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