9, 2010 5:51 am

    One of the best restaurants in town.

    Kusina Selera
    Doors 9-11, 115 Paseo de Legaspi
    P.Pelayo St. Davao City
    Tele. No. (082) 221-2695

  19. john stewart - March 12, 2011 12:46 pm

    Any overseas visitor must try this restaurant, it has some true Philippines food, very clean the courtyard has a slight spanish touch at night, try the red horse beer but be warned its strong.

  20. mark pasaway10@yhoo.com - May 22, 2011 4:05 pm

    msta n poh chef

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